Our View: We need a great bison barbecue


April 26, 2017

Great ideas tend to come out of nowhere.

They’re the sort of inspirations that strike like lightening and linger on afterward. Recently, an idea came to our attention that could be something the local chambers of commerce, Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism and maybe both cities should look into.

Certain regions of the U.S. are known for large gatherings where people cook a local specialty. New England is known for its clam bake and some locations in Alaska host a salmon bake. Green River even hosts is own cajun shrimp boil during the annual River Festival. These events are huge gatherings, as anything involving large amounts of food tends to attract people. The idea is to host a bison barbecue, perhaps alternate it between Bunning Park in Rock Springs and Expedition Island in Green River, and use the barbecue to bring visitors to the area.

For this kind of barbecue, focusing it on buffalo meat makes a lot of sense. Buffalo is front and center on the state flag of course, and bison are the state’s official mammal. Buffalo meat is something that is exotic enough to attract visitors curious about how the meat would taste, but is recognizable enough where people wouldn’t be put off because of how bizarre the meat is. Bison meat can be utilized in a number of ways too, with cooks preparing a wide variety of dishes to sample. From basic foods like buffalo burgers and steaks to more intricate dishes like pulled bison served with a mango-habanero chutney, there’s a wide spectrum to work with that would be a local and regional draw.

One of the obvious drawbacks to this is the cost of bison meat. A quick Google search reveals bison meat isn’t the most affordable meat on the market. However, there is an opportunity for Wyoming bison providers to promote themselves through a bison barbecue. Area companies providing the bison meat to the barbecue could sell their meats during the event. People, having eaten and hopefully enjoyed bison meat at the barbecue, would be more open to buying meat to use in their food at home. The event would be a great way to introduce people to eating Wyoming bison, as well as the companies selling bison meat.

While we’re sure there are some kinks to be worked out with such an event, we think a bison barbecue in Sweetwater County would attract people from outside the area.

If there’s something that would draw people to an event, it’s food and there isn’t anything more Wyoming than bison.


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