by Carol Dunn
HUERFANO- We have some friends who recently enjoyed a meal of rattlesnake, and we know a guy who has been known to fry up a pan of scrambled eggs with grasshoppers (back legs removed). And I’m sure there are plenty more exotic foods in Huerfano County. However, I just happened upon an article about the new and exotic foods they were serving at this year’s State Fair, and I must say, these things trump Rocky Mountain oysters or chocolate covered ants by a long shot.
I’m talking about the exciting cuisine by Jungle George’s Exotic Meats and Bugs. The Fair favorite (or maybe it was just the item that made the most people barf) seemed to be the maggot melt sandwich, a photo of which was published in the Pueblo Chieftain and helped me avoid food for the rest of the day. I’m not sure of the price for a maggot melt, but I know how much I would have to be PAID to EAT a maggot melt – and that’s A LOT.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not making fun of food from other countries, where they HAVE to eat maggots. They are the people my mom told me about when I was a kid and wouldn’t eat my cream of mushroom soup: “There are starving children in Africa.” To which, of course, the kid in all of us surely replied, “Then send it to them to eat.” But eating maggots for fun is, well, kind of weird. There are hundreds of fine foods to choose from at a State Fair – like deep fried Oreos, deep fried bubblegum, and deep fried butter. Ok, as food items they are not so fine or as healthful as maggots, but they LOOK better. And their guts don’t spew through your mouth when you bite them. Well, now that I think about it, maybe the deep fried butter is similar to a giant deep fried maggot.
Is there a market for more exotic foods in Huerfano? Maybe it would attract more tourists if we had a place, in the Northlands perhaps, that served mealworm spaghetti, ant larvae tacos, and centipede stew. We could call it IBUG and build it across from IHOP. Maybe the Travel Channel would send Andrew Zimmern out to taste the Huerfano Adobe Bug Meringue Pie, and he could say, “Mm, Oh, that’s SO good.” And we’d be famous around the world for something besides being the home of the guy who killed Jesse James. After all, we’re always clamoring for more restaurants in the area.
But, in my mind, there’s a fine line between bacon cheeseburger and bacon maggot burger, and it’s a line I hope I never have to cross.