We generally have a bias about a lot of “wild foods”. Foraging for wild mushrooms = cool. Eating squirming grubs = not so cool. While it seems that many people are willing to consider eating some stomach turning tidbits for cash on reality TV shows, it looks like others are seeking it out for the sake of culinary adventure.
New Zealand’s Wildfoods Festival has been going on for 24 years and was started by local woman, Claire Bryant. She had a reputation in the neighbourhood for some of the finest homemade gorse flower wine. In due course folks were lining up to sample her tasty natural drinks, so it seemed only natural to start a festival to celebrate the fine cuisine of New Zealand’s West Coast. Since then the festival has blossomed and draws tourists from across the country and world to take a bite. The festival has been named the Most Unique Event in New Zealand and been recognized multiple times by the Kiwi Tourism Awards. The Wildfoods Festival now draws in an average of 15,000 attendees each year.
Aside from the gorse flower wine, what can you expect from the Wildfoods Festival? Wasp larvae ice cream, cucumber fish, wok friend clams, and sheep’s milk cheese, just to name a few. The festival also hosts a variety of musical acts (and some mimes!), comedy routines, dancing, a wildfood receipe competition, costume competition and much more! If you’re looking to take a break from the festival and see what else the area has in store, why not go for a stroll and enjoy a coffee in the West Coast Treetop Walk and Café, the only treetop walkway in all of New Zealand? You can also admire nature from above with an Anderson Helicopter ride.
Swing over to Hokitika, lock away your squeamishness and take a walk on the wild side. For more information on the Wildfoods Festival, check out the Official Website.
When: March 9th, 2013
Where: Hokitika, New Zealand