Contest features fritters, the Bahamian fruit of the sea

With his hands clasped behind his back, three minutes was all the time Casey Arnold needed to throw 20 conch fritters down the back of his throat while doing a test run for the first ever conch fritter eating contest being held on Sunday, Oct. 9 starting at 4 p.m. at Conch Republic Seafood Company in Key West. The contest starts at 5 p.m. with a couple heats, and is $20 to enter.

“That’s a pretty impressive feat,” said Conch Republic’s Graff Kelly. “I think that’s about a fritter every 10 seconds or so.”

Four locals participated in the test run. Two people devoured about eight fritters apiece and a third knocked back 15 in the allotted three minutes.

The conch fritter contest anchors WINEDINE KEYWEST, a month-long, mouthwatering restaurant promotion showcasing some of the bests of Key West dining, staying, and playing. Running through Oct. 16, participating restaurants are offering prefixed menus for lunch and dinner at special pricing.

“The bottom line is we want to promote Key West as a dining destination,” said event creator Mark Certonio. “This contest will help bring some attention to the entire event with our goal of making the off season a little more popular. So far, it has been successful.”

To compete in the conch fritter chow down, visit and search “Conch Fritter.” For more info on WINEDINE KEYWEST, visit


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