On July 11th, The Taste of Chicago returns to the always-accommodating Grant Park, sporting a leaner schedule (five days, as opposed to its traditional ten) and a shorter list of participating restaurants. These changes come after a lackluster season in 2011 which saw only 2.35 million visitors, down 11% from 2010. Still, that’s over two million people gathering at a park just to eat.
That’s not a condemnation — not at all. These food-related social gatherings are an integral part to the human spirit. It’s an exchange in culture and, more often than not, it’s a chance to accept that culture. In his 2000 autobiography Kitchen Confidential, celebrated chef and writer Anthony Bourdain wrote, “I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure.”
If that’s the case, Bourdain would get along pretty well with the modern music festivalgoer. The most skilled of our kind has a number of Bonnaroos, Coachellas, or Lollapaloozas under their belts, in addition to some sacred rarities that would make the average reader here cry. But outside of seeing unique performances, they’ve also tasted a number of eats specific to that festival or area. If you want to talk about risk, here’s a nice picture: You’re about to eat some kind of strange meat you’ve never tried in your life and you’re 100 miles away from a traditional bathroom. That enough, Tony?
Risk has its rewards, naturally, and over the years Consequence of Sound has dabbled in a spoil of riches. With that in mind, we scaled back our taste buds and put together a rogue’s gallery of our favorite eats from various music festivals across the world. Some of our picks might startle your bellies (remember, it is festival food), others might make them ache with hunger. But really, our gang is a bunch of picky eaters, so there’s gotta be something for everyone here. Having said that, we’re open to suggestions, especially this time around.