DURHAM, N.C. -
It's exotic meat month at Bull City Burger and Brewery and people are going crazy for a burger garnished with a tarantula.
The spidery craze is taking Durham, North Carolina by storm.
"Once I actually put aside the fact that it was a spider, and just ate it, it wasn't bad, just crunchy," Anthony Jarvis explained.
He took the Tarantula Challenge during Exotic Meat Month at Bull City Burger.
"I mean, when I got done, I was like, ‘I can... I can enjoy another one right now’" another challenge-acceptor, Mark Christmann said.
Bull City Burger and Brewery is serving up a helping of grass-fed beef topped with a big, black, edible tarantula during the month of April.
"We've had kids, adults, every type of person," restaurant owner Seth Gross said of those willing to try the arachnid sandwich.
Gross says they came up with the Tarantula Challenge three years ago after researching trending meats around the world.
“It’s always been about diversity and teaching people about different types of cuisines and maybe other diets around the world," Gross explained.
Normally in the U.S. people keep spiders as a pets, but overseas, they are hunted and eaten. The creatures can be found in the forests of Cambodia and adult males can grow up to six inches - or the size of a human hand.
"There's something thrilling about eating your fear. So a lot of folks who are afraid of spiders, this is like the big one," Gross said.
For Mark Christmann, it's quite the opposite.
"I love spiders. That's actually the only thing that was kind of making me not want to do it. I was like, ‘I really do like spiders. But I don't know how I feel consciously about eating one," he said.
Not everyone gets to order this special burger. They hold a raffle to see who gets to try it. Christmann put his name in the raffle like the other 15 challengers and arrived with an appetite, ready to taste his prize.
"When I first sink my teeth into it, a lot of crunch. Imagine like snapping twigs, like it had that same sound in my head when I was biting,” he described.
He devoured the tarantula-garnished burger in less than eight bites and received this t-shirt to commemorate the occasion.
The owners say their next unique dish can be anything from an exotic fish to bull testicles.