Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Not for the Squeamish

"The Bizarre Truth - How I Walked Out the Door Mouth First - and Came Back Shaking My Head" by Andrew Zimmern Broadway Books 271 pages $24.00

Zimmern ran and starred in the Travel Channel series "Bizarre Foods" and "Bizarre Worlds." I'm sensing a trend here ... He is an author, dining critic and lives in Minneapolis with his wife and son. But the man gets around...

The opening chapter is set in Iceland where he and his crew are hunting (and eating) puffins. Yes, those cute little birds. Clearly they are Iceland's version of our chicken. I managed to make it through shooting and cooking giant fruit bats in Samoa. The bats there have 6 ft. wing spans; totally different item from the ones that fly out toward evening from under the Austin bridge. Zimmern tells us (a little too enthusiastically for my taste) that the entire torso of the bat is edible because these bats eat ONLY breadfruit! "A very pure animal." Yes, well ...

Certainly I have no problem with the "lobster goes from sea to pot to my plate" concept; in fact, I heartily endorse it.

He seems to enjoy danger - there are a lot of "almosts" in this book. The meal that nearly killed me; how I almost lost my life, etc.

Zimmern's philosophy is: Be a traveler, not a tourist. Take the subway (metaphorically) to the end of the line, get off and explore! Readers: This is NOT a good idea on some lines in Paris. You will wonder for some moments how you got from Paris to downtown Tangiers.

But, if you have a strong stomach, great curiosity about places in the the world that only the locals have heard about -- Zimmern's your man.

No comments: