Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern has made a career out of eating everything that walks, swims, or crawls. He admits to refusing only two things offered to him -- ever. Street food in Delhi that was made with sludgy water and moldy chicken intestines.
Our omnivorous friend takes to the airwaves tonight at 10 on Travel Channel for another season of Bizarre Foods. This year, Zimmern leaves his passport (but not his appetite) at home for a season of domestic weirdness.
Here are things we'd love to see Andrew Zimmern eat that are found right here in the good 'ole U S of A.
10. Bull Testicles
Call 'em Rocky Mountain oysters, calf fries, or cowboy caviar, but bull testicles are some good and popular eating out west in cattle country. After a calf is castrated, cowboys figured why not fry the poor little remains up for a snack. These days, the testicles are battered and deep fried. Served with a little dipping sauce, it's a snack with balls.
Popular in Louisiana's Cajun country, consider chaudin the haggis of the south. A hog stomach is stuffed with sausage and grilled over an open flame. Part of every snout to tail meal, we're sure.
8. Reindeer Sausage
Walking down the quaint streets of downtown Anchorage, you'll see dozens of little carts set up in bright colors. See little Alaskan kiddies wait in line for their favorite snack- reindeer sausage on a roll. Considering the close proximity to the North Pole, we're going to say this is what happens to Santa's reindeer when they can't cut flying around the world in one evening anymore.
This dish polarizes the entire state of Pennsylvania -- half the population love it, the other half revile it. Basically a loaf of every part of the pig you don't normally eat -- ears, heart, snout, skin, pancreas, lungs, head -- is boiled with some cornmeal until it turns into meat jelly. Then it's poured into pans, baked, and chilled before being sliced and fried, like bacon. Kind of like head cheese meets pate meets the frying pan.
Another Alaskan dish, Akutaq was originally a kind of fatty trail mix for hunters to take with them for quick energy. Made from polar bear fat, seal oil, fish, nuts, berries, and snow, it sounds like a creation from the world's worst Coldstone Creamery. It's still served, but now plain old shortening is substituted for the polar bear fat.
You just know this was invented in the '50s by some housewife hepped up on valium and chardonnay. Basically canned fruit salad folded into cool whip then topped with shredded coconut and some mini marshmallows, there's something truly unholy about it. The only thing that might be worse is a jello mold.
4. Lime Jello Mold
The only thing more repulsive than lime jello is to actually trap fruits, vegetables, hot dog pieces, your car keys, or a small terrier in the green wiggly, sugary substance, as if in suspended animation. Great for low budget science films, but should never be used as food.
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Popular in North Carolina, these fun after-school treats are colorful, sweet, and sour. What the hell is a koolickle? Well, it's a sour pickle dipped in red Kool-Aid. Aren't you sorry you asked?
2. Happy Hot Dog Man
As if a meat tube filled with sawdust, fillers, and some unspeakable animal parts that failed the grade as dog food wasn't gross enough ... let's make it look like a little man with the help of a piece of plastic that's made in China! And then let's feed it to our kids. And we wonder why so many children grow up to need therapy ... or insulin.
1. Spray Cheese
How f**king lazy do you have to be to think that cutting a piece of cheese (or unwrapping a slice from some plastic) is too difficult? Too lazy to frost a cake, whip up some cream, or make pancake batter? There's a spray can for that too. Look, bug spray, oven cleaner, paint are all fine from a can ... not anything that you should put near your mouth (do they still make Binaca?).