Roadkill. Yes, the unfortunate remains of animals that didn’t look both ways before crossing the street. This word does not conjure mouth-watering images of sizzling meats and simmering stews. Well, throw the phrase cook-off in front of it, and you’ve got a culinary challenge that spawned an entire festival. So, put your biases aside and consider this as a fun weekend outing.
Held every year in Marlinton, this annual event was born out of necessity. Food scarcity led to the practice of not wasting anything. That includes the deer you accidentally hit on your way home. This may seem off-putting, even gross to some, but don’t be squeamish. These flattened proteins can be quite a delicacy if you know what you’re doing. If the idea of eating roadkill does seem a bit icky to you, there will be other food options. Not everything included in the cook-off has to be hit by a car, just made out of animals most commonly hit by cars.
This unconventional cooking contest has become more than just a small-town event over the years. It has been covered by major TV networks like the Discovery Channel, and people travel from all over to see if they have what it takes to win. The Roadkill Cook-Off will be held on Sept. 23 as part of the two-day Autumn Harvest Festival, and any additional information can be found at pccocwv.com, or you can just google WV roadkill cook-off.