Summer is prime time for festivals chock-a-block with regional curiosities. And since part of the adventure of traveling is trying new things, I’m usually game to try just about anything. Here are three feasts, however, that might make me question how much is too much?
Roadkill Cook-Off, Marlinton, West Virginia. It’s not quite as disgusting as it sounds, honestly. This festival, on Saturday September 28, serves up meals made from creatures who often find themselves flattened on the side of the road. Actual roadkill isn’t used in the dishes, but visitors will be sure to get an authentic roadkill experience with sample dishes such as tacos filled with armadillo, porcupine stew and marinated bear.
BugFest, Raleigh, North Carolina. For those with an ironclad stomach (or fans of “Fear Factor”), the annual BugFest, sponsored by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, incorporates insects and creepy crawlers in all of its featured dishes. The September 21 festival encourages participants to try bug-inspired foods prepared by local chefs, and fine-tune their entomophagy skills – that’s the practice of eating bugs. Some of last year’s popular dishes included superworm enchiladas and cinnamon-sugar crickets.
Testicle Festival, Clinton, Montana. The “testes festy” is an event you’ll need, um, balls for. As you’d expect, the August festival is named for the main dish being served: bull testicles. Reports from last year’s festival found that participants consumed an average of 110 pounds of bull and bison testicles – served deep-fried, beer-battered or marinated. Let me hazard a guess at the t-shirt: “I had a ball at the Testicle Festival.”