Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern

The Spice of Life

Each individual on the planet adds to the spice of life. We all are victims of our environment, what may be strange to one is normal to another.By understanding those things that make us different we are able to build a bridge of understanding.A bridge that allows us to be who we are without shame;to share and respect the uniqueness of another.Andrew Zimmern is building bridges through food.Traveling around the world and sharing in the one thing that we all have in common:The need to eat.


tree rat
tree rat
Fried hog maws and chitterlings
Fried hog maws and chitterlings

Bizarre Foods

Andrew Zimmern was born and raised in New York City, he is a writer, restaurant critic, chef and teacher. Some say that he is the man with the stomach of steel because he seems to eat everything.He is a man that brings cultures together through foods.Always on the look-out for the authentic.That thing that makes us unique.Be he in Africa eating with the bush men or visiting one of the many cities in Cuba eating what is normal to those who live in that small end of town,he will try any cuisine at least once.

What we eat says a lot about us as people,it tells of where we come from or what is available to us.If we lived in the desert we would think that cooking and eating cactus was normal.If I lived in that little end of Cuba then cooking and eating a tree rat would be considered good eats.Zimmern makes a point of seeking out the authentic.Never jumping to conclusions or frowning his face up about others differences because they didn't have ham and eggs for breakfast.I have been watching this show now for over a year, I find it fascinating to see what others do and eat to survive on the planet.We never know when or if we may have to resort to eating things that would normally turn our stomach.Hog maws and chitterlings are pig stomach and intestines,African Americans or Black people if you like were given what was considered garbage to eat when they were slaves.They took that garbage (pig stomach and intestines) found a way to cook it and made it something that they could sustain themselves with. I share this because it gives you a birds eye view of where people come from and how something that may turn the stomach of others were considered good eats to another.This is probably why I find this show (Bizarre Foods) so fascinating and that is why I choose to share it with you.

Santeria Offering
Santeria Offering
The Santeria priest, called a babalawo, humanely sacrifices a chicken over Andrew's head as part of a purification ritual.
The Santeria priest, called a babalawo, humanely sacrifices a chicken over Andrew's head as part of a purification ritual.

Andrew Zimmern takes on some of the most unusual and unexpected traditions around the globe.He traveled to Bolivia and had cow-vein stew,in Uganda he munched on big flying ants and in Ethiopia he went so far as to have raw camel kidneys.His travels are about more than eating what is considered strange foods but he partakes in their cultures as well.While visiting one of the many provinces in Cuba not only did he enjoy the nuttiness in the flavor of tree rats but he also took part in one of the oldest of ceremonies.This Jewish man from New York took part in a ceremony called Santeria.....chants were sung,birds were sacrificed and Rooster blood was poured over his head for purification.Santeria is a religion, it comes from the Yoruba religion known as Ifa'. It was originated in West Africa. Babalawo are the sage or high priest of Ifa'. According to Wikipedia Babalawo means father or master of mysticism; other sources give the meaning as father of secrets.I truly love the way that he embraces all that make people who they are.

cow skin soup
cow skin soup
roasted bats
roasted bats
steamed crabs
steamed crabs
crocodile ready to buy
crocodile ready to buy
lemon myrtle crusted crocodile
lemon myrtle crusted crocodile
possum pie
possum pie

Here are but a few of the meals he has eaten and or drank.

. cow-urine tonic in India

. raccoon and possum in Mississippi

. drinking cow's blood in Uganda

. roasted bats on an island in Samoa

. two week old sour milk in Tanzania

. cow skin soup and souse made from pigs feet and chicken feet in Trinidad

.fish head curry in Singapore

. fry bread and shark sandwich in Maraca

. in The Outback he had everything from Crocodile,crocodile eggs,long necked turtles,cane toads and termite nest

When asked what was the weirdest thing you've ever eaten he said roasted porcupine skin and 14 day old stinky tofu. Truly this man looks for the bizarre truth about different cultures everywhere.If it is weird and different he will seek it out to share it with the world.I myself love eating hard shell crabs and I am sure that somewhere in the world someone may be thinking that eating this scavenger is just as disgusting.It is a definite fact that one man's poison is another man's delicacy.Although I am sure that I won't be trying any raw king fish heart with a squirt of lime juice and sprinkled with salt I do believe that if I were offered this because I was an honored guest I wouldn't turn it down. Chontales cheese served in the Caribbean style, where they allow the cheese to age in the heat for a long time to produce fat and juicy cheese worms, which are eaten as a delicacy may sound strange to you but it is these types of things that make us unique.

The planet in which we live is a fascinating place,if we could open ourselves to each others differences and see it as the spice of life we may be able to build bridges of understanding.Never trying to change the way another lives or passing judgment about their beliefs but embracing it all and allowing our minds to see the beauty in it all.This world is one big melting pot of cultures, races, foods and beliefs; let us learn to respect the beauty of our differences.Let us see how boring the planet would be without it.

Cultures and food

© 2009 loveofnight

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