BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - May 21, 2013) - Food festivals are great opportunities to indulge in the unique culinary cultures of destinations around the globe. However, the travel experts at Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, have discovered that there are food festivals, and then there are food festivals. In their search for remarkable food events, they found themselves in the world of the bizarre with festivals devoted to unconventional uses of normal foods such as tomatoes, oranges and melons as well as celebrations of lesser typical menu items such as roadkill, bugs and surprising body parts. If we've intrigued you thus far, then read on to learn more about Cheapflights.com's Top 10 Outlandish Food Festivals.
Warning! Some of the ingredients at these festivals are not for the faint of heart. And some of these events take making a mess to a new level. If we've whet your appetite or, better yet, aroused your curiosity, here are six eccentric food festivals that you can experience over the summer months and into September.
- Roadkill Cook-Off, Marlinton, W.V., United States - Have you ever seen a dead animal lying on the side of the road and thought, 'Wow, I'm hungry?' If you answered yes to this question, then the annual Roadkill Cook-Off in Marlinton, W.V., might be the perfect food festival for you. Held the last Saturday in September, this festival features dishes 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. Yum!
- La Tomatina, Bruñol, Spain - Feel like taking some aggression out on strangers by throwing crushed tomatoes at them for an hour? Then head to Spain on the fourth Wednesday in August for the largest tomato food fight you will ever encounter. La Tomatina began around the end of World War II due to a rumored local fight (the exact origins are unknown) and now draws around 45,000 people every year to toss nearly 250,000 pounds of tomatoes at one another. Participants are urged to wear goggles and gloves during the fight and of course clothing you don't mind getting permanent tomato stains on.
- BugFest, Raleigh, N.C., United States - Only 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. This September festival encourages participants to try bug-inspired foods prepared by local chefs, and fine-tune their entomophagy skills -- the practice of eating bugs. Past featured dishes have included superworm enchiladas and cinnamon-sugar crickets.
- Testicle Festival, Clinton, Mont., United States - If the name of this annual festival hasn't made you squirm yet, then keep reading. This Montana event, held in August and known formally as the Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival, is named for one of the main dishes served -- bull testicles. Undecided on your testicle of choice? Enjoy a sampler plate of the featured fare. 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. After attending this one-of-a-kind event you're sure to be chanting its motto: "I had a ball at the Testicle Festival."
- Cheese Curd Festival, Ellsworth, Wis., United States -To help promote the local dairy tradition in the town of Ellsworth, Wis., locals began hosting the Cheese Curd Festival (taking place June 28-30), complete with eating contest and cheese carving competition. Now, a cheese festival in a state known for its cheese production may not seem uncommon. But given the main dishes at this festival derive from cheese curds -- the solid part of soured milk -- it deserves this ranking in our top food festivals for those with a stomach of steel.
- Gilroy Garlic Festival, Gilroy, Calif., United States - Calling all garlic lovers! The annual Gilroy Garlic Festival celebrates all things garlic in the nicknamed "garlic capital of the world," Gilroy, Calif. The July festival, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, attracts around 100,000 visitors all uniting for the love of garlic. Delicacies include garlic goodies like lollipops, soft drinks and ice cream. Hope they sell gum as well!
For the die-hard foodies and daredevils out there, you can start planning now to experience the following four crazy food festivals next year: Battle of the Oranges - Ivrea, Italy; Waikiki Spam Jam - Waikiki, HI; Chinchilla Melon Festival - Chinchilla, Australia; and Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival - Fellsmere, FL. To read Cheapflights.com's complete list of Top 10 Outlandish Food Festivals, visit http://news.cheapflights.com/top-10-outlandish-food-festivals.
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