Chili cookoffs, bbq contests and beer and wine tasting events are always solid options for a delectable excursion. However, some food festivals are more inclined to make you scratch your head than make your mouth water. A lot of these festivals observe the foods that put their town on the map. Others exist to raise knowledge of a specific delicacy — sauteed cricket, anyone? From Sauerkraut Weekend to Spam Jam, you can spend a year following strange food around the nation.
Frog Leg Festival, Jan. 21-24
Fellsmere, Fla. – which calls itself the Frog Leg Capital of the World – holds the Guinness World Record for the most frog legs served in the course of one business day. The festival serves over 7,000 pounds of the delicacy to over 80,000 attendees. Pick between the Frog Leg Dinner which comes with grits, coleslaw and hushpuppies, or a leg on a stick called a Frog Pop. froglegfestival.com
Calf Fry Festival, April 30-May 2
Tumbleweed Dancehall, Stillwater, Okla.
With the tagline “24 years of turning bulls into bullocks,” the Calf Fry Festival isn’t for the faint of heart. Calf Fries are bull or calf testicles which are peeled, sliced, breaded and deep fried. Ranchers, who have been eating this stuff for years and years, do not consider this strange at all – neither do the 30,000 people who eat over 3,000 pounds of Calf Fries every springtime at the festival. The weekend includes a three-day concert in the renowned Tumbleweed Dancehall, where Garth Brooks was once a bouncer. tumbleweedok.com
May 2 Waikiki Spam Jam,
Kalakaua Avenue, Hawaii
The love affair with Spam in Hawaii can be traced back to when it was served to World War II soldiers stationed on the island. The tradition lives on at the Spam Jam. Think Spam.