Summer is here and we are only a few months shy of the mouth-watering Hokitika Wildfoods Festival. Last year Yen and I went with empty stomachs to take on the most disgusting event New Zealand has to offer. By the end of the day, we had eaten our way through grubs, live grasshoppers, eels, sheep testicles, eyeballs, and many more grotesque treats. Yes, I know your face holes are salivating with jealousy.
I clearly remember contorting my face in jubilant disgust as I crunched the exoskeleton of a helpless living grasshopper…definitely a jarring transition from our usual grocery store visits.
The festival itself made its audacious debut in Hokitika, March of 1990. Respectfully, since that time, the tastes of NZ’s wild west has become a bustling and festive tourist attraction – one that attracts nearly 10,000 enthusiastic eaters every year.
The main attraction in Hokitika is without a doubt the bizarre compilation of foods. But, akin to many costume-oriented events around the world, Hokitika Wildfoods Festival is also a way for its many patrons to exhibit some of their most creative getups. I huddled up with a group of Smurfs, hunted some kangaroo meat with some blackface Zulu Warriors, and even got my furry on with a seven foot Yeti.
By the end of it, the comforts of typical societal normalities become irrelevant when you choose to dine here. Before you tie a knot in your invisible bib, make sure your subconscious utensils include an open mind, a dashing costume to showboat, and a strong stomach so you can eat your heart out. Also grab a camera, you might even win some moolah like I did at the photo competition!