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PHOTOS: Contestants Devour Matzo Balls At Uptown Deli Eating Contest

Bethesda’s Uptown Deli hosted its first annual matzo ball eating contest Monday.

Five contestants. Eight minutes. Lotsa matzo balls. 

Bethesda's a Norfolk Avenue Jewish-style delicatessen, hosted is first annual matzo ball eating contest Labor Day Monday. The event was the first eating contest for many participants.

“I practiced earlier this week. I ate a large sandwich as quickly as I could," said novice Scott Levengard of Silver Spring.

Howard Wasserman, Uptown Deli owner, donated proceeds to the Though he's secretive about his recipe, “There’s no question that my matzo ball is by far the best around," Wasserman said in a press statement. "I make my version light and fluffy, they’re called 'floaters'…and they’re not heavy like so many of them. Our contestants will have no problems eating my matzo balls.”

The judges included former WHFS radio personality John “Weasel” Gilbert and Darley Newman, producer of the travel show “Equitrekking.” Wasserman chose three additional audience members to judge the contest.

After Wasserman introduced all participants, he set a matzo ball-shaped timer for eight minutes and the competitors began to devour the baseball-sized matzo balls. Mike Longo of Woodbridge, Va., triumphed over the others, consuming nearly five matzo balls in the alloted time. Runner-up Jesse Dymond was close behind, finishing almost four matzo balls.

Longo, an eating contest veteran, had never eaten a matzo ball before this contest. Along with the title of Uptown Deli’s matzo ball champion, Longo took home a variety of matzo-themed prizes and gift certificates to local restaurants.

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