Stronger than Sallet
The sign posted along Highway 119 proudly announced the 54th Annual Poke Sallet Festival would be coming to downtown Harlan, Kentucky on June 4-6th. This prompted an immediate Internet search on my BlackBerry.
The Facebook addicted among you are probably off to go try and poke Sallet. I have no idea what you might find since this Sallet isn’t actually a person – it’s an herb that you eat, if you so desire. But you better make sure it’s cooked really well because if it isn’t, as I learned on Wikipedia, pokeweed aka poke sallet can be poisonous.
I was more intrigued by the second! Who discovered pokeweed could kill you if eaten raw, and who decided it would be a good idea to cook it and try again?
I had to see this poke sallet for myself. The fact that the World’s Strongest Redneck would be appearing three times at the festival on Saturday made it a no-brainer.
Check him out for yourself: Steve McGranahan – the World’s Strongest Redneck
When we arrived late Saturday afternoon, we quickly discovered that poke sallet was not actually sold at the festival. There were plenty of funnel cake and lemonade booths, but to get a taste of poke sallet, you had to go to one of the two restaurants in Harlan that serve the delicacy. And they were SOLD OUT for the day.
I suppose if I were a vendor, I would probably think twice before serving something potentially toxic to festival patrons. Disappointed, we consoled ourselves with something else we never tried before: deep fried Oreos.
I wonder if deep fried poke sallet would be toxic? (Please don’t try it at home).