Who comes up with these things? From weird ingredients to crazy rules, the below list features some of the nation’s most unique festivals and cooking competitions.
It’s up to you to decide which one of these is the weirdest cooking competition.
1. The Championship Scrapple Cook-Off
The Championship Scrapple Cook-Off in Newark, Delaware puts the breakfast favorite to the test. Every dish entered must use scrapple in a non-traditional way.
Winning dishes have included scrapple, egg and cheese pizza, scrapple jerky, and scrapple stromboli. The top prize nets $250 and the event is hosted every year around September.
2. The Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship
For starters, grilled cheese will never get old and that’s proved by the fact that this competition is in its 5th year. The rule to win? Make a grilled cheese bigger and better than anything you’ve ever seen before.
They even have a dessert round which I’m sure is fun and similar to the last round of Chopped.
3. Meatball Madness
Spaghetti isn’t the only way to get meatballs in a meal. This yearly competition in Syracuse, New York features some unique eats.
This competition allows no amateurs and only the finest Italian restaurant chefs in New York can compete, meaning that this is serious meatball business.
4. The Big Pig Jig
Vienna, Georgia is home of the Big Pig Jig cooking competition. What sets this competition apart is the inclusion of an entire pig. This is not simply a pork barbecue cook-off, one must roast the entire pig, so there’s plenty of food to go around.
It’s a huge two-day event with performances by local bands. It may take a while before the food is ready, so be sure to bring a good seat.
This city has the Cubs, the Bulls, the Bears, and the bacon – Chicago is such a wonderful place. Baconfest Chicago has been around since 2009 and grows more every year. Local chefs are invited to compete for best bacon dish.
You can buy a ticket to walk around taste all the various bacon dishes. This cooking competition is a must go since it employs the most popular add-on in America.
6. The Jello Salad Cook-Off
Minneapolis, Minnesota is home to the Jello Salad Cook-Off! Jello may have taken a backseat to newer desserts, but it still has a wobbly spot in many hearts.
Watch here to see it all in action.
7. The World Championship Duck Gumbo Cook-Off
Gumbo is already addictive as is, but adding duck that has such depth of flavor is like an angel falling from the sky. Stuttgart, Arkansas is known as the rice and duck capital of the world, so I guess the cooking competition is fitting.
Held every Thanksgiving, this warm bowl really kicks off the holiday season.
8. Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry
This may not be for everyone, but for those that are, Virginia City, Nevada offers all the fun you’re looking for. Let’s clarify what Rocky Mountain oysters are: bull testicles.
That’s right, fried up with spices and served for all to judge. Chili and tacos were some of the winning dishes from this year’s St.Patricks Day event. Around 3,000 people come out every year to taste these off brand snacks and seem to really love it.
While in town, Vegas isn’t too far away if the food becomes too much for you.
9. The Southern Hushpuppy Championships
The Texas State Floral Festival in Lufkin features a cooking competition involving an item I didn’t know was quite that popular. Hushpuppies are usually reserved as a side for fried fish, but this cooking competition brings them to the forefront.
Hushpuppy competitors come go through a first round tasting where the top eight advance to the final plating round where the winner is declared.
If you’re free in September and happen to be around Texas, definitely check this out!
10. World Champion Squirrel Cook-Off
Arkansas makes the list again, but not for anything decadent. Bentonville, Arkansas holds the World Champion Squirrel Cook-Off every September. The winner receives $1,000, but don’t think this is a cake walk.
If you want to know how hard this cooking competition is, the most recent entries were squirrel ice cream and squirrel lollipops. If that’s not weird, I don’t know what else could be.