What is the most bizarre food Andrew Zimmern has ever eaten?
—Melanie Peeples, Akron, Ohio
The star of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods says that when asked that question—which he often is—he always picks things he had never heard of here in the United States. His two selection are piure, a giant sea squirt that lives off the Pacific coast of South American countries, most notably Chile; and palolo, a sea worm found in coral beds in the Pacific Ocean around Samoa and the other Polynesian islands.
The 51-year-old chef/food writer believes that it is safer to eat native cuisine than it is to eat Americanized food in a country where the cooks are unfamiliar with it.
“Their standards and how they store, heat and cool foods are often not safe for the foods that they don’t understand. For the local foods that they understand, they know exactly how to care take it,” he says.
He adds, “It is shocking that I have never gotten sick. No one is more shocked than me. The network would like me once or twice to throw up on camera.”
So what would Zimmern, who came by his adventurous approach to food from his parents, pick as his last meal? “Clams on the half shell to start, then steamed Chesapeake Bay crabs. For the next course I would want my wife’s roast chicken with pan gravy, and for dessert, I would want a really good coffee ice cream.”