‘Bizarre Foods’ host says no food is bizarre

Pickled herring at Farmstead in Providence, R.I., where the menu "changes frequently to reflect the nuances and spirit of the season." Courtesy Andrew Zimmern
Pickled herring at Farmstead in Providence, R.I., where the menu “changes frequently to reflect the nuances and spirit of the season.” Courtesy Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern has a bone to pick.

The easygoing host of “Bizarre Foods America,” got philosophical recently about the fourth season of his try-anything-once series.

When asked about where the U.S. ranks in the echelon of bizarre foods, he replied, “I disagree with the premise.” 

Zimmern explained that the foods on his show that seem strange often have cultural, geographic and socioeconomic roots in the communities that have been making them for generations. More than any element of the bizarre, Zimmern chooses his destinations based on the stories behind the foods.

“I think that the best stories about food are from the fringe,” he said. “But to the people cooking the food, making the food, and people like me eating the food, there is nothing strange about it.”

Just because your favorite restaurant doesn’t use animal blood doesn’t make the many uses that chefs all over the world have for it every day bizarre. (As a Hungarian, land of the blood sausage, I can attest to its virtues — as well as my American husband’s aversion.) And really, if you think about it, cheese that has to be squeezed out of a can is also a bit strange. Delicious, but strange.

So if he had it to do over again, what does Zimmern think would be a more accurate title for his show?

“I had originally called it ‘Chew On This,’ but my pal Eric Schlosser had already been the first mouse to that cheese.” (Schlosser is the author of “Fast Food Nation,” and adapted the concept for younger readers into a book with that title.)

Despite spending a good portion of the year eating food from all places and cultures, it’s only every two or three years that Zimmern finds something he just can’t stomach. Most recently, it was mock smoked mackerel at Los Angeles’ Vege Paradise in the fourth season premiere. Happens to the best of us.

So instead of judging a food as bizarre, open your mind. As Zimmern says on the show, “If it looks good, eat it!”

Read the full interview with Andrew Zimmern to plan your cross-country foodie road trip. “Bizarre Foods America” airs Mondays at 9 p.m./8 p.m. Central on the Travel Channel. Find recipes, blogs and more on Zimmern’s website.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

National

Donut capers stymie police in Oregon

For more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.