It is common for restaurants to have different specials they offer for only a small period of time in order to entice people into ordering something they perhaps can’t get at any other restaurant. This is normal. What is not exactly normal is for a special to feature chargrilled tarantula. The insect-eating craze is slowly sweeping the world and even made it all the way over to the U.S., so it was only a matter of time before restaurants started offering insect delicacies to their more adventurous customers. What is this months special that has everyone so worked up? It is a simple hamburger topped with a crunchy, fully-grown chargrilled tarantula and including a side of fries.
The Bull City Burger and Brewery in Durham, North Carolina has an “Exotic Meat Month” every year in April. The restaurant’s owner Seth Gross began this tradition six years ago in an effort to celebrate exotic meats people eat all around our own country and the world. In the past such animals as iguana, alligator, python, turtle, camel and various other insects. After reading about how tarantulas have become a popular street food eaten in Cambodia, where the arachnids are tossed in the oven and cooked after being covered with salt and sugar, Gross decided to try including the food staple in one of his dishes. Gross claimed in an interview, “I thought this would be a great way to really teach about diversity.”
Not everyone can have one of these tarantula burgers, however, as Gross only gets 15 of these tarantulas, which are farmed and organically raised, each year. In order to get a taste diners need to have a bit of luck on their side. Gross decides who gets to try these famous tarantula burgers through a lottery system. When diners arrive they can fill out a lottery ticket, and if their name is pulled they get the rare chance to eat one of these crunchy critters in their burger. Winners have 48 hours to get up the courage to claim their treat, and, surprisingly, none have backed down from the challenge yet. So, what do these crispy critters taste like? One customer said they reminded her of potato chips…that’s not so bad.
Have you ever had a chance to eat strange and exotic food like this tarantula burger? If you did have the chance, would you be able to go through with eating it?
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