Pepperoni Roll Eating Contest


Pepperoni Roll Eating Contest – We Crown the Champion Right Here in Marion County

For the third year in a row, May 25 will be the day- that gloriously grand day- when a lucky and trained eater will take the title as world champion pepperoni roll eater.

As we all know (though the surrounding states and greater world seem a little less knowledgeable), Fairmont, West Virginia is home to the pepperoni roll.  Created and perfected here is the art of wrapping pepperoni in bread and baking it for a glorious, original West Virginia experience. Even better? Fairmont is home to the annual world champion pepperoni roll eating contest.

It feels like home; this contest brings together our favorite local treat and honors the county’s Italian coal-mining roots. Major League Eating has close to one hundred competitions a year, and this particular competition has one of the most expensive purses.  $2,500 goes to first place; in all, $6,500 goes to the top six pepperoni roll eaters.

Many wonder how this magnificent creation came to fortuitous existence.  The pepperoni roll was no fluke.  It was crafted from sheer resourcefulness.  Many Italian men worked in the West Virginia coal mines, and took bread and pepperoni for lunch.  One ingenious man, J. Argiro, decided to bake the pepperoni into the bread, thus creating the delicious food and his own company, the Country Club Bakery.

With that kind of history, it’s incredible that this contest has only been happening for three years.  After all, the pepperoni roll was created here in Marion County. Major League Eating was established in 1997.  The contest is held during the Three Rivers Festival (May 23- 25), which has been going since 1967. Why it took so long for the three to come together is a mystery, but we’re just glad they did!

If you want to take part in future competitions, you should probably start practicing now!  To get you started, try this simple pepperoni roll recipe at home.

Quick and Easy Pepperoni Rolls


  1. Unroll crescent rolls, place pepperoni (sticks or slices)
  2. (optional) Place cheese on top of pepperoni, usually mozzarella (sticks or shredded)
  3. Bake
  4. (optional) Split, add marinara sauce, more cheese, roasted green peppers, and/or chili
  5. Serve, share (or not), enjoy!

Country Club Bakery is not the only great baker of pepperoni rolls.  Share your recipes with us on the Marion County Facebook page.

How many pepperoni rolls have you eaten in one sitting?


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