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

Kung pao chicken rice bowl

Kung pao chicken rice bowl

Bali's A&W puts a spin on the traditional kung pao chicken rice bowl. 960 1280

  

Fresh-baked cream puffs

Fresh-baked cream puffs

Fresh-baked cream puffs are what makes the Japanese chain Beard Papa's such a big hit. 960 1280

  

New Delhi

New Delhi

There are hundreds of homegrown fast food chains on the crowded streets of New Delhi. 960 1280

  

Chinese dumplings

Chinese dumplings

Chinese dumplings are perhaps the world's oldest fast food. 960 1280

  

The chicken meatball sandwich

The chicken meatball sandwich

The chicken meatball sandwich at Subway in Taipei, Taiwan. 960 1280

  

Taipei's 85 Degrees C Bakery Café

Taipei's 85 Degrees C Bakery Café

Taipei's 85 Degrees C Bakery Café serves a vast selection of fresh-baked goodies. 960 1280

  

A&W in Bali, Indonesia

A&W in Bali, Indonesia

The fried chicken meal at A&W in Bali, Indonesia. 960 1280

  

A McDonald's employee at a Balinese temple

A McDonald's employee at a Balinese temple

A McDonald's employee makes an offering at a Balinese temple outside the new franchise. 960 1280

  

Old Delhi

Old Delhi

In Old Delhi, traveling by pedicab is the easiest way to get around. 960 1280

  

The double-decker pizza at Domino's Taipei

The double-decker pizza at Domino's Taipei

The double-decker pizza at Domino's Taipei has a regular crust topped with another crust made of French pastry. 960 1280

  

Subway in Kyoto

Subway in Kyoto

Subway in Kyoto offers a special mascarpone cheese and prosciutto sandwich. 960 1280

  

A religious festival in Old Delhi

A religious festival in Old Delhi

Locals celebrate during a religious festival in the streets of Old Delhi. 960 1280

  

McDonald's in Bali, Indonesia

McDonald's in Bali, Indonesia

Bubur ayam is porridge topped with shredded chicken and fried onions, and a menu item at McDonald's in Bali, Indonesia. 960 1280

  

BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham

BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham

The world's largest Hindu temple -- the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Delhi, India. 960 1280

  

Taipei's 85 Degrees C Bakery Cafe

Taipei's 85 Degrees C Bakery Cafe

A pastry with a finely-shredded pork topping at Taipei's 85 Degrees C Bakery Cafe. 960 1280

  

85 Degrees C Bakery Cafe

85 Degrees C Bakery Cafe

Employees make sweet pineapple buns at Taipei's most popular coffee and bakery chain, 85 Degrees C Bakery Cafe. 960 1280

  

5 Photos
Triple Threat Pork Sandwich

Triple Threat Pork Sandwich

Did You Know? Pork was introduced to American soil in 1539 when Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto landed with America’s first 13 pigs on the coast of Florida. Ever since then it has become a chow down staple.

Dish 1: Triple Threat Pork Sandwich
Where: Slow’s BBQ, 2138 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216-1305
960 1280

  

Apocalypse Now burger

Apocalypse Now burger

Did You Know? The ancient Chinese were so enamored with the succulent swine that they buried their departed with hogs to ensure fresh pork in the afterlife.

Dish 2: Apocalypse Now Burger
Where: Nosh, 551 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101
960 1280

  

Oak-Roasted Pork Loin

Oak-Roasted Pork Loin

Did You Know? In the 1800’s raising swine was essential to the success of Midwest farms. Using the new Erie Canal farmers, were able to ship their hogs back East, leading them to nickname the pigs "mortgage lifters", since their sales kept the homesteads afloat.

Dish 3: Oak-Roasted Pork Loin
Where: Iron Barley, 5510 Virginia Ave, St Louis, MO 63111
960 1280

  

Roast Pork Sandwich

Roast Pork Sandwich

Did You Know? Pork is the most widely eaten meat in the world. 36% of all meat consumed is pork, following by 33% of poultry and 24% beef.

Dish 4: Roast Pork Sandwich
Where: Dinic’s/Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
960 1280

  

Whole Hog BBQ

Whole Hog BBQ

Did You Know? President Harry S. Truman once said "no man should be allowed to be president who doesn't understand hogs."

Dish 5: Whole Hog BBQ
Where: The Pit, 328 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601
960 1280

  

Castello di Amorosa, St. Helena, Calif.

Castello di Amorosa, St. Helena, Calif.

This 13th century medieval Tuscan-style castle took 15 years to build. But the result is an awe-inspiring 121,000 square-foot castle winery with five defensive towers, 1,000 pound hand-hewn doors from Italy, eight levels, and 107 rooms (95 of which are devoted to winemaking), creating more than 15 types of wine. Castello di Amorosa, designed by Dario Sattui, also boasts a church, drawbridge, courtyard, watch tower, torture chamber, and secret passage ways. Visitors can choose from daily general admission visits, reserved tours and tastings, or splurge on one of the castle’s VIP tour experiences—the $20,000-per couple tour includes a private chef, photographer, a barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon, limo transport, and a key to the castle.  960 1280

Castillo DiAmorosa  

Palmaz Vineyards, Napa, Calif.

Palmaz Vineyards, Napa, Calif.

Palmaz’s subterranean winery, the Cave, extends 18 stories into the rocky flank of Napa Valley’s Mount George, and showcases their unique take on gravity-flow winemaking, which takes place in a well-engineered maze of tunnels and domes carved into rock. Gravity-flow design minimizes the turbulence that damages the molecular structure, and these wines also benefit from the natural temperature control of a cave. Twenty-four fermentation tanks inside the fermentation dome can accommodate a variety of grapes from vineyards across the estate, including their signature Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Chardonnay, Riesling, and Muscat—all named after members of the winery family.  960 1280

Palmaz  

Chamonix, Franschhoek, South Africa

Chamonix, Franschhoek, South Africa

Situated high above the Franschhoek valley in the heart of the Western Cape, this is no ordinary wine farm. Chamonix is a vast domain encompassing a vineyard, farmland, and a sprawling game reserve with guest lodges surrounded by wildebeest, zebra, and springboks. An underground passage leads from the cellar up into the Blacksmith’s Cottage, built in the late 1700s and which now houses the tasting room. But despite the scale and grandeur, winemaking here is done by a small, hands-on team—all fruit is selected by hand and the process follows traditional methods. Visitors can stay in the private farm lodges and suites—with animals right outside the window, it’s an African experience unlike any other.  960 1280

Chamonix Winery  

Moet & Chandon, Epernay, France

Moet & Chandon, Epernay, France

A must-see for lovers of bubbly, this name has been associated with sparkle and glamour ever since the house was founded in 1743 by Claude Moët. Toward the end of the 18th century, Jean-Remy Moët, grandson of the founder, became famous as the man who introduced Champagne to the world. For more than a quarter of a millennium, the renowned French winemaker has been sharing the magic of Champagne across the globe. Across 2,840 acres of rich chalk soil, Moet & Chandon Champagne is made from grapes grown on the most extensive estate in the region, 50 percent of which are grands crus and 25 percent are premiers crus. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay are harvested from vineyards in all of the five main areas of Champagne—Montagne de Reims, Côte des Blancs, Vallée de la Marne, Sézanne and Aube—providing the house access to approximately 200 of the 323 crus in the region. Famous for the first sabering of bottles and christening of ships, the exuberant spray of Champagne is also accredited to the estate dating back to the celebrations of the winners of the 24-hour Le Mans race in 1967, linking the brand to explosions of joy and celebration. 960 1280

FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI  

Frescobaldi, Tuscany, Italy

Frescobaldi, Tuscany, Italy

This is Tuscany like you’ve never seen it before. Tenuta Ammiraglia Estate represents a ship pointing toward the sea in search of new horizons. It was created by the renowned Frescobaldi family, who owns six estates in Tuscany—their heritage closely knit with the region. (At the high point of medieval Florence, the Frescobaldis spread their influence as bankers, and later became patrons of major works there during the flowering of the Renaissance.) Not only is the architecture a dramatic departure from other vineyards in the region, but the wines also represent a modern and more Mediterranean Tuscany, both following suit with its captivating and unique design. The cellar is a combination of innovation, technology and respect for the environment, existing in perfect harmony with the natural beauty that surrounds it.  960 1280

Frescobald Wines  

The Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville, Calif.

The Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville, Calif.

Francis Ford Coppola’s “wine wonderland” is truly a playground for everyone—wine lovers, couples, friends and families. Food, wine, music, dancing, games, live performances and swimming come together in an estate that boasts way more than just vino. Fun is clearly the theme at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery—the first in Northern California to feature a swimming pool and a bocce court—with two swimming pools totaling 3,600 square feet that sit at the center of the park area, and live performances at the performing arts pavilion. Every day is a party here, but don’t miss "Salsa Dancing Under the Stars" or the "Annual Harvest and Halloween Carnival" for even more festive fanfare.  960 1280

Coppola Winery  

Château Pape Clément, Bordeaux, France

Château Pape Clément, Bordeaux, France

Château Pape Clément in Pessac, near Bordeaux, is named after its most famous owner: Pope Clement V.  One of the oldest Grand Crus of the area (the first harvest took place in 1252), it is also one of the most innovative. Beginning with the 2014 vintage, the current owner, Bernard Magrez, has enlisted the help of drones to measure the vigor of the vines to determine when and where to harvest the grapes. (The drone takes photos of the vineyards, then software translates the photos into color-coded maps.) But the 148 acres of vines surrounding the château are also cared for by traditional methods—horses till the soil and work the vines, being used for mowing, seeding, and working the grounds. The estate is host to a vast selection of unforgettable and unique experiences—from visits to the vault and tastings with the cellar masters to a luxury private tour that include a Sturia caviar and wine pairing. Not enough? Stay overnight in one of the two classic rooms or three suites complete with 19th century pieces and Baccarat chandeliers.  960 1280

JEAN PIERRE MULLER  

Quintessa, Rutherford, Calif.

Quintessa, Rutherford, Calif.

Wine nerds, rejoice. This place is for you. Quintessa is a winemaker’s paradise. It's equipped with modern winemaking technology and state-of-the-art facilities all wrapped into a structure that blends seamlessly into the contours of the 280-acre property. The natural, crescent-shaped design also facilitates a gentle, gravity-flow winemaking system—the roof doubles as the crush pad, where a sorting table-destemmer receives the grapes and then funnels them by gravity into fermentation tanks in the production hall directly below. After the wine is put in barrels, it ages in 1,000 linear feet of caves. At the heart of the winery, overlooking the tanks and presses below, is the glass-enclosed blending room and adjoining modern winemaking “lab.”  960 1280

Quintessa Winery  

Chateau Margaux, Bordeaux, France

Chateau Margaux, Bordeaux, France

Château Margaux’s story is quite literally from the pages of a history book. In 1152, Aquitaine fell to the advance of England until 1453, and Bordeaux wines benefited from this new market (Bordeaux “claret” was adopted as a table wine by Richard the Lion Heart, King of England, in the 12th century). Successive owners of the 647-acre estate were important lords but it was Pierre de Lestonnac, from 1572 to 1582, who completely restructured the property and the vineyard, anticipating the evolution of the Médoc region that had started to abandon cereal growing in favor of vines. Two hundred years ago, architect Louis Combes designed the chateau in a style inspired by ancient Greece and paying homage to the Parthenon. One hundred and sixty years after that, André Mentzelopoulos gave it back the luster it lost during the long Bordeaux wine crisis. Today, wine lovers and Francophiles can schedule a visit (by appointment, Monday through Friday) to soak in the rich culture and beauty of the vines and the wine.  960 1280

M-ANGLADA / Chateau Margaux  

Livernano and Casalvento, Tuscany, Italy

Livernano and Casalvento, Tuscany, Italy

First inhabited by Etruscans around 500 BC, Livernano is truly an ancient place. Later occupied by the Romans (who gave it its name), it also served as a fortified border post during the wars of the two great medieval city states in Tuscany, Siena, and Florence long after the cessation of Roman rule. After the territorial wars were over, it became a working farm, which it still is today—producing wine, olive oil, honey, vegetables, and fruits thanks to a complete restoration in the 1990s after it was purchased by serial entrepreneur/Broadway producer, Bob Cuillo. In addition to tours of the state-of-the-art Casalvento wine cellar, visitors can also take cooking classes from the estate’s private chef, using produce from its organic vegetable garden. The whole hamlet can be rented out for weddings, parties, or other events, and guests stay overnight in rooms named after grapes.  960 1280

Livermano Winery  

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