9 Weirdest Food Festival Dishes Slideshow

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Roasted Garlic Blueberry and Pear Cobbler with Garlic Pecan Brickle Cream

Gilroy Garlic Festival

Garlic, once a remedy to keep the vampires away was made popular in America by Italian immigrants over a hundred years ago. In fact garlic has become so popular, every year Gilroy, Calif., hosts the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Sounds awesome, but what’s hard to understand is garlic for dessert. A finalist in last year’s cook-off: roasted garlic blueberry and pear cobbler with garlic pecan brickle cream. Guess we had to be there. 

Beer Marinated and Deep-Fried Bull’s Testicles

Flickr/jankgo/CC4.0

Testicle Festivals

Apparently “Rocky Mountain oysters” are so popular there are testicle festivals in Montana, Nebraska and Minnesota. One festival web site describes the making of “Montana Tendergroin” like this: “…the membrane is peeled, marinated in beer, breaded four times, and deep fried to result in what appears to be a fat breaded pork tenderloin.” Over at Nebraska’s Round the Bend Steakhouse, the menu says, “Dad used to tell me, 'don’t let your head beat your stomach out of something good to eat'!” Words to live by.

Livermush

Livermush Festival

Livermush may very well be delicious since it’s apparently similar to one of our favorite disrespected breakfast meats: scrapple. Sure it’s all the leftover parts of the pig mixed up with cornmeal among other things and fried, but hey so is bologna (minus the fried part). The good people of Shelby, N.C., definitely need a PR rep. They love livermush so much there’s an annual festival, but who on earth is going to eat something called livermush??

French Fries Topped with Cheese Curds and Gravy

Festival de la Poutine

Poutine sounds like a bad word in French, but it is actually a Quebecois specialty that has recently taken on a cult following. French fries topped with cheese curds and doused with gravy, that’s poutine, and Quebec, Canada, has an entire festival devoted to the delicious but over-the-top dish.

Grilled Spam Sushi

Waikiki Spam Jam

Just because Hawaii was central to winning the war of the Pacific and Spam was the meat of the moment, does that mean we need a Spam festival? Apparently. Sure there are playful takes on delicious classics like Spamakopita (aka spanakopita), Spam Katsu (aka, chicken Katsu, a delicious Japanese-style fried chicken), but god help the person who actually enjoys eating these spammy interpretations.

 

Seasoned, Battered and Fried Frog Legs

Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival

As you can see, Fellsmere serves quite a lot of frog legs every January, but that's not the only oddball food at this festival -- gator tail is also on the menu. So if you have a choice: frog legs, which are actually pretty tasty if you can get past the bones, or gator tail which apparently tastes just like chicken only tougher and more… gatory. Either way, they’re both fried up in a seasoned flour batter.

Kung Pow Panda

West Virginia Roadkill Cookoff

The very idea of eating roadkill might make you throw up in your mouth a little, but it turns out that chefs may be having a bit of fun with festivalgoers. Take Kung Pow Panda, for example, which head cook Nick Anderson with Two Crooks and A Cook fried up using chicken rather than panda meat, taking home the coveted People's Choice Award and finishing third overall. Two Crooks and a Cook have also won with this bizarre dish, the South of the Border Mishap: armadillo, roadrunner and hitchhiker tacos. Sound tasty?

Wasp Larvae Ice Cream

Flickr/Chad/CC4.0

Wildfoods Festival

What else has put New Zealand on the map along with The Lord of the Rings trilogy? The bizarre offerings of the Wildfoods Festival, where such treats as seagull turd, semen sauce and huhu grubs are featured on the menu. From what we hear, there is more protein in one little cicada that an entire cow — we can’t wait for the next cicada infestation.

Giant Fried Pierogis

Pierogi Fest

The weirdest part of Whiting, Indiana's Pierogi Fest is not the traditional Polish potato-filled dumplings, but rather its hilarious cast of characters: Mr. Pierogi, the Pieroguettes, Polkahontas, Lil’ Dumplings as well as Ms. Paczki and Halupki Guy. A celebration of Polish heritage, the festival has some unique uses for the pierogi, like tossing and eating contests. Look for pierogis fried in bacon grease and layered with strips of bacon, a time-honored way of serving them.