The Travel Channel realizes that people love to eat. The more bizarre the food, the greater the interest. "Bizarre Foods" with Andrew Zimmern is one of the most successful programs about unusual foods and recipes. Zimmern, a chef and a food critic, is an affable personality who has traveled around the globe in his pursuit of unusual foods. Some of the things he has eaten and presented on his show leave viewers quite queasy. and these six episodes feature the weirdest of the weird.
"Bizarre Foods: Japan." Zimmern took on some of his most unusual food challenges when he visited Japan. Zimmern sampled foods from street vendors all the way up the ladder to the most exclusive restaurants. When Zimmern went to Nobu Tokyo, chef Nobu Matsuhisa presented his guest with a drink made from turtle blood. Additionally, when Zimmern traveled to Osaka, he ate horse mane at a local eatery. The horse mane is not the horse's hair, but the skin the hair is attached to. He dipped the meat in ginger and soy sauce and got it down and said he thought it was "pretty good," but his expression said he would not order that again.
"Bizarre Foods: Hong Kong." Hong Kong is known for its very unusual foods, many of which are said to be quite healthy. But it's hard not to get queasy when when you consider the King Cobra soup that Zimmern had when he visited Kowloon. The snake is skinned alive and the body still wriggles after the head is removed. The meat is then shredded and combined with tangerine peels, ground pepper, ginger and mushrooms before it is boiled in a broth. Zimmern said he enjoyed it and it truly looked he did. He said it tasted like chicken and mushroom soup.
"Bizarre Foods: Hungary." While Hungary is a poor nation financially, it is one with a rich tradition of food and cooking. In addition to traditional and savory dishes, Zimmern found unusual ones to show his audience. He ate heart stew and sour lung soup at a small restaurant. The heart comes from an ox and is thickened with blood and flavored with paprika. Zimmern gushed over the tenderness of the heart, but his facial expression said he could have probably done without it. The sour lung soup had a greenish tinge with plenty of lumpy lung meat. While it looked revolting, Zimmern ate it and said he enjoyed it.
"Bizarre Foods: Venice." When you go to Italy's most romantic city, you might expect to eat some of the most traditional and delicious foods. Not so with Zimmern, who ate cuttlefish kidneys and horse meat. Cuttlefish are similar to squid and octopus because they have eight arms and shoot ink as a defense mechanism. The kidneys are poached, sliced and served with olive oil. Zimmern gave it an "Oh my God" reaction and it appeared quite delectable. The horse meat was braised with red wine. Zimmern said it was tender and slightly gamy. He did not say it was delicious.
"Bizarre Foods: Syria." Zimmern has said that he will try (almost) anything once, and when he went to Damascus, he dined at the Al Mahabah restaurant where he ate sheep feet and sheep intestines. There was no reason to believe he would ever he eat either of them for a second time. He also ate camel kebab, which is a combination of the camel's hump, intestines and testicles. Zimmern described the camel meat as "sweet."
"Bizarre Foods: Chicago." You don't have to go outside the United States to find food that will leave you queasy. When Zimmern was in Chicago, he ate pork stomach mixed with pork blood. He also ate sheep brains that were broiled. He appeared to enjoy it all.