Hokitika is about to go wild and explode – with people. Normally a sleepy little town with a population in the low thousands, every March Hokitika is transformed by it’s annual Wild Food Festival into a Mecca for foodies and adventurers answering the ‘call of the wild foods.’
The Wild Food Festival is hugely popular and attracts thousands of people from all corners of New Zealand and the world interested in discovering just how cast iron their stomaches really are.
To be honest, the idea of eating huhu grubs and mountain oysters has little appeal to me. But standing in the middle of Hokitika’s Wild Food Festival a couple of years ago, I discovered that I was in the minority. Everyone but me, it seemed, was more than happy to chow down on grasshoopers, huhu grubs, and worm sushi, followed by shots of moonshine and Gorse Flower wine.
Now in it’s 20th year, it has become something of a pilgrimage for many people who return year after year to sample odd, the strange, and the bizarre items that are labelled, at least at this festival, as food.
And for those of you, who, like me, that can’t quite stomach the foods, it’s just as much fun watching as it is eating.
This year’s Wild Food Festival is happening on 14th and 15th March 2009.