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From the Times West Virginian
Fairmont, West Virginia
Saturday, May 30, 2008
By Paul Fallon

Anna Keffer, 2007 West Virginia Three Rivers Festival queen, looks over some of the pepperoni rolls during last year’s bakeoff. This year the monetary awards for the rolls that place in the top three are much higher than during the inaugural event.


Showcase for recipes
Homemade pepperoni roll bake-off to be part of Three Rivers Festival

FAIRMONT — Local legend has it that the state-renowned pepperoni roll had its humble origins in the Friendly City.

During the West Virginia Three Rivers Festival, amateur bakers will get the chance to showcase their secret family recipes at the second annual homemade pepperoni roll bake-off.

The event will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 24, at Palatine Park, said Marcella Yaremchuk, co-chair.

About a dozen bakers participated in the inaugural event last year, she said.
However, this year Yaremchuk said she expects many more contestants to participate.
“The event was really well received last year,” Yaremchuk said. “We had a lot of people ask us if we were going to do it again so they could get involved.”
There is no fee to enter the contest, she said. Prizes will be awarded for first-, second- and third-place finishers. The baker of the first-place pepperoni roll will receive $300 and a blue ribbon. Second place will be awarded $200, and third place will be given $100, Yaremchuk said.
The event is for amateurs only, she added.
“The contest is geared to entrants like the everyday housewives who have their own recipes for pepperoni rolls,” she said.

Contestants must bring at least six pepperoni rolls for the judges to taste. The pepperoni rolls will only be sampled by the judges, Yaremchuk said.
There are no restrictions as to what can be added to the rolls that are entered into the bake off, according to Yaremchuk. She said that one contestant last year added cheese to his rolls.

“We really want people to use their old family recipes,” Yaremchuk said. “And we also want people to know that they don’t have to disclose their recipes either.

“Some people are really serious about keeping their recipes secret,” she added.
The only requirement is the rolls need to be ready to be sampled when they are brought to the contest. Judges will vote for what they believe is the best bun based on taste, appearance and smell, Yaremchuk said.

Anyone interested in registering for the event or obtaining more information can contact Yaremchuk at 365-0491, Janie Merendino at 366-6433 or the festival office at 363-2625.

According to local lore, the pepperoni roll was invented in the 1920s by Giuseppe Argiro, the owner of Country Club Bakery. Now the savory meatfilled bun is produced in bakeries throughout the Mountain State.

Copyright (c)2008 Times West Virginia


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