Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern (TV Series 2006– ) Poster

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The show works because you can't help but like the host.
MartinHafer24 March 2013
The idea of "Bizarre Foods" is very, very simple--so simple that you'd think that the program would have only lasted a season or two. A guy travels the globe having adventures--but mostly eating stuff that would turn many folks' stomachs--such as bugs, guts and God knows what! That's really all there is to "Bizarre Foods"--but it works. Why? Because the host, Andrew Zimern, is perfect for the job. Not only will he eat just about anything (including durian, which he hates) but he has such a great time doing it--bonding with the locals, discussing the food with an amazing reverence as well as just enjoying himself. You can't help but enjoy watching him and actually wishing you could try a few of the foods. Well worth your time--and a good show to watch even if you've missed part of it, as it consists of many small segments. A wonderful show.
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If this show doesn't tickle your taste-buds, consider them dead
t_atzmueller16 November 2014
Admittedly, I'm a sucker for food-shows. Over the last few years there has been an influx of food- and cooking-shows in Germany. Not all were gold, though. Shows like "Man versus Food" (about a pig in human shape who shoves food down his gullet) or "King of Bacon" (obese redneck attempts to fill his arteries like a Christmas-stocking), where all just short of distasteful in the truest sense. Different with "Bizarre Foods". For one, the show has a very sympathetic host in the form of Andrew Zimmern. Sure, one could say that by the final seasons, Zimern fell a little too much in love with the camera. But he never stooped down to a level of an Anthony Bourdain oder Gordon Ramsay in the US-variations of "Kitchen Nightmares". Instead, Zimmern convinced the viewer that he was actually culinary interested (unlike Bourdain) and a real chef (again, unlike Bourdain).

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".
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This Show is Losing it's Tastefulness
hamnh9 January 2010
I started watching this show and found it very informative. Andrew Zimmern would go to other countries and eat things that, to us, would seem "Bizarre." BUT he would explain and inform.

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.
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hayleyk96912 July 2008
If you see this for the first time, please make sure that it's not too exotic if you know what I mean.

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!
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Bizarre Insult
chunter764222 March 2015
I watched the show on Mexico until I absolutely appalled, not by what Zimmern was eating, but by what he said! He was describing worms coming out of a cactus plant & he used the 'M' word to describe Little People as though it was completely okay to use this type of derogatory language to describe anyone! Little people should be referred to as just that or dwarfs, nothing more. Travel Channel shame on you! This is the 9th season of Bizarre Foods & I've also noticed an unpleasant change in Zimmern from a kind of simple guy trying unusual foods into an arrogant guy, who acts like some kind of know-it-all that insults an entire group of people.

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.
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shocked by the negative reviewers here
hedykay28 October 2016
i had to sign on here to review this show just because of the other negative reviewers about this show: animal abuse, killing of the animals on TV, complaining about it to Travel TV and PETA and Andrew coming off as an arrogant ass. seriously?

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?!?!?!
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Cruelty posing as entertainment
Fatal_When_Swallowed26 September 2008
Want to watch somebody cut open the abdomen of a living creature and gut it while the animal struggles and screams for mercy? Want to hear about the practice of clubbing live animals before they are slaughtered because it "makes the meat taste better"? Would you enjoy seeing someone slice off the top of a monkey's head so they can eat its brains while he is still alive?

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.
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Disgusting Animal Abuse
becky-delawder16 April 2014
My grandkids and I were watching the travel channel at 8:30 p.m. and they slit the throat of a hanging pig to drink the blood. I have complained about this show for years. WTF? Major networks are carrying this and don't even care about the animals that are not even killed before they are meals - are you kidding me? Zimmerman is sadistic and for ratings. He cares nothing about the animal abuse. He is disgusting and so is this show! I can't believe it on major TV - he just travels around for ratings to kill animals or have them abused and cruelty on national TV. Zimmerman - please tell me you do not own a pet! Do us all a favor - leave the show and hopefully the show will just go bye bye. I have also alerted PETA like many others say they have too.
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evening125 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I caught an episode of this show while visiting my mother in Pittsburgh this weekend and it's a little hard to swallow.

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.
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Not for closed minded people!
sgreg-7598226 November 2017
The guy travels the world, and shows us the foods people eat. If you are offended by the way other countries, slaughter their food, don't watch this show. And some here, blame the host of the show for this? I don't get that! Do you get mad at a reporter, for doing a story about a murder? Is the murder, his fault too? The guy is nothing more than a food reporter! And you have contacted PETA? What for? they don't have any jurisdiction in other countries! We don't gut animals live, and eat them, before they die, here in the US. And as others have pointed out, many of these other countries, LET NOTHING GO TO WASTE! I don't always agree with some of their methods. But who are you, or I, to judge THEIR CULTURE! As far as where he goes, and what he eats... Well shocking things get RATINGS! Are you going to watch this show, if Andrew eats hot-dogs and hamburgers every episode? This may come as a shock to some... TV is a business! I will also agree, maybe the content, isn't something a child needs to see. But the same could be said about the nightly news. This show is about food, and the cultures of the people that eat them. That simple!"Oh my god! He used the "M word". This guy was born in 1961! The "M" word has not always been considered a derogatory comment. But now that you "little people", decided you don't like that word, the world needs to change! As well as television networks! I did not know this was offensive, to "little people". But I'm sure Andrew knew that! And he blatantly attacked some of his viewers on purpose! Really! Are you kidding me! You even admitted, he was talking about worms! Ever hear of midget racers? Midget baseball, midget football? Mostly played by small children. Are you offended by that? The word midget is defined as, smaller than normal. That's it! You "little people" decided it was offensive to you. But that is what the word means! You are the ones that decided it was derogatory. And then we have PETA, you people have been involved in arson, burglary, bombing, assault, breaking and entering, and even murder! All in the name of saving life! Yeah nice people, with a cause!
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