50 States, 50 Plates

The must-have eats in every state (plus, DC) according to James Beard Award-winning chef Andrew Zimmern.

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Coconut Tree Grubs in Iquitos

Coconut Tree Grubs in Iquitos

In the heart of the Amazon jungle in Peru, locals harvest coconut tree grubs and sell them in the market skewered and charred over an open flame. These protein-rich grubs taste like crisp rolls of charred chicken skin if they are cooked properly. If not. they taste like pus bags filled with rotted digested wood. 960 1280

  

Hákarl in Iceland

Hákarl in Iceland

Really, the worst tasting foods are the fermented, spoiled ones like Hákarl. Made from the Greenland shark, the meat is poisonous when fresh, so in order to eat it, Icelanders let it spoil in the ground for months and then out in the elements for a few more to dry. It’s a revolting dish to many first timers; eating it without gagging is what separates the men from the boys. While the smell of the putrefied shark itself could make the faint-hearted ill, the taste is ultimately sweet, nutty and faintly fishy … if you like ammoniated wax. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Coral Worms in Samoa

Coral Worms in Samoa

Palolo are tiny, little worms that live in the coral reefs deep off the coast of Samoa in the trenches of the Pacific. They come out of the coral every few years when the atmospheric conditions are right and the locals scoop them off the surface and eat them plain, sautéed or as a spread on bread. It tastes like liver fermented in salt water, but that doesn’t do the bright blue color very much justice. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Fermented Skate in Korea

Fermented Skate in Korea

Both adored and despised in South Korea, fermented skate, or hongeo, has the distinct odor of hospital-floor cleaner mixed with glue solvent.  Mostly served “raw,” the pungent fish is seeing a resurgence in popularity. Be prepared to smell like an outhouse after leaving a restaurant that serves the delicacy -- it’s the price you pay, but it’s worth it. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Giant Sea Squirt in Santiago Chile

Giant Sea Squirt in Santiago Chile

Found off the coast of Chile, these giant sea squirts called pyura are the size of basketballs. They're sliced open with a serrated sword to reveal the little throbbing corpuscles that live inside the spongy, rock-like carapace. They taste of pure iodine dipped in fish oil, but with a squirt of lemon they are transformed into deliciousness. Culinary alchemy at its finest. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Horse-Rib-and-Rectum Sausage in Kazakhstan

Horse-Rib-and-Rectum Sausage in Kazakhstan

People in Kazakhstan eat every conceivable part of the horse, from the fat cap under the mane to the rectum. They don’t waste any part of the animal. One of the best things I tried at Almaty’s Green Bazaar was kazy, a horse sausage made from whole pieces of rib meat seasoned with garlic and salt, torn from the bone and stuffed into natural casings from the horse’s lowermost end, dried to cure and then smoked, resulting in a beautiful mix of meat and melt-in-your-mouth fat. Strange for some I guess, but delicious and very normal in Central Asia. 960 1280

Tito_Herrera  

Sea Cucumber in Alaska

Sea Cucumber in Alaska

The waters off of Sitka, AK, are ripe with exotic sea creatures such as octopus, sea cucumbers and abalone. Sea cucumber, when cooked correctly, is extraordinary. All it needs is a few minutes in a wok with a little soy sauce seasoning. The squishy creatures taste like lettuce-y sea vegetables with a bit of crunch, but mostly yielding a buttery texture. The trick is splitting them open, scraping the innards out, and then using a spatula to peel the “meat” off the rock-hard exoskeleton. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Tarantulas in Cambodia

Tarantulas in Cambodia

We are pre-conditioned in this country to think of tarantulas as scary and poisonous, belonging on Halloween decorations not dinner plates. But they taste great, reminding me of sweet and delicate crabs when they’re fresh. After digging them out of the ground, the tarantulas need to be defanged, washed and then scorched to remove the hair. In Cambodia, they’re deep fried, then wok sautéed with sugar, salt, chilies and garlic. They are superb when they're treated like lobster or crab, taken from their lair to the dinner table as quickly as possible. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Giraffe Weevils in Madagascar

Giraffe Weevils in Madagascar

Try these bugs blindfolded and you’d never know you were eating a beetle that looks like a Dr. Seuss creature. Sautéed in a bit of salty water and butter, they are tender morsels that taste like shrimp. This is the kind of bizarre food that would stop you in your tracks if placed in your hand. And they only live in this one place in the world. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Ensete in Ethiopia

Ensete in Ethiopia

Ensete is 1 of 2 species of vinifera in a special part of the “false banana” family. It’s also the name of the bread made with the pounded root ball of the same plant although it’s properly called kocho. The bread is made with a fermented paste of the root ball that’s buried underground for months to get its groove on. It’s treasured in Ethiopia as a super food, but it’s an acquired taste to say the least. 960 1280

  

Photos

Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico

Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico

This historic farm in the Albuquerque area is known for its lavender fields and products. Stay in a Southwest-style room with a "kiva" fireplace and lavender-infused amenities, and enjoy meals using produce grown on-site on one of several patios and dining rooms. Guests are invited to help out on the farm, from harvesting lavender to learning how to compost, and volunteer days are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays, during which participants learn about various farm duties. 960 1280

  

Flint Hill Farm AG, Coopersburg, Pennsylvania

Flint Hill Farm AG, Coopersburg, Pennsylvania

Learn how to make cheese, milk cows, collect your own eggs for breakfast and other farm skills at this 26-acre dairy farm that dates back to 1850. A certified raw milk dairy, Flint Hill Farm produces both pasteurized and raw milk and pasteurized cheese, butter and yogurt. Guest may stay in the farm house or the farm’s RV. Horse riding lessons are also available, and the resident draft horse team is also a favorite with visitors. 960 1280

  

Mariposa Retreat at Earth and Sea Farm, Summerland Key, Florida

Mariposa Retreat at Earth and Sea Farm, Summerland Key, Florida

Located in the Florida Keys near the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge, Earth and Sea Farm harvests sea salt and grows bananas, papayas, soap nuts and many indigenous crops. Bees are also kept on property. Guests may pay to stay in the bed and breakfast, or stay in exchange for work through the Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms program. Farm tours are available for groups of three to seven and include a Florida Keys Sea Salt tasting. 960 1280

  

Feather Down Farm, Kinnikinnick Farm, Illinois

Feather Down Farm, Kinnikinnick Farm, Illinois

Glamp in a canvas tent with running water and a nearby bathhouse and learn about farm life as you help gather eggs, feed animals, milk goats, take a hayride and harvest dinner from the acres of fields and orchards on this organic farm located 90 miles northwest of Chicago. Not hungry for a fresh salad? Enjoy a wood-oven pizza you create using farm ingredients, and save room for s’mores afterwards. 960 1280

  

Cold Moon Farm, Jamaica, Vermont

Cold Moon Farm, Jamaica, Vermont

Wake up with the roosters and milk goats, collect eggs, pick vegetables and help with other farm chores at this farm/B&B 15 miles from Manchester, Vermont. Five plush guest rooms in the main house each have a private bath, and share the dining room where farm-to-table meals are served. Take cooking classes, go hiking or enjoy a spa treatment after learning about the daily routine of farm life. 960 1280

  

Ridge to Reef Farm, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Ridge to Reef Farm, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

With the goal of producing one percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ food, the Ridge to Reef Farm invites guests to visit for the day or stay in one of their stilted cabanas and get their hands dirty learning about organic farming. When you’re not helping with the farm, hike the rainforest, visit the ruins of a Dutch sugar mill or explore the shops in nearby Frederiksted. 960 1280

  

North Country Farms, Kauai, Hawaii

North Country Farms, Kauai, Hawaii

Farm in paradise at this Kauai organic farm just east of Kilauea. Stay in a farm-stay cottage surrounded by fruit trees and organic gardens from which you can pick your meals. The three-acre farm includes a pineapple field. Tours are offered during which the farm’s organic and sustainability practices are shared. 960 1280

  

Ewe Bet Farm, Cave Springs, Arkansas

Ewe Bet Farm, Cave Springs, Arkansas

This sheep farm just 15-minutes south of Bentonville and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art specializes in raising all-natural lamb using humane husbandry practices, and grazed in managed pastures. Guest stay in a large suite in the main house that has its own kitchen, fireplace, and deck overlooking apple and peach trees, and are welcome to help feed the sheep and lambs and learn about the daily routine of the farm. Breakfast is delivered to the room each morning and features homemade muffins, fresh eggs and fruit from the orchards. 960 1280

  

Nettles Farm, Lummi Island, Washington

Nettles Farm, Lummi Island, Washington

Nestled on Lummi Island west of Bellingham, Nettles Farm focuses on raising Sulmthaler, Poulet Bleu and Poulet de Bresse chickens and supply neighboring renowned Willows Inn Restaurant with meat and produce. Guests at Nettles Farm may help with farm activities and take the “Butcher Your Own Chicken” workshop during which they prepare their own dinner. Guests also have first option to book a table at the in-demand Willows Inn Restaurant. 960 1280

  

The Inn at Valley Farms, Walpole, New Hampshire

The Inn at Valley Farms, Walpole, New Hampshire

Stay in a 1774 Colonial home and enjoy a candle-lit farm-to-table, multi-course breakfast on this 105-acre property in Walpole, New Hampshire. Tour the farm and pitch in with chores that include gathering eggs, feeding the beef cows, pigs and goats, learning about sustainable farming, picking herbs and crops, and any other work that needs to be done. After, have an in-room massage, hike the property or explore the agriculturally rich area and the charming town of Walpole. 960 1280

Only the Best :-))  

Flavored with spices and warmed to perfection, a glass of mulled wine soothes the spirit. 960 1280

  

It's everyone's favorite spicy brunch cocktail, the Bloody Mary. 960 1280

  

Grab your beach blanket and bathing suit and hit the sand ' it's frozen daiquiri time. 960 1280

  

Not just for the Kentucky Derby, the Mint Julep is always a refreshing treat. 960 1280

  

Believed to have been invented in Puerto Rico, a Piña Colada hits the spot no matter where you drink it. 960 1280

  

Once considered an old-fashioned cocktail, the gimlet is gaining in popularity across America. 960 1280

  

Long a favorite in Spain, a fruity glass of sangria is the perfect summer cocktail. 960 1280

  

All you really need are tequila, triple sec and lime if you want to visit Margaritaville. 960 1280

  

Jimmy Barrat, representing UAE/Dubai

Jimmy Barrat, representing UAE/Dubai

Jimmy Barrat, representing UAE/Dubai, competes in the final Cocktails Against the Clock and Signature Cocktail challenges at the Diageo Reserve World Class 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 960 1280

Buda Mendes  

Supawit Muttarattana of Thailand

Supawit Muttarattana of Thailand

Supawit Muttarattana of Thailand attends the Diageo Reserve World Class 2012 Global Final. 960 1280

Ian Gavan  

Te-Kai Yin, representing Taiwan

Te-Kai Yin, representing Taiwan

A cocktail prepared by bartender Te-Kai Yin, representing Taiwan, sits on the bar during the Signature Serve Challenge. 960 1280

Ian Gavan  

Dennis Zoppi, from Italy

Dennis Zoppi, from Italy

Dennis Zoppi, from Italy, competes in the Food Matching Challenge during the World Class Final. 960 1280

Buda Mendes  

Lebanon's Momo at the Souks Bar

Lebanon's Momo at the Souks Bar

Varia Dellalian, representing Lebanon's Momo at the Souks bar, competes in the Cocktail Mastery Challenge. 960 1280

Ian Gavan  

Mixologist Erik Lorincz

Mixologist Erik Lorincz

Mixologist Erik Lorincz attends the Diageo Reserve World Class 2012. 960 1280

Ian Gavan  

Shigeki Yoshida of Japan

Shigeki Yoshida of Japan

A cocktail prepared by bartender Shigeki Yoshida of Japan, still in the process of being made during the Signature Serve Challenge. 960 1280

Ian Gavan  

Shigeki Yoshida of Japan

Shigeki Yoshida of Japan

The finished product of the cocktail prepared by bartender Shigeki Yoshida of Japan. 960 1280

Ian Gavan  

Ricky Gomez of the USA

Ricky Gomez of the USA

Ricky Gomez, representing the USA, competes in the final Cocktails Against the Clock and Signature Cocktails challenges. 960 1280

Buda Mendes  

Andy Mil of Great Britain

Andy Mil of Great Britain

A look at a cocktail prepared by bartender Andy Mil of Great Britain, in the final Cocktails Against the Clock and Signature Cocktails challenges. 960 1280

Buda Mendes  

Cocktail Mastery Challenge

Cocktail Mastery Challenge

World Class finalists compete in the Cocktail Mastery Challenge. 960 1280

Ian Gavan  

Diageo Reserve World Class 2012 Global Final

Diageo Reserve World Class 2012 Global Final

A general view of the atmosphere at the Tequila Don Julio's Dinner hosted by master distiller Enrique de Colsa in celebration of the Diageo Reserve World Class 2012 Global Final. 960 1280

Ian Gavan  

Cocktails Against the Clock and Signature Cocktail Challenge

Cocktails Against the Clock and Signature Cocktail Challenge

A few of the cocktails made by bartender Jimmy Barrat of UAE/Dubai sit on the bar during the final Cocktails Against the Clock and Signature Cocktail challenges. 960 1280

Buda Mendes  

Tree Mao, representing China

Tree Mao, representing China

A cocktail made by bartender Tree Mao, representing China, in the Cocktail Mastery Challenge. 960 1280

Buda Mendes  

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