Tagging along for Taste of the Wild

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Saturday, August 9 2008

            Today my dad, Frank, tagged along on my State Fair adventures. The goal was to explore all of the options at the Taste of the Wild Cookout, sponsored by the Indiana State Parks Inns.

Without getting into too many ethical issues, I needed someone other than me to try the meat or dairy-related dishes, so Frank stepped up to bat. We began the Tour de Sustenance at the White River Bowhunters booth. They served venison summer sausage, salami, and jerky. Frank deemed the mild salami “quite good,” saying he wouldn’t guess it was venison and that it had a nice flavor all around, later granting it a “muy bien.” The Indiana Deer Hunters Association’s deep fried deer nuggets got a less enthusiastic reception, but what can you expect from a cardiologist?

            The Indiana Wildlife Federation’s venison sloppy Joes were also “quite good.” It was about this time that Frank noted he would probably need to eat only vegetables for the rest of the day. I helpfully reminded him of the fresh fried vegetables vendor not 20 feet for the Natural Resources Building’s Front Porch.

The National Wild Turkey Federation’s turkey kabobs passed the test, as well as the Indiana Sportsmen’s Roundtable’s creekbank potatoes. Frank thought the fried steelhead trout supplied by Indianapolis Fly Casters and the Northwest Indiana Steelheaders had a “nice flavor, very fresh, not fishy taste.”

Frank was quite impressed with the Fur Takers of America’s barbeque beaver, noting it was “like having dark poultry meat with a mild flavor.”

Overall, Frank’s taste buds had quite the day.

            After a quick jog to Pioneer Village, Frank and I returned to the NRB to see Jim Floyd’s Arachnid Adventures. This program not only focused on which species of spiders are most prominent in Indiana, but also gave visitors a chance to ask questions about personal spider experiences. Jim showed off the Fishing Spider and the Brown Recluse and gave youngsters an up close look at the spiders, though separated by glass.  

            If you’d like to learn more about Indiana animal and insect species, stop by the Natural Resources Building any day during the State Fair for more fascinating programs.

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