After traveling to more than 173 countries, tasting the world’s most bizarre foods, Andrew Zimmern is back on the Travel Channel exploring cuisine from the historic Lewis and Clark Trail. During a visit to the BUILD studio, Zimmern revealed everything from how he entered the food business to when he knew his show would be successful and even the country everyone should visit—Cyprus.
“At ten years old, I remember being in a tiny little bar in Les Halles, on the edge of Paris, and we went into this dive bar that reeked of wine and clam juice that had probably been there for a thousand years,” Zimmern said. “When the waiter walked out into this packed restaurant with a platter of Bourgogne snails, I remember sitting there eating every single one of them, and over time moments like this were implanted into my conscious and I decided that this is what I want to do with my life.”
Season after season, Zimmern goes out onto the road mimicking journeys of famous travelers and while the premise of the show is entertaining, Zimmern believes it also has the ability to bring cultures together.
“Some people believe that my show is just a fat guy going across the world to eat bugs but I believe in the higher purpose of what we are doing,” Zimmern expressed. “When somebody sees someone halfway across the world eating something outrageous, they can see a comparison and be like oh my gosh that’s similar to me and my grandmother and something about that let’s us accept those people, their beliefs and a new culture.”
Speaking of those gross bugs, Zimmern also disclosed his favorite delicacy. During a visit to Sardinia, he tracked down Giovanni Gabbas, the last true maker of Casa Marzu cheese which isn’t exactly mozzarella.
“Casa Marzu, the maggot infested goat’s milk cheese of Sardinia is great and I was able to try it from a guy on the black market,” Zimmern divulged. “The maggot’s infest the cheese while it’s soft, then it hardens while the maggots are inside, they eat the cheese and then poop it out creating a soft jelly-like environment with a runny consistency that is actually a mixture of maggot poop and cheese—it’s fantastic.”
Check out the premiere of “Bizarre Foods” on the Travel Channel, Jan. 31st at 9pm.