The Bizarre Foods Andrew Zimmern Turned Down

While foodie personality Anthony Bourdain is known for traveling the world to find the best local dishes, Andrew Zimmern has built up his persona as the guy who wants the weirdest and wildest foods this planet has to offer. (Not that Bordain hasn’t had some odd meals of his own.) And though it seems like there is nothing that’s too gross or out there for Zimmern, it turns out that’s not exactly true, and he’s had to turn some things down.

Those whose stomachs are easily turned by disgusting mental images may want to tread lightly, as even though Zimmern doesn’t give a super-detailed description, the imagination is left to take things to horrible places.

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 travelers 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.

How is Traveler’s Trots not a band name yet? I ask that to avoid thinking about looking down at a pile of discolored intestines from a chicken who probably didn’t lead the most fulfilling life. I’m not sure I’d ever want to meet the person who would accept and chow down on something that so clearly looked like edible misery. It sounds more like something a family would have in a home-based haunted house, right alongside the olive eyeballs. Yuck.

Zimmern shared this tidbit through a Reddit AMA, where he also mentions that one of his favorite foods is “probably deep-fried little baby birds of all species.” If birds made movies within the horror genre, Andrew Zimmern would be the boogeyman to end all boogeymen. Also, that would be amazing.

When asked about the worst food-related sickness he ever had, Zimmern again brings up tainted food, though thankfully this wasn’t intestine-related.

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.

So the moral of the story is: tainted foods are bad, as is a burning mouth. I really didn’t need a TV personality to prove that to me, but we’re all the better for knowing it. Incidentally, I’ll now just assume that any food I don’t want to eat is full of parasites.

Zimmern also shared that he is working on a straightforward cooking show that would take him all around the kitchen, rather than the world. So maybe we’ll get to see his chef skills on a regular basis soon, rather than just his talents for stomaching things like mosquito eggs, a hen’s uterus and turtle blood sake.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.