Andrew Zimmern, the chef and host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel, is spending a few hours today on Reddit answering questions from his fans. So far, we’ve learned that he is indeed friends with Anthony Bourdain, and that he fully understands the (intestinal) pain that accompanies the pleasure of eating new and exciting foods.
Below, check out some of the top questions and answers from Zimmern’s AMA (which might still be going, so take the time to submit questions if you have them).
Are you and Anthony Bourdain friends or is that just mutual respect on the show?
There is a lot of mutual respect, I think we both feel that there's a very small club of authentic, honest, chroniclers of modern culture as it relates to food and we are both on each other’s lists of who that is, but yes, we are also friends and talk and communicate away from our professional lives whenever time allows.
Is there any food that you simply turned down, causing you to say, "Nope, that's too bizarre, even for me"?
Three of four times I've turned down food because I knew that it was a trip to the hospital, not a night of throwing up. I've taken risks, where I thought I might get the traveler’s trots for a day, all in the name of being a good guest in someone's home, but I was once presented with rotted chicken intestines that had discolorations on them that convinced me I was looking at the guts of a sick animal and I turned that down right away.
What was the worst sickness you've had after eating and what food was it?
In 2005, I contracted a virus from eating tainted cumin in Northern Africa. Occasionally once a year I have a flare-up of a rare disease called burning mouth syndrome. I pass it off as a simple casualty of war.
Where in the United States is a good place to purchase edible insects?
There are tons of local resources, most insects in America traditionally have been raised for pet consumption, but a simple Google search will turn up plenty of local companies wherever you live that are now raising crickets and mealworms specifically for people to eat.
What’s the most surprisingly tasty food you've eaten?
Here's a list: donkey is delicious, one of my favorite meats, bees in Taiwan are surprisingly good when wok-tossed the right way and my favorite is probably deep fried little baby birds of all species.
What's your go-to comfort food?
Gas station pizza.
Do you have any morning-after advice for after hot wing challenge attempts?
No offense, but anyone participating in any kind of food challenge should understand that it's the poison tree from which all the fruit falls.
What is your favorite food to cook for yourself?
My favorite food to cook for myself when my family is away is a very large bowl of the most impeccable mussels and clams cooked in white wine, parsley, and butter and piled over a small tangle of very, very thin noodles.
Check out the rest of Zimmern’s AMA on Reddit.