It's hard for some people to imagine that anyone would want to watch a single episode of a guy traveling around the world eating exotic and often shocking or gross delicacies, let alone 100 of them. But on July 9, "Bizarre Foods" will celebrate that very milestone. In a recent conference call interview, host Andrew Zimmern talked about his culinary journey, finding bizarre foods in America, and choosing Las Vegas for 100th episode.
In the Past 'Bizarre Foods' Mostly Focused on International Cuisine.
For the first six seasons of "Bizarre Foods," Zimmern and his team mostly traveled far afield. And he tasted everything. He's eaten a frog's still beating heart in Asia. He made a stop in Phuket, Thailand, where he tasted red weaver ants. And he's dined on a whole boiled sheep's head on a visit to Cambodia. It seems that Zimmern has sampled every unusual food that the world has to offer.
But throughout those 79 episodes, the "Bizarre Foods" crew only stopped in the United States occasionally -- until now. The entire seventh season of the series will focus exclusively on the less common offerings right here in the U.S.A.
Season 7 of 'Bizarre Foods' Will Be All American.
Zimmern explained why he made the decision to stay put this time around. "We had such an overwhelming number of stories that we finally said, 'You know something, we need to spend a little time exploring our own backyard.' And what we found was the things that you find in little pockets of enthusiasm around the United States from Iowa to Chicago, from New York to San Francisco, is twice as surprising as what you would find in tribal Africa or the wilds of Amazonia."
The James Beard-winning TV personality and chef admitted that it's easier to imagine finding exotic cuisine in the far-flung reaches of the world than here in the States. But that's what made the prospect of an all American show interesting.
And ultimately the show is more about the culture than the meals themselves for Zimmern. He conceded, "The foods are the vehicle. The food is the telescope. It's the lens. It's the divining rod to tell the stories that make up our shows that give you a better impression of the culture than when you first arrived at the beginning of the program."
'Bizarre Foods' Will Celebrate Its 100th Episode in Las Vegas.
So what better city to explore for its cultural uniqueness than Las Vegas? That's where the 100th episode of "Bizarre Foods," which also happens to be the seventh season premiere, will take place.
Zimmern said they chose the city because it is the "most iconic celebratory" destination in the world. He remarked, "Las Vegas is a peculiar place. Everything is bigger, louder. The cars are flashier. The high rollers bet more. The restaurants are more expensive. The lights are brighter. Everything is bigger in Vegas."
The episode also packs an extra punch. It culminates with the 70th birthday party for boxing great Muhammad Ali.
Watch the season premiere of "Bizarre Foods" on Monday, July 9 at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. Central on the Travel Channel.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Andrew Zimmern
- Las Vegas
- bizarre foods