‘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
International

Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

Hurricane Odile injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands and smashed shops open to looters in the popular tourist area of Baja, Mexico.

National

Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million…

By Lehar Maan(Reuters) - Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million…

National

LAPD investigates complaint from detained 'Django' actress

The LAPD is investigating after "Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts accused police of violating her rights when they detained her.

Local

Number of New York City smokers increase, topping…

For the first time since 2007, there are  more than one million smokers in New York City, according to the New York City Department of…

Movies

Newsflash: Corey Stoll is still not a man

In director Shaun Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You," Corey Stoll stars as the oldest of four adult children (the others are played by…

Movies

If you don't like Simon Pegg's new film,…

Simon Pegg goes all out in "Hector and the Search for Happiness" as the titular psychiatrist stymied by modern life who embarks on a globetrotting…

Arts

Art in Chelsea: Don't miss these 3 galleries

We selected three sure bets for seeing cool art in the galleries of Chelsea.

Music

Robin Thicke blurs lines further with new 'Blurred…

"The reality is," said Robin Thicke about "Blurred Lines" in a court deposition, "Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song."

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

Travel

World's most hipster cities: Top 5

Travel blogger Adam Groffman tells us his picks for the Top 5 most hipster cities in the world.

Education

The top 5 regrets recent high school grads…

College application season can seem like a blur for many students - as test prep, campus visits and filling out a seemingly endless stream of…

Parenting

Tech execs tend to limit their kids' screen…

You probably got your iPad before Bill Gates's kids did.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing: Daybreaker returns, Ray Rice jersey trade, Sweet…

  Now that Ray Rice is no longer with the Baltimore Ravens — or any other NFL team — after video footage surfaced showing him…