Fancy a large, healthy, black and hairy tarantula topping on your favorite burger? If you answer yes, Bull City Burger and Brewery in Durham, North Carolina is the place for you.
Author’s note: The word “exciting” here has a radically different connotation for me. What is “exciting” for the rest, is a heart-attack trigger for me!
This locally owned, independent restaurant and craft brewery in downtown Durham, hosted the “exotic meat month” in April—a culinary ode to exotic meats consumes around the globe. The tarantula burger was featured for this year’s exotic meat celebration and safe to say, it had left a polarizing impact on gourmands across the world.
“I am going to eat my fear,” 27-year-old Kristin Barnaby, a self-proclaimed arachnophobe told Reuters, before taking a bite of her hamburger garnished with a crunchy full-grown, oven-roasted tarantula alongside a serving of fries.
Diversity on a plate
In the past six years, Bull City Burger and Brewery have presented an array of exotic meat for their special April-month menu—alligators, iguanas, camels, elk, pythons, turtles and various insects; cooked and served with love on the plate.
When quizzed about the genesis of the “exotic meat month ” menu, restaurant owner Seth Gross revealed that the annual feature is a way of promulgating diversity and knowledge about the culinary eating habits of different regions across continents.
“I thought this would be a great way to really teach about diversity,” Gross revealed.
But the opportunity to try out the unconventional delicacy came with a catch.
And if you’re wondering what could the ‘catch’ possibly be other than the tarantula topping? Here’s what it is.
“You come in, you fill in a lottery ticket,” Gross told Reuters. “If we draw your name, you come and get to eat one.”
However, you could get your hands on another exotic meat delicacy in 2019—The tarantula burger challenge had begun on April 4, 2018, and continued until stock lasted. (Only 15 farm-raised tarantulas were available with the restaurant at the time.)
Once the raffle number is drawn, the winner has 2 days to schedule a date with their tarantula Burger: a pasture-raised NC beef burger, gruyere cheese, oven-roasted tarantula, and spicy chili sauce with a side of Dirty Fries, all for just $30!
If the lucky draw winner manages to eat the whole burger, a limited-edition tarantula Challenge t-shirt was awarded too.
But the big question remains unanswered: how does the tarantula burger taste?
“It reminded me of potato chips,” Barnaby disclosed, adding, “I like to eat weird food,” after downing the fried creature with a glass of water.
Can’t wait to see what Gross brings out for his next year’s menu edition. Any suggestions?