I would not call myself an adventurous eater. On the contrary, I am rather timid when it comes to food. I’ve been known to throw away food that is probably still safe to eat, just because it was past its expiration date. I don’t like meat cooked rare. I don’t like moldy cheese. I don’t like to take risks. I hate being sick. That’s just the way I am.
But Andrew Zimmern is a bonafide bizarre food aficionado. Not only does he love to eat, but he really seems to enjoy trying stuff that looks foreign, undercooked, even dirty and disgusting! And, I happen to enjoy watching him do that.
The best thing about the way Zimmern approaches this gastronomic thrill ride is that he is not doing it just for the gross-out factor. Yes, I’m sure it has occurred to him and/or his television producers that a certain part of the population does find it entertaining to watch a mild-mannered, chubby, bald, white man eat things that make most normal people gag. However, he does make an honest effort to explore the culture behind the cuisine. He’s not just eating weird things to shock people. He’s eating whatever people eat, wherever they live. It’s amazing, entertaining, and educational.
If you’ve never seen the show, the new season of Bizarre Foods starts tonight. If you have a sensitive gag reflex, this may not be the program for you. But if you’re curious about world food traditions, and you can handle some strange stuff, you should definitely check it out. It’s on the Travel Channel on US cable television.