Five Freaky Food Fests That Make Us Want to Lose It

  • By John Birdsall, SFoodie Editor
  • Fri Jul 24th, 2009 2:47pm
  • DiningSFoodie

Remember how freaky it seemed the first time you heard about the garlic ice cream served up every year at the Gilroy Garlic Festival? (It starts today, by the way.) Not sure about you, but we've moved on to a fascination with the truly weird crap cooked up at American food fests. From spring to fall, festivals around the nation seem engaged in a competitive gross-out (impaled on sticks and deep-fried) to see who can outdo each other. Here are five we find nauseatingly fascinating (check festival Web sites for exact dates).

1. West Virginia Roadkill Cook-Off
Marlington, W.Va.
In decades past (hell, centuries past) dishes like squirrel gravy over biscuits, stewed bear, and fried possum were Appalachian staples — on the days you were lucky. Now they're stars of a kind of annual Pocahontas County crafts fair-slash- hootenanny, celebrating what organizers call Country Road Vittles. Take me home.


2. Turkey Testicle Festival
Byron, Ill.
Believe it or not, this isn't the only fest devoted to the man (well, foul) parts of the iconic American bird, but the one here claims to be the oldest. You can nibble on the delicacies dipped in beer batter and fried — indeed, beer is a big part of the TT Festival, if only so attendees can work up the (forgive us) balls to dig in. Maybe the most disturbing part of the whole fest? Turkey nuggets are said to be roughly human-sized. Major eww.


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