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Andrew Zimmern eats bizarre foods in Belize #333343
04/16/09 07:56 AM
04/16/09 07:56 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,003
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
There are healthy foods, junk foods, cultural foods… and there are Bizarre Foods. That’s what the host of the renowned Travel Channel show, Andrew Zimmern, covers around the globe. The show takes Zimmern, a chef, food writer and teacher, all over, tasting the strangest cuisines. He recently finished taping the final season of Bizarre Foods and the Jewel is the first stop in his next venture, Bizarre World. Zimmern has just concluded a whirlwind visit to the Jewel where he sampled and tasted our unique local cuisine. Bizarre World will feature different aspects of the countries he visits and Zimmern’s piece on Belize will showcase art, Mayan sites, caves, cayes and of course, food. New Five caught up with him on Holy Thursday before he left for La Isla Bonita, San Pedro, and found out what he was up to since he touched down in the country last Monday.

Andrew Zimmern, Host, Bizarre Foods
“We spent the last couple days up in San Ignacio and we went to the Poustinia Art Park that’s up there and did a story about Belizean art, which I think is really cool to take people up in an environment like that and show them the unexpected. Everyone thinks of Belize, they think of the beautiful weather, they think of the turquoise water and the reef and Ambergris Caye and the Blue Hole. And then yesterday we spent all day and all night traveling to ATM to go see the cave of the Crystal Maiden and we did that with Dr. Jaime Awe. He was one of the people who helped make that site and cave system famous. Along the way we ate some pretty strange things; Jack-ass bitters in the jungle which you shouldn’t eat without an awful lot of liquid on hand to wash it down. But very good for your stomach once it’s in there, bukut, the stinky toe fruit… fantastic stuff. Tastes like anchovies and fish sauce mixed with molasses, interesting. It was kinda delicious; very nice to stand on top of someone’s car and yank down some big ripe pods of stinky toe fruit. Then we spent the rest of the day and evening journeying into the caves, recording what we found and showing people what I think is one of the—the inside scoop of one of the main mysteries in life, which is the Mayan culture and their world here in ancient Belize. So great trip so far, now we’re on the way to San Pedro.”

Zimmern says there are only two parts of the world he has yet to visit and hopefully he will accomplish this in his new show. Bizarre World plans to venture into Cuba, which according to Zimmern, no other show has been able to do. Belize will be the first episode of Bizarre World, which premiers on September eighth. Zimmern left the country on Monday.

Channel 5

Re: Andrew Zimmern eats bizarre foods in Belize [Re: Marty] #333381
04/16/09 10:23 AM
04/16/09 10:23 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,461
Belize City
Katie Valk Offline

Katie Valk  Offline
Stinking toe, not stinky toe.

Belize based travel specialist
[email protected]
Re: Andrew Zimmern eats bizarre foods in Belize [Re: Katie Valk] #333468
04/16/09 11:09 PM
04/16/09 11:09 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,003
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
"Am I looking into a mirror?"

Zimmern lands with catch of the day. do I eat this?

Extracting the conch.

Zimmern and crew

Every Tuesday night, people are glued to the set watching the Travel Channel, waiting with bated breath to see what he will put in his mouth next. He is the host of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, and his many adventures focus on international bizarre delicacies served the world over. Tongues, intestines, reproductive organs, eyes, and even blood, you name it, he’s probably eaten it! As fans of the show know, the best part of watching him is the gusto with which he eats. His obvious love for the bizarre, and appreciation of cultures from around the world comes through the screen, making his trips accessible and fun. This past Friday, April 11th, The San Pedro Sun was granted exclusive access to Azul Resort/Rojo Lounge, where filming was taking place for his segment on Belize’s Bizarre Foods.

    Naturally, our excitement was only tempered at the thought that we would actually be witnesses to his bizarre experiences; what on earth would he eat? After months of watching his show, and exclaiming that he should visit, he was actually on Belizean soil, and happily munching on our stranger fare. Would he be eating the bukut? Or better yet, would he be fed ojitos, or chicken feet ceviche, grilled roadkill, the royal rat? We soon found out, as Friday’s filming began with Andrew’s arrival via boat after a fun excursion into the depths of the Caribbean. What was he in search for? Conch! “It is great to be able to just have seafood this fresh,” he exclaimed, “What I eat is not strange to the people who read your paper, but to people in my home it would be strange. To pull out a giant snail out of the water, crack it open and eat it whole while it is still alive in my hand, people back home would think I was crazy.” But straight out of the shell, Zimmern had a bite of the fresh conch meat and sighed in delight. The rest of his catch was brought to Rojo Lounge, where Chef Jeff Spiegel and staff awaited him.

    After receiving a warm welcome, Zimmern joined “someone who looks like me” (Jeff) into Rojo’s kitchen, where the two spent hours enjoying great conversation, sharing trade secrets and tasting what Ambergris Caye has to offer, with a twist. Of the dishes served to Zimmern, one was a local favorite, Conch Eye Ceviche. Spicy, and soft, the conch eyes were delicious to Zimmern who indulged in everything coming out of Spiegel’s kitchen. Peccary, Armadillo and other Belizean delicacies also met his approval, and he ate with gusto. It seemed as the duo had been cooking together for years, passing seasonings back and forth, answering each other’s questions and joking around as plates abounded and Zimmern’s taste buds were delighted. After filming the segment Andrew took some time to chat with The San Pedro Sun, and we found out that prior to his arrival on Ambergris Caye, he and the crew had visited Actun Tunich Muknal (ATM), where he had the amazing first hand experience of laying next to The Crystal Maiden deep inside the cave. Zimmern considered this experience one of the highlights of his trip so far. “That is what I will never forget. It was like a museum without the four walls. Seeing the site through the eyes of our guides was what made it amazing. That is what is beautiful about this country, the ability to enjoy the Maya heritage and the jungles, but also being able to experience the beauty of the Caribbean Sea with spectacular marine life,” explained Zimmern. After his visit to ATM, the crew spent time in Xunantunich visiting the ruin and enjoying the flora and fauna found there.

    Following a good meal at Rojo Lounge, Zimmern and his crew left the island en route to San Pedro Columbia, Toledo where he shared an authentic Mayan meal with a traditional family. The last stop for the crew was at Gales Point where they had a first hand look at a traditional Sambai with residents there. “Connecting with the people is what I look forward to the most,” he told the SP Sun, “Talking to people, experiencing the culture through their eyes, through their past experiences, through their heritage, it makes my adventures that more special. The people of Belize are very friendly and are unafraid to show themselves to the visitors. That makes them special.”

    Brent Toombs of Oxa Productions was the production coordinator for the Belize segment and accompanied the film crew throughout their tour. Bizarre Foods is produced by Tremendous! Entertainment showcased on the Travel Channel (Channel 49) and is aired in 70 countries on Tuesday nights.

    For more photos and videos on our interview with Andrew Zimmern, check out our blog at The San Pedro Sun will keep you informed as to the air dates of the Belize Episode.

Re: Andrew Zimmern eats bizarre foods in Belize [Re: Marty] #333960
04/20/09 10:59 PM
04/20/09 10:59 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,003
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

World Famous Andrew Zimmern, a food writer, TV personality, chef, teacher and host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, was in the country filming the first episode for his new TV Show Bizarre Worlds. The show will feature different aspects of the countries he visits and Zimmern’s piece on Belize will showcase art, Mayan sites, caves, cayes and of course, food.

Andrew arrived in Belize on Monday, April 6, and was filming throughout the week. “This is our first show in the Bizarre World series. So it is a really a momentous occasion for us and we’re just thrilled to be able to kick it off in Belize,” commented Zimmern to 7News. “Bizarre World allows me to cover stories that aren’t about food. The show will be about half food and allows me to do things like this, art installation stories which is certainly unusual. It is a provocative idea. It is something we believe belongs in this show about Belize.”

According to Zimmern he had wanted to visit Belize for the past 15 years but was unable to do so because of his hectic work schedule and was extremely pleased to finally visit the country and to film his show here.

“There are more than just ancient Mayan cultures and beaches here. Now we are exploring both of those because we think there are interesting stories for folks who will never make it here but we also want to talk about the Creole population,” commented Zimmern. “We also want to talk about the indigenous food; we want to take our cameras into the art parks, connect people in the rest of the world, it shows in 70 countries.” The show airs in 70 countries that will see the people of Belize and show what really makes Belize tick.

Andrew arrived in San Pedro on Thursday, April 9, and was at Azul Resort filming with Chef Jeff Spiegel at Rojo Lounge. “It was a pleasure having Andrew at the resort,” commented Spiegel of Azul Resort. “Andrew has a great sense of humor and during his visit we prepared several dishes of which I wish not to name so that we don’t spoil the fun before it actually airs. But we did use several local ingredients in an interesting and unusual way, of course.”

Bizarre World plans to venture into Cuba, which according to Zimmern, no other show has been able to do. Belize will be the first episode of Bizarre World, which premiers on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. Be sure to mark your calendars and tune into the Travel Channel on Channel 47 at 10:00 p.m. eastern time.

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