Salty Ball Potatoes at Maui's Dog House in Wildwood, NJ

The summer beach season will kick into high gear on June 18 as Mauiís Dog House holds the World Salty Ball Potato-Eating Championship on the beach in Wildwood, NJ, in honor of Fatherís Day.

Potatoes, whether French-fried, baked or boiled, are considered among the most difficult foods to eat in competition. They are dense and heavy and require significant focus by eaters.

The Salty Ball potato was created to give customers a change from the usual French fry. Mauiís Dog House located two farms in upstate New York near Lake Ontario that grow a small, yellowish spud. The potatoes are harvested, then boiled in a special brine, salted and served dripping with butter. As with all Mauiís Dog House meals, the salty ball potatoes are served in dog bowls.

In preliminary events, eaters have eaten only three pounds of the famous Salty Ball potatoes in 12 min. However, handicapping experts in the competitive eating world expect that top American eaters will consume more than six pounds during the championship event.

"Eating salty ball potatoes is an acquired skill that demands both jaw strength and stomach capacity," said George Shea, chairman of the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE). "These potatoes are different from traditional French fries and the event will be a particularly challenging for the eaters."

The contest will begin at 12:30 p.m. on the beach at 21st Street and the Boardwalk. Other attractions that are part of the event include the Sudenvolk Porsche Club of New Jersey Car Show and an exhibition by Wildwood Harley Davidson.

The IFOCE will handle eater registration. There are still spots available, and interested eaters over the age of 18 should call (212) 627-5766 or sign up online at

MAUI'S DOG HOUSE, Inc ģ, located at 806 New Jersey Ave, North Wildwood, New Jersey, is a family owned business. A true throw-back to the sock hop era, minus the car hops, Maui's has it all. Specialties include traditional homemade wurst sausages featuring blends of beef, pork and veal, and veal and pork served with any of 30 toppings.

The International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE), the governing body of all stomach-centric sports, conducts more than 70 events annually, including the Nathanís Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, N.Y. The competitive eating community, which numbers more than 3,000 veteran and rookie athletes, travels the nation in search of top titles and the glory that they provide.