How do you top scorpion pizza? Cockroach pizza, of course. Unfortunately, Canadians were denied the opportunity to eat the much-discussed fair food after the bugs never materialized. Turns out they may have had a customs’ issue.
The story starts in 2014 when vendor Rick’s Pizza offered up scorpion pies at the annual Calgary Stampede, a 10-day event celebrating the region’s western heritage with “food, music, shows and western hospitality” (and gross pizzas, apparently). Surprisingly, the exotic slices sold out quickly. Looking to top those buzz-worthy slices, this year, Rick’s had promised cockroach pizza would be on the menu.
However, the cringe-inducing meal was scratched at the last minute. Rick Ukmar, the man behind Rick’s, told the Calgary Herald, “We ordered these things a while back and they did not let us get them through the border.”
Meanwhile, the Canada Border Services Agency said that cockroaches are all good on their end. “Dead cockroaches are permitted to be imported into Canada. They can be brought in, no permit required,” said spokeswoman Lisa White – probably frustrating all those cockroach importers who realized they’d been wasting their time trying to secure permits.
So where are the bugs? A spokesman for the Calgary Stampede had another theory. “The vendor did mention he was ordering them through Vietnam, therefore they may have been denied at another country's border,” Jennifer Booth told CBC News.
For his part, Ukmar was optimistic that he’d have his insects before the festival’s end. “It comes from a source where they’re all edible, everything is good, the health department approved it, so it’s just a matter of getting them through the border,” he told the Herald.
Who knew getting a bunch of gross bugs could be so difficult. Maybe Canada should just consider itself lucky.