Food Zaniness at Wildfoods Festival in Hokitika, New Zealand

Crispy coastal shark and gorse wine to go with chocolate coated beetles
Staff Writer

Fish eyes, huhu beetle grubs (a traditional Maori delicacy) and deep-fried locusts are not on your everyday menu — hey, they aren’t on your every-decade menu — which is why the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival insanely pushes the food envelope March 9, 2013, to let you try something different. And there is a lot of different on offer here, like mountain oysters, seagull eggs, and venison tongue. Their theme is "Go a Hunting... & Come a Gathering."

"Being a hunter and gatherer myself, it’s wonderful to taste the variety of bush tucker from this very unique part of the world," said Dick Tayler, celebrated New Zealand runner and Westland District (locale of Hokitika) Ambassador, in an email to The Daily Meal. "Crystal clear waters and skies so clear that you can see forever, and before I even get a beer in my hand."

There’s just nothing like some deep-fried locusts and game bird salami to kick off the events, right?

"It’s great to see this enormous variety of wild food all in one pulsating place at the Wildfoods Festival," said Dan Dick, a Wildfoods stallholder. "I’m like a pig in the strawberries trying to sample it all!"

So make your way to this wacky festival in Hokitika on the west coast of New Zealand, where you will also see some crazy costumes.

"My heart sings at the amazingly colorful sight of the Wildfoods Festival-goers — dressed to the theme and enjoying the legendary hospitality of the West Coast," Maureen Pugh, mayor of Westland, said. "We are so proud to welcome the world to our little slice of paradise via the Wildfoods Festival."

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