Andrew Zimmern to share travel recipes and tales for Food & Wine magazine

asdf Food & Wine magazine announced today the company will bring TV personality and chef Andrew Zimmern on board for a new weekly column, “Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures.”
Known for his willingness to eat just about anything-insects, porcupine, you-name-it-Zimmern will forgo chowing down grotesque eats and instead show off his skills as a home cook. But never fear: the host of Travel Chanel‘s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern hasn’t forgotten where he travels have taken him. In fact, the recipes he makes in his kitchen for the Food & Wine column will be largely inspired by his travels, such as Sweet and Sour Bangkok-Style Chicken with Red Chiles, a dish he first tasted in a small café in Malaysia, or a rendition of Almond and Orange Cake with a Poached Plum Compote, which Zimmern first discovered in Spain in the Seventies.
“I’m excited to share these memories, experiences and recipes with Food & Wine readers,” says Zimmern, who will also share holiday dishes that reflect his childhood memories and family traditions. Although there is a possibility we might try his grandmother’s recipe for Chopped Chicken Liver, we’re hoping he won’t feature beating frog hearts or hen’s uterus in any of his recipes.

Bizarre foods: European “delicacies,” by country

European foodsWhat constitutes “food” is relative, depending upon what part of the world you call home. In Asia, pretty much anything on no (snakes), two, four, six, or eight legs is up for grabs. Europe, however, has its own culinary oddities, as detailed below. Got maggots?

Iceland
Hákarl: Fermented, dried Greenland or basking shark. This tasty treat is prepared by burying the beheaded and gutted shark in a shallow hole in the ground for six to 12 weeks. Unsurprisingly, the end result is considered noxious to pretty much everyone on the planet aside from Icelanders.

Norway
Smalahove: Boiled lamb’s head, traditionally served at Christmas. The brain is removed, and the head salted and dried before boiling. Because they’re the fattiest bits, the ear and eye are eaten first. More fun than a wishbone.

Sardinia (yes, it’s in Italy, but this one deserved its own listing)
Casu marzu: This sheep’s milk cheese has maggots added to it during ripening, because their digestive action creates an “advanced level” of fermentation (also known as “decomposition”). Some people prefer to eat the soupy results sans critters, while the stout of heart go for the whole package. Be forewarned: according to Wikipedia, irate maggots can propel themselves for distances up to six inches. Here’s fly in your eye.

Northern Sweden or Finland
Lappkok: This charmingly-named concoction consists of blodpalt–a dumpling made with reindeer blood and wheat or rye flour–served with reindeer bone marrow. Well, Santa’s herd had to retire sometime.

[Photo credit: Flickr user fjords]

European foodsSweden
Lutefisk: This dried whitefish treated with lye is beloved by Scandinavians and their American Midwestern ancestors (let’s just say it’s an acquired taste). It’s traditionally served with potatoes or other root vegetables, gravy or white sauce, and akvavit.

Scotland
Haggis: Who doesn’t love a cooked sheep’s stomach stuffed with its lungs, heart, and liver, combined with oatmeal?

Poland
Nozki: Literally “cold feet,” this dish of jellied pig’s trotters isn’t as repulsive as it sounds. The meat is simmered with herbs and spices until falling off the bone, and set in gelatin. Think of how much fun this would be as a Jello shooter.

Ukraine
Salo: The cured fatback of pork is actually quite delicious, and similar to Italian lardo when seasoned. It’s chopped and used as a condiment, or eaten straight-up on bread. Plan your angioplasty accordingly.
European foods
England/Ireland
Black (or blood) pudding: Technically a sausage, this mixture of animal blood (usually pork), spices, fat, and oatmeal or other grains is surprisingly good. It’s served uncooked, fried, grilled, or boiled. Sound bad? At least it’s not called Spotted Dick.

Italy
Stracotto d’asino: A northern Italian donkey stew, often served as a pasta sauce. Donkey and horse are eaten throughout Italy, but this particular dish is a specialty of Veneto, and Mantua, in Lombardy.

France
Tête de veau: You have to love that the venerable French culinary bible, Larousse Gastronomique, describes this dish of boiled calf’s head as, “a gelatinous variety of white offal.” Mmm. While there are many different preparations for the classical dish, it was traditionally served with cocks’ combs and kidneys, calves sweetbreads, and mushrooms.

Eastern Europe
P’tcha: A calves’ foot jelly enjoyed by Ashkenazi Jews throughout this part of Europe. It’s uh, high in protein.

Germany
Zungenwurst: This sausage is made of pork blood and rind; pickled ox tongue, and a grain filler, such as barley. It’s available dried, or can be browned in butter or bacon fat before eating. And bacon makes everything better.European foods

Netherlands
Paardenrookvlees: Culinarily-speaking, the Dutch usually cop grief for their proclivity for pickled herring and eating mayonnaise on their french fries. That’s because most Americans don’t know this smoked horse meat is a popular sandwich filling. Trust me: Seabiscuit tastes pretty good.

Greece
Kokoretsi: Lamb or goat intestines wrapped around seasoned offal (lungs, hearts, sweetbreads, kidneys), threaded onto a skewer, and cooked on a spit. You know what’s good with grilled meat? Meat.

[Photo credits: black pudding, Flickr user quimby;lutefisk, Flickr user adam_d_; kokoretsi, Flickr user Georgio Karamanis]


New lizard species discovered…on a menu in Vietnam

A Vietnamese scientist, Ngo Van Tri of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, has discovered a previously unknown species of lizard in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. While eating at a rural restaurant in this southwestern region of the Mekong Delta, Dr. Van Tri noticed a tank of live lizards awaiting transfer to the grill, after which they would be served with a side of salad.

The Independent reports that the lizard, now known as Leiolepis ngovantrii, is a hybrid of two similar species in the region. The L ngovantrii species are entirely female, and reproduce by parthenogenesis, a form of cloning.

Confirmation of the new species came via two American herpetologists, Lee Grismer of La Sierra University in Riverside, California, and his son Jesse Grismer of Villanova University in Pennsylvania. In a goose chase akin to something out of a “Far Side” cartoon, father and son departed immediately for Vietnam after being emailed photos of the lizards by Dr. Van Tri. Upon arrival, they called the restaurant and asked the owner to hold an order of live lizards, before embarking on a two-day motorbike journey to the establishment.

The senior Grismer told the National Geographic News, “When we finally got there, this crazy guy had gotten drunk and served them all to his customers.” Fortunately, the Grismer’s were able to hire some local boys to find live specimens, and DNA testing confirmed that L ngovantrii is an all-female species. Explains Dr. Lee Grismer,”It’s an entirely new lineage of life that was being eaten and sold in restaurants for food. But it’s something that scientists have missed for hundreds of years. It’s not that they’re not known, locals know all about them. It’s just that they’re not known to scientists.”

The 8 weirdest foods Andrew Zimmern has eaten (video)

Bald-headed and brazen, Andrew Zimmern takes culinary risk-taking to new heights on his Travel Channel show, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Zimmern has traveled the streets of Nicaragua to the state fairs of Minnesota to find the craziest edibles on earth. We cringe when we see him chowing down on iguana eggs, reindeer pizza and pig stomach tacos — but he does it with such zeal that we keep tuning in. With the show’s fourth season premiering on April 26, it’s a great time to revisit some of Andrew’s strangest meals. Put down that sandwich and check out these eight clips below.

Squirrel Brains

When Zimmern visited Appalachia, he knew he was in for some down-home oddities. But at a restaurant as fancy as Ember in Snowshoe, West Virginia, the ultimate comfort food is chicken-fried squirrel.

Live Soup
In South Korea, Zimmern digs into a soup that wiggles until the last second. Talk about fresh!

Cow Urine
That’s right, cow urine. This short and, well, not-so-sweet clip shows Zimmern knocking back a glass of the stuff in Goa.

Spleen Sandwich
When you think Italian, you think spaghetti and meatballs — but probably not Spleen. But in Sicily, Zimmern sprinkles his spleen sandwich with cheese.

Baby Piglet
This clip from a Los Angeles restaurant might make you go vegetarian. Zimmern raves about the taste, but all we can see is a whole cooked piglet on the table.

Fish Eye
No cooking necessary when Zimmern visits Samoa. Just tear the fish’s eye from the socket, and enjoy.

Shark Meat
In Iceland, taking a bite out of Jaws is nothing new. Zimmern says the meat “smells like ammonia,” but tastes “sweet” and “nutty.”

Mystery Meat
Sometimes, the fear of the unknown can be worse than eating the strangest dish. Despite the “putrid, foul stench” Zimmern notes while eating “K’Lia” in Morocco, he still suffers through.

Looking for more Andrew Zimmern and Bizarre Foods on Gadling? Check out interviews with Andrew HERE and HERE.

Related:
* 8 great bug-eating videos from around the world
* 10 great Anthony Bourdain “No Reservations” clips

Amazing Race 14, recap 11: Beijing, China’s food is awesome— and awful

After last week’s cliffhanger of Amazing Race 14 when Jaime and Cara arrived first at the Pit Stop to only find Phil pulling another yellow envelope behind his back, I thought that Jaime might throw a hissy fit, but no, she handled Phil’s news like a trouper. Instead of winning a nifty trip to some exotic location, off this former cheerleader duo went in the dark of Beijing to Bai Hai Dong Men and the next clue. That doesn’t mean they were in a cheering mood for more fun and frolic with Chinese people, but they didn’t whine.

No one else did either. Perhaps they were too pooped after their swim to get mad about being duped. No rest for the weary. Instead of getting shut eye, there the four remaining teams were darting in and out of shops at Bai Hai street looking for a Travelocity gnome. This task gave glimpses into the mish mash of offerings in various shops. This one clothes. That one dried beans and peanuts. Another one, glassware. You get the picture. Shopping in Beijing is not the version where you load up a cart with everything from a vacuum cleaner to bananas to a lawn chair by the time you hit the checkout counter at a mega store.

Once teams found the Travelocity gnome, off they went with their red-hatted lawn ornament via taxi to find Gu Gong Xi Bei Jiao where they hopped on electric bicycles to glide along the streets of Beijing past Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City.

With the early morning sunrise glinting off the buildings and the gnomes sitting in their bicycle basket perches, could the lighting have been more perfect? I think not. Even the teams, who had to have been tootling along only thanks to an adrenaline rush, were able to enjoy the architecture, the soldiers marching during the morning flag raising in the square, and the historic significance of their location. It couldn’t have been a better piece of TV work if it had been orchestrated. What timing.

At their next clue stop, the Dongdan subway station, there was a choice to head to an opera house to dress like an opera singing couple, complete with make-up they put on each other, or head to a restaurant to take food orders of a group of people sitting at a table, repeating the order to the cook, and then delivering the food to the dinners. The trick was using Mandarin, a snap, more or less, for Victor & Tammy. They did make one mistake and had to try again. The food: vegetarian noodles, fried chicken, new taste beef, golden pork spare ribs and good luck fish, reminded me of all the fantastic meals I’ve ever had in Asia. Hint: If you can’t read a menu, look at what other people in the restaurant are eating. Find what looks good and point. This method works like a charm.

Luke & Margie and Jen & Kisha showed up at the Hu Guang Hui Guan Opera House to put on the Chinese princess and gentleman attire. By this time, Margie & Luke had begun to vex each other, but Jen & Kisha were doing well, although Jen couldn’t quite believe they were still in China after their swimming terror.

Just like in the past episodes, during this episode Jaime and Cara were never able to get a break when it comes to cab drivers. Patience, dear Jaime is a virtue. Still, you have to hand it to these two. They keep soldiering on and giving lovely smiles to folks who help them when they feel understood. Jaime and Cara’s moods are like watching a see saw.

Once Jaime and Cara finally found the correct opera house, long after Victor and Tammy had served food at Hu Guang Hui Guan restaurant, and Luke & Margie quit bickering, the make-up task was a snap for these women and off they ran only to get lost and confused again for three more hours.

In the meantime, Kisha & Jen, who I like, were U-Turned by Victor and Tammy at Hu Guang Hui Guan. Instead of getting mad, there they were in their opera attire trying their darnedest to say the names of Mandarin dishes correctly. If there was any lesson to learn from watching them, it’s to write things down as they sound, and listen carefully. Also, if you can’t understand what one person is saying in a language you don’t know well, ask someone else. All native speakers don’t sound the same. Some people are just easier to understand.

After serving food or dressing up in Chinese opera regalia, it was off to a Dong Hua Men Yi Shi Street Market stall that sold snack food that would be great fare at a Halloween party. It is possible to eat deep-fried starfish, grasshoppers, larvae, and scorpions served on a stick. Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods would have gotten a kick out of this part. The best thing to do in such situations is to eat fast. Jen ate little bites followed by a lot of water which led to another issue, a costly one. Victor, Cara and Margie, on the other hand, went to town scarfing the oddities down, as if they couldn’t eat enough of the crunchy critters.

It wasn’t much of a surprise to see Tammy & Victor dash to the Pit Stop at Niao Chao, the Bird’s Nest stadium of the Olympics. The tasks weren’t particularly difficult for them during this episode and they could clearly say the names of places. These two have grown on me and it’s fun to see them having a good time. They’re the type that traveling brings out the best in.

Unfortunately, Jen had to go to the bathroom before they made it to the Pit Stop so Cara and Jaime beat them. Too bad, too bad, too bad. With those flowing gowns, why not just pee and keep running? Gross, but hey, it’s a million dollars. People were running in their underwear in Siberia. Surely peeing in an opera gown isn’t the worst thing that could happen. On the otherhand, what a great way to illustrate that Beijing does have swank public toilets. Keep that in mind if you have to pee there. Head to the Bird’s Nest for some bladder relief.

So, who do I hope will win? I’m not that partial to anyone. As much as Jaime’s attitude gets on my nerves, I’m impressed Cara’s and her tenacity. They just keep on going like that battery run bunny from the commercial. If they win, I won’t be that upset. Although, they really ought to apologize to Mark & Mike for making fun of short people.

If Luke and Margie win what a great boost for women over forty and people who are deaf. They can kick butt.