Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern (2006– )
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To the content itself: Sure, "Khlii" (salted rot-meat in Morocco), Hakarl (rotten shark in Iceland) or maggot-infested cheese (again, rotten) from Sardinia are not to everybody's taste, and I agree with Zimmern regarding the Durian-plant, perhaps among the foulest plants ever produced by nature. Balut (half-developed duck-embryos)? I would have said categorically "no" before watching this particular "Bizarre Foods"-episode, but here's the magic of Zimmern: he's able to convey tastes, smells, textures, etc., that virtually makes the viewer a deeper impression. So, yes, since then I consider trying Balut. I must give the show credit where credit is due: It put quiet a few places and even more dishes on my personal to-do-list. Especially Spain, Venice and Greece (to name but three) seem to be filled with culinary treasures that would make every food-aficionado heart beat faster.
As to the accusations of animal abuse that PETA-cranks frequently voice (which ironically all seem to come from "First World"-countries): Not everybody lives in the land of plenty, where almost everybody can afford the luxury of not seeing how your food is produced or white-wash their conscious with vegan food (that anybody with two taste-buds would consider a culinary abomination). Not sure if I'm paraphrasing Zimmern here, but to the vegetarians who refuse to eat meat out of pure principle: you haven't saved that steak that you won't eat; you simply disrespected it. Don't like what's cooking in the kitchen? Stay out of the kitchen.
I only have two real criticisms about the show: The title itself, for one. "Bizarre", that's a very subjective description of 99 percent of the presented dishes. In Germany the show was called "Der Alles-Esser" (roughly: "The guy who gobbles everything"), which is equally unfitting. First: if you want to try 'bizarre food' (in the negative sense), go down to a certain fast-food-joint with a Scottish name or go for the 50 cent package-food at the local discounter. I have doubt that Andrew would be able to stomach that stuff. The other issue is more about monetary issues. Sure, I'd love to go for a healthy plate of Beluga-caviar in St. Petersburg or stuffed duck in Paris, but who's going to pay? In such moments it comes to mind that it becomes heyday that IMDb is starting to pay their reviewers.
As far as food-shows go, I'd give it a straight 9 from 10 and a healthy "Bon Appetit".
Then the show continued and Zimmern started hamming it up, eating more bugs, worms, and things that we Americans (of course) would never eat. His hamming got on my nerves because he looked more like one of the three stooges. He became Zimmern the clown. He also made fun of the food he ate. The show lost my attention. I also feel that Zimmern goes out of his way to find these food in remote places. For the most part, the places are extremely remote, but in countries that their own people otherwise do NOT eat them.
I've been to the Phillipines and if you haven't seen or eaten "Balut", you haven't seen Bizarre Foods. However, I just said "no thanks" to the long-dead chicken embryo in the shell. The people were always gracious and kind. I learned a lot from them. This Bizarre Food is NOT a staple in the Filipino diet.
By the way, I LOVE "Hogs Head Cheese" (I'm half Cajun). And most of my friends wouldn't touch the stuff with a 10 foot pole. So we have our own food prejudices in our own country.
It's all relative.
Andrew Zimmer, former chef and food critic, travel to all four corners of the earth in serve of the weirdest (and looks disgusting) foods in the area. He travels from the United States, to Africa, to India, and even to Hawaii if he wants to just to try out these strange and sometimes tasty-looking specialties or just the average dish on the market. Some look delicious depending if you know what it is.
However if you have a weak stomach (even though it's on TV) be warned to press Mute. In places such as an Asian country it possess the strangest foods for us Westerners to be even looking at. One, for example, was a frog heart that was freshly cut out and (!!!) still beating! Once our friend Mr. Zimmerman popped that heart into his mouth with the help of chopsticks, my dad and I screamed and looked away! It's that exotic! But perhaps the best/cringing part about this show is that Andrew always describes the taste and texture of anything he eats. It could have a nutty taste, bitter, and just plain yucky and smile (or perhaps grimace if it's that gross.) This show is great for those who love the Travel Channel and are food lovers themselves. Sure, it might look disgusting to watch, but it's very entertaining to see what other countries eat that we would never even smell!
Andrew Zimmern, I noticed that you conveniently left some important facts about your past out of your bio on the Travel Channel. It's funny that you didn't add the fact that you used to be A HOMELESS ALCOHOLIC DRUGGIE WHO STOLE TO FEED YOUR HABITS!
Remember where you came from Mr. Zimmern, you are a overweight, unattractive so-so chef who just got lucky nothing more.
first, i did not watch the show for a long time because i was FULLY aware, by the commercials alone, what it was all about. not things i thought i could stomach! but as i prepare to leave the US for Europe and with similar ideas on food and cultures (not bizarre edibles), i decided to give the show a try. yes, it is shocking in some scenes, but i knew what i was getting into! for those of you complaining about 'animal abuse', i hate to break it to you, but all the "animal abuse" is actually killing what they eat. i am sure some of you don't understand this; you buy your animals all packaged and safe in the supermarket and want to stick your head in the ground of reality. but it is not abuse. this is actually how some people eat in different parts of the world. they kill the animals first, then cook what they kill and THEN they eat it!
second, it can be a shock as well to see that some cultures use EVERY single aspect of said animal, and that includes the blood. drinking blood? there was one episode in the Nordic regions in which sweet 'pancakes' are made from the fresh blood and even the kids eat them and LOVE THEM. again, not like the US where only the good stuff is eaten and the rest, including offal, is usually tossed aside and wasted. not what other cultures and countries do. if you watch more than the one episode that blew your eye balls out, you would see that that is part of their beliefs. you take the animal's life, you show it reverence and respect by using all of it and not wasting anything. that includes 'drinking the blood'. such a salty way of putting it! no one drinks it; it is made into things that are eaten. i know i 'tried' blood sausage before acknowledging exactly what it was.
third, he is an arrogant ass who makes fun of other cultures? really??? the most offensive thing i saw him do in the binge-watching of episodes was trying to kiss the cook on the cheek, with thanks, but it happened to be a woman in a Muslim country, in which they are not allowed to touch strange men. he forgot his head for a minute, but apologized profusely for this transgression. i never regularly see him put himself above other cultures and call names. i actually see the opposite, him going to shandies and shacks and eating the wonderful things that people and cultures will prepare for him, as he humbly does. he also participates and doesn't sit there like a lazy bump on a log.
fourth, VEGETARIANS AND VEGANS - STOP WATCHING THIS SHOW. it has nothing to do with you, and you cannot be objective about what he is doing. two of the negative reviewers who called it 'animal abuse', openly stated they were vegetarians! of course you won't like it or understand it! so stop watching!
and lastly, to that lovely person who insulted him for not putting down on his bio that he used to be a homeless drunk/drug addict? that needs to be there? are you an addict and understand the shame of your past? why would he need to say that on his bio, so he can be judged for transgressions that have nothing to do with today? if you actually watched the show on a regular basis, he has very humbly admitted his past and the fact he doesn't partake in the drinks or even 'cocoa leaves' in Peru, "because he doesn't do that anymore". but again, this little tidbit is SO important to the success of the show!
i am impressed by what i've learned, and what Andrew dares to show us. i have learned a shocking amount of information about cultures, their traditions and some great things to look for when i get to Europe. all you other complainers, change the channel and don't watch! but for god's sake, save your negative reviews about piddly crap for something worth complaining about, like why are the Kardashian's STILL on TV getting paid to prance around and do nothing?!?!?!
Welcome to the sick, psychotic world of "world-renowned gourmet/food critic" Andrew Zimmern, who hosts a revolting program on The Travel Channel called "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern." Zimmern's claim to fame is that he will apparently eat any creature that can be captured and served up for him to eat, in whole or in part, alive or dead. He cares not a bit what the creatures he ultimately consumes have suffered in order to satisfy his bloated, disgusting appetite. I don't know what possesses him to do this, except for the fact that he is obviously being paid a handsome salary by The Travel Channel to find some new and shocking way to murder a living thing and then chomp it down, all the while smacking his lips greedily.
It might surprise readers to know that this piece of trash is sponsored by Discovery, the same company that produces not ONLY The Travel Channel, but TLC, Discovery Kids/Health/Education, and, most ironically, Planet Green AND Animal Planet. The same corporation that claims to protect animals and caters to to the education of children also gives them the horrifying opportunity to witness the murder of helpless animals in the callous hands of human beings who carve out a live creature's insides as casually as if they were inanimate pieces of fruit.
Anyone who would allow or encourage their children to watch "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern" is raising a generation of serial killers. Anyone who has studied the field knows that killing animals is where most psychos begin in their killing sprees...which makes me wonder where Andrew Zimmern's palate will lead him next when he runs out of animals to torture.
Intrepid host Andrew Zimmern finds some very inventive chefs who style their creations like works of art on a plate.
This program takes us into the kitchen and (seeming) slaughter house, where, without warning, live animals are sacrificed to the palates of diners who have a fetish for freshness and novelty.
I didn't catch where this episode took place -- a few reminders from Zimmern would have been welcome -- but at one juncture a chef needing frog legs slits open one of the amphibians and prepares an ameuse-guele of still-beating bullfrog heart with a garnish.
In another sequence, a live pig gets its blood drained into a pail as a prelude to butchering.
It's all handled matter-of-factly. No time wasted on warnings to the audience.
In another part of the show, Zimmern visits some people who are experimenting with raising sea urchins for consumption. The segment gets bogged down in a discussion of food science.
I have to admit that the chef prepared plates that seemed fit for an art museum. But at least this episode of the series makes one wonder about becoming a vegetarian.