Bizarre Foods in Pictures

Andrew Zimmern and the Poisonous Pufferfish

Andrew Zimmern and the Poisonous Pufferfish

Andrew Zimmern shows a puffed up pufferfish, the second most poisonous creature on the planet, just pulled from the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Okinawa. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern in Okinawa

Andrew Zimmern in Okinawa

Yoshiko Nakamura and her friends welcome Andrew Zimmern to Okinawa (and Yoshiko's kitchen).  960 1280

  

Tuna Eyes

Tuna Eyes

One of Andrew Zimmern's favorite dishes, tuna eyes, is prepared by Izakaya Payao in Okinawa.  960 1280

  

Sea Grapes

Sea Grapes

Okinawa's Izakaya Hanazumi serves up sea grapes, known as umi budo in Japanese. 960 1280

  

Aged Tofu

Aged Tofu

Aged for one year and six months in Okinawa's Kin Cave, Tofu-yo is considered a delicacy.  960 1280

  

Okinawa's Kin Cave

Okinawa's Kin Cave

Andrew Zimmern's Okinawa hosts lead him far underground in Kin Cave to see the awomari and tofu-yo aging within. 960 1280

  

Sea Snake Eggs

Sea Snake Eggs

Andrew Zimmern shows off one of the three last specially smoked poisonous sea snake eggs in the world at Kana restaurant in Okinawa. 960 1280

  

Poisonous Sea Snake Soup

Poisonous Sea Snake Soup

The chef at Kana restaurant in Okinawa uses the eggs to make a bowl of irabu jira, poisonous sea snake soup.  960 1280

  

Pig's Blood Stew

Pig's Blood Stew

Hisamatsu in Okinawa serves up pig's blood stew. 960 1280

  

Chiragaa in Okinawa

Chiragaa in Okinawa

Naha's Makishi Market in Okinawa offers chiragaa, the skin from a pig's face. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern in Shanghai

Andrew Zimmern in Shanghai

The Bund River and its stunning downtown skyline are a must see on any tour of Shanghai. 960 1280

  

Breakfast in Shanghai

Breakfast in Shanghai

A traditional Shanghai breakfast includes a bowl of savory soy milk, dressed with soy, vinegar, pickled radishes, dried shrimp and cilantro. 960 1280

  

Sister Wang's Delicacies

Sister Wang's Delicacies

Andrew Zimmern and guide Jenny Gao explore an 18-course feast cooked by Sister Wang, one of Shanghai's best and least known cooks. 960 1280

  

Salted, Dried and Rehydrated Sea Eel

Salted, Dried and Rehydrated Sea Eel

Served with black vinegar, rehydrated sea eel is a local delicacy prepared by Sister Wang in Shanghai. 960 1280

  

Fresh Squid

Fresh Squid

Fresh squid, braised in vinegar and soy, is another one of Sister Wang's special creations. 960 1280

  

Fresh Softshell Turtle

Fresh Softshell Turtle

Sister Wang infuses her softshell turtle with rock sugar and soy. 960 1280

  

Pickled Duck Tongues

Pickled Duck Tongues

Pickled duck tongues are a delicacy in Shanghai's First Food Hall, a treasure trove of fresh and prepackaged foods in the heart of downtown. 960 1280

  

Exploring Zhujiajiao

Exploring Zhujiajiao

Andrew Zimmern and guide Jenny Gao explore the ancient water town of Zhujiajiao on the outskirts of Shanghai. 960 1280

  

Zhujiajiao, Shanghai's Ancient Water Town

Zhujiajiao, Shanghai's Ancient Water Town

Andrew Zimmern and guide Jenny Gao dig into a feast of locally sourced delights in the ancient water town of Zhujiajiao on the outskirts of Shanghai. 960 1280

  

Shanghai's Seafood Specialties

Shanghai's Seafood Specialties

Whole freshwater lake fish, wok fried at extreme temperatures to create a perfect crunch, are a staple of Zhujiajiao. 960 1280

  

Fried Stinky Tofu

Fried Stinky Tofu

Fried stinky tofu is a street food favorite on the streets of Zhujiajiao. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern Goes Fishing

Andrew Zimmern Goes Fishing

A bamboo rake and net are the only tools necessary for successful snail fishing near Shanghai.  960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern in Senegal

Andrew Zimmern in Senegal

Andrew Zimmern and his guide, Chef Mame Hughes, walk the streets just outside Dakar, Senegal, in the shadow of the 160-foot tall bronze African Rennaissance Monument. 960 1280

  

Dakar, Senegal

Dakar, Senegal

Dakar, Senegal, on the Cap-Vert peninsula, the westernmost region of mainland Africa, is believed to have been settled as early as the 15th Century. 960 1280

  

Senegal's Salt Production

Senegal's Salt Production

Senegal is the largest producer of salt in Africa, mining roughly 45,000 tons a year at locations like Lake Retba. 960 1280

  

Salt Pulling from Lake Retba

Salt Pulling from Lake Retba

Andrew Zimmern and Oumy Diaw await the haul of harvester Jean Preira, who spends up to seven hours a day pulling salt from the bottom of Lake Retba, Senegal. 960 1280

  

Dakar's Soumbedioune Fish Market

Dakar's Soumbedioune Fish Market

Andrew Zimmern and Chef Mame Hughes buy fresh thioff, or grouper, for the classic Senegalese fish and rice dish Thieboudieune at Soumbedioune Fish Market in Dakar. 960 1280

  

How Fish Turns into Kethiakh

How Fish Turns into Kethiakh

Maggots are a natural part of the process of turning salted and sundried sardinella fish into kethiakh, a main export to neighboring West African countries around Joal, Senegal. 960 1280

  

Communal Eats in Senegal

Communal Eats in Senegal

As in many parts of Africa, meals like the classic fish and rice dish thieboudieune are served in communal plates in Senegal. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern in Madrid

Andrew Zimmern in Madrid

Andrew Zimmern and his guide explore the streets near Madrid's Puerta del Sol. 960 1280

  

Tiny Eels

Tiny Eels

Revered as a Spanish delicacy for centuries, tiny eels, or angulas, are now fashioned from fish like haddock as a result of overfishing. 960 1280

  

Gooseneck Barnacles

Gooseneck Barnacles

Percebes, otherwise known as gooseneck barnacles, are a Spanish delicacy harvested from the rocks in the north of the country. 960 1280

  

Fried Suckling Pig Head

Fried Suckling Pig Head

Fried suckling pig head is one of the specialty tapas snacks at La Tasqueria de Javi Estevez in central Madrid. 960 1280

  

Yakuza Bonbon

Yakuza Bonbon

Andrew Zimmern samples Chef Javier Bonet's Yakuza Bonbon, a mindblowing combination of seared steak, beetroot "blood," green tea and black garlic. 960 1280

  

Snail Stew with ...

Snail Stew with ...

A major flavoring agent in Amadeo Lazaro's bowls of snail stew are the zarajos, braided lamb intestines. 960 1280

  

A Special Kind of Pasta in Madrid

A Special Kind of Pasta in Madrid

Diverxo Chef David Munoz's carbanara "pasta" of Spanish angula eels is cooked in tandoori yogurt and topped with trout roe, coffee, rice paper and basil.   960 1280

  

Spanish Blood Sausage

Spanish Blood Sausage

Pilar Apariciocalle shows Andrew Zimmern the proper technique for boiling morcilla, spanish blood sausage, to ensure it doesn't explode. 960 1280

  

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

  

A Successful Quail Hunt

A Successful Quail Hunt

Andrew Zimmern shows off his freshly bagged quail in Texas Hill Country. 960 1280

  

Texas Longhorns and Zebras

Texas Longhorns and Zebras

A herd of Texas longhorns and zebras roam the pastures of Koch Ranches outside San Antonio. 960 1280

  

Highlandettes of Lake Highlands High School

Highlandettes of Lake Highlands High School

Andrew and the Highlandettes of Lake Highlands High School in front of San Antonio's iconic Alamo, a former Roman Catholic mission and fortress. 960 1280

  

The Alamo

The Alamo

The Bizarre Foods film crew shoots a scene in front of the Alamo, the iconic site of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. 960 1280

  

Bill Miller Bar-B-Que

Bill Miller Bar-B-Que

Andrew makes a pit stop at Bill Miller Bar-B-Que, a popular establishment in San Antonio for brisket. 960 1280

  

Cooking With Chef Johnny Hernandez

Cooking With Chef Johnny Hernandez

Andrew visits the home of chef Johnny Hernandez for some fresh grilled cecina tacos. Cecina is traditionally prepared with salt and dried by air, sun or smoking. 960 1280

  

Man's Best Friend

Man's Best Friend

Andrew meets a future quail-hunting dog in Texas Hill Country. 960 1280

  

Coturnix Quail Eggs

Coturnix Quail Eggs

Coturnix quail eggs, a Texas delicacy best sampled raw, from Diamond H Ranch. 960 1280

  

Brotherly Love at Diamond H Ranch

Brotherly Love at Diamond H Ranch

Andrew receives a kiss for luck from quail purveyor Chris Hughes at Diamond H Ranch. 960 1280

  

Beef Brain at Restaurant Gwendolyn

Beef Brain at Restaurant Gwendolyn

Andrew looks on as chef Michael Sohocki prepares ingredients for beef brain foie gras at Restaurant Gwendolyn. 960 1280

  

Meat of El Machito

Meat of El Machito

Chicken and goat skewered over an open fire at San Antonio's El Machito. 960 1280

  

Sampling Goat Innards at El Machito

Sampling Goat Innards at El Machito

Andrew prepares to sample grilled goat innards at Johnny Hernandez's restaurant El Machito. 960 1280

  

Get Andrew's Travel Tips and Food Favorites!

Alabama: White BBQ Sauce

Alabama: White BBQ Sauce

I love this stuff. When I think of Alabama, I think of piles of smoky BBQ chicken with deep bowls of Alabama white for dipping. 960 1280

David Lang  

Alaska: King Crab

Alaska: King Crab

Keep your caribou, your moose, your seal and your salmon, for my money the best food on earth is king crab -- in season, pulled live from the icy waters of Alaska and eaten immediately. And don’t let any of it go to waste: steam the knuckles in egg white and rice wine and season with soy sauce; make crab rice with the head and body; fry the legs with ginger and chilies. 960 1280

  

Arizona: Sonoran Hot Dogs and Fry Bread (Tie)

Arizona: Sonoran Hot Dogs and Fry Bread (Tie)

Chili meat sandwiches made with local fry bread are as good as eating gets. I have one and then use that as fuel as I drive to Nogales, my favorite Sonoran hotdog stand. 960 1280

  

Arkansas: Squirrel

Arkansas: Squirrel

The Hiawassee Squirrel Cook Off takes place every year in Bentonville, AR. Be there or be square. 960 1280

  

California: Sea Urchin

California: Sea Urchin

From Dungeness crab in the north to Grunion (a fish similar to sardines) in the south, it’s Cali’s coastline that lures me in. No sea urchin is better in the world than the huge, black-spike globes taken off the San Diego coast in season. None. 960 1280

  

Colorado: Lamb and Peaches (Tie)

Colorado: Lamb and Peaches (Tie)

Every spring, Colorado baby lamb (eaten just as it’s transitioning from being fed milk to grass) might be my favorite food in the state … wait, what about those mountain peaches? Hmm … tie game! 960 1280

Rich Freeda  

Connecticut: New Haven Pizza

Connecticut: New Haven Pizza

New Haven “apizza” -- pronounced A-BEET-ZA  -- period, end of discussion. I like to crush my Neopolitan-style pies at Frank Pepe’s or Sally’s. 960 1280

  

DC: Half smokes at Ben's Chili Bowl

DC: Half smokes at Ben's Chili Bowl

Sure, they’re junky and not the bespoke dogs so popular elsewhere, but with loads of raw onion they seriously can't be beat. 960 1280

By Josh Thompson CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Delaware: Muddle

Delaware: Muddle

Sure, the Carolinas claim fish stew known as muddle as their own, but the best version I ever had was on the beach in Delaware served with saltines and piles of corn pudding and cracked crabs. 960 1280

  

Florida: Key Lime Pie

Florida: Key Lime Pie

Key Lime pie is my favorite and this is my list. End of discussion. 960 1280

  

Georgia: Pecan Pie

Georgia: Pecan Pie

Sure, I’ll take your peach pie, your ham and biscuits, your boiled peanuts and fried green tomatoes … but for me, Georgia’s pecan pie is the best. They even call it Karo pie after the corn syrup in the recipe. Love. 960 1280

  

Hawaii: Ahi Limu Poke

Hawaii: Ahi Limu Poke

Fresh-cut tuna seasoned with sesame oil, soy, seaweed and, for me, a spritz of citrus and I am all good brah. 960 1280

  

Idaho: Baked Potato

Idaho: Baked Potato

Don’t feel bad Idaho, your baked potato comes loaded and stuffed from the fixin’s bar. Oh, and served alongside some of your world-class grilled elk there is no finer food on earth. 960 1280

  

Illinois: Chicago-Style Hot Dog

Illinois: Chicago-Style Hot Dog

Considering that I am a New Yorker, Chicago pizza is off the table. Luckily, my favorite food is the hot dog and no state on earth has more hot dog eateries per capita than Illinois. I love a great Chicago Dog: Wolfy’s or Superdawg or Franks ‘n Dawgs for the win. 960 1280

  

Indiana: Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie

Indiana: Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie

Sugar. Cream. Pie. Done. 960 1280

  

Iowa: Eskimo Pie

Iowa: Eskimo Pie

It might seem like an unlikely choice for Iowa, but did you know the Eskimo Pie was invented by Christian Nelson in Onawa, Iowa who franchised his idea in the Roaring ‘20s after the encouragement of candy god Russell Stover? 960 1280

  

Kansas: Kansas City BBQ

Kansas: Kansas City BBQ

Kansas City was the home of great stockyards once, and much of the northern migration of Black America passed through here, so the BBQ scene is like the greatest hits of what the south has to offer. Q39, LC’s, Jacks Stack, Joe’s, BB’s Lawnside -- and that’s just one day of eating for me in Kansas City alone! 960 1280

  

Kentucky: Bourbon

Kentucky: Bourbon

Bourbon counts as a food because it’s brown. And brown is the color of flavor. Don’t question me on these issues. 960 1280

  

Louisiana: Gumbo

Louisiana: Gumbo

Nothing reflects the history of our country better than gumbo. Nothing. And here in Louisiana it’s cooked better than anywhere else. 960 1280

  

Maine: Lobster Roll

Maine: Lobster Roll

Lobster Rolls are in my all-time top 10 foods. I eat 2 a day when I visit my dad every month. From Reds in Wiscasset to Five Islands Lobster Company to Eventide to the shack nearest you, the lobstah’ roll is without peer. 960 1280

  

Maryland: Crab

Maryland: Crab

Softies, crab cakes and cracked-steamed blues seasoned with Old Bay. Maryland, I love you. 960 1280

  

Massachusetts: Clam Chowder

Massachusetts: Clam Chowder

I wanted to go so many places with this one, but at end of the day the Chowdah capital of the world is Massachusetts. Runner up goes to NECCO wafers, my favorite candy and a Mass original for 150 years. 960 1280

  

Michigan: Cherry Pie

Michigan: Cherry Pie

Michigan cherry pie -- holy, sweet baby Jesus -- it’s beyond superb. 960 1280

  

Minnesota: The Jucy Lucy

Minnesota: The Jucy Lucy

The New York Times finally got something wrong with the grape salad debacle, but the Jucy Lucy (a burger with molten cheese in the middle of the patty as well as on top) is all ours. 960 1280

  

Mississippi: Natchez-Style Grits

Mississippi: Natchez-Style Grits

Natchez-style grits, baked and loaded with cheese and served with some real Mississippi barbecue are where it’s at. 960 1280

  

Missouri: Gooey Butter Cake

Missouri: Gooey Butter Cake

Fried Ravioli was invented here, and local river fish are superb, but Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is the crack cocaine of desserts. 960 1280

  

Montana: Huckleberry Pie

Montana: Huckleberry Pie

One night in Montana, I ate a pitchfork bison steak fried in a kettle of lard over an open fire and it blew my mind, but the fresh huckleberry pie afterwards still haunts me at night. 960 1280

  

Nebraska: Rocky Mountain Oysters

Nebraska: Rocky Mountain Oysters

If you have an adventurous palate and want to give Rocky Mountain oysters, aka bull testicles, a try, Nebraska is the place to go. Round the Bend Steakhouse in Ashland has hosted an annual Testicle Festival since 1993 where they serve up Rocky Mountain oysters and call them "bull fries." 960 1280

Rhett Muller / Red Thread  

Nevada: Las Vegas Sushi

Nevada: Las Vegas Sushi

Nothing says Las Vegas like eating sushi before hitting the gaming tables. Famed Japanese chef Masa Takayama creates a $240 appetizer that some consider a work of art at BarMasa, if that tells you anything about what to expect at this restaurant. Toro, also known as the belly of wild bluefin tuna, is a must. 960 1280

Ethan Miller  

New Hampshire: Sunday Turkey Dinner

New Hampshire: Sunday Turkey Dinner

The seafood in New Hampshire is amazing, but their real food heritage lies inland in the traditional Yankee food category. Puritan settlers from England brought their own cooking traditions, like baked beans, baked turkey, and apple pie, and stole some classics from the Native Americans, who used corn meal in skillet cake, all kinds of fish in chowders and clam bakes and boiled maple sap. So let’s give New Hampshire the “Sunday turkey dinner while watching the football game.” 960 1280

Adam Rose  

New Jersey: Taylor Ham

New Jersey: Taylor Ham

Some of the best seafood, tomatoes and corn on the planet comes from the Garden State, but it’s Taylor Ham, the original Jersey pork roll, that I love most. 960 1280

  

New Mexico: Hatch Green Chile

New Mexico: Hatch Green Chile

Hatch Green Chiles roasted and chopped on anything or turned into green chile salsa. 960 1280
New York: Smoked Fish and Bagels

New York: Smoked Fish and Bagels

This is my list, and for me, NYC is the greatest food town on earth. Smoked fish piled on bagels ranks up there with the classic NYC burger, Chinese food or a slice of pizza on any list of mine. I love you, "New Yawkh." 960 1280

  

North Carolina: Whole Hog

North Carolina: Whole Hog

North Carolina whole hog served with their classic vinegar slaw and mustardy BBQ sauce is superb. 960 1280

  

North Dakota: Sugar Beets

North Dakota: Sugar Beets

Sorry North Dakota, but lets be honest, your sugar beets are without a peer. We will give you White Bread with Sour Cream-Green Onion salad as a runner up, because I love it every time I see it on the menu. 960 1280

  

Ohio: Polish Boy at Seti’s

Ohio: Polish Boy at Seti’s

Cincinnati chili is cinnamon spiked. Pierogies and Friday fish fries are also superb here, but the Polish Boy at Seti’s is all yours; own that thing!! 960 1280

  

Oklahoma: Chicken-Fried Steak

Oklahoma: Chicken-Fried Steak

The best chicken-fried steak with creamy gravy ever is found all over Sooner Land. 960 1280

  

Oregon: Fish-Sauce Wings at Pok Pok

Oregon: Fish-Sauce Wings at Pok Pok

The easy answer here would be oysters, or salmon, or any of a hundred foods that Oregon is famous for such as Prince Puckler’s hot fudge sauce or Voodoo Donuts … but I’m making a list for a new generation and I’m going with Andy Ricker’s fish-sauce wings at Pok Pok. 960 1280

  

Pennsylvania: Roast-Pork Sandwich

Pennsylvania: Roast-Pork Sandwich

Cheesesteaks, sure, but I prefer the roast-pork version at John’s in Philly, the greatest sandwich town on earth. 960 1280

  

Rhode Island: Coffee Milk

Rhode Island: Coffee Milk

Coffee Milk, even better in a cabinet (or milkshake). Gaggers (weenies) are pretty awesome in Little Rhody, and of course so are all things clam … but I gotta go with my coffee milk. 960 1280

  

South Carolina: Shrimp and Grits

South Carolina: Shrimp and Grits

Sure, Rodney Scott makes BBQ here, and boiled peanuts and sweet muscadine grapes are without equal, but this land is Shrimp-and-Grits territory for me. Plain and simple. Oh, and Martha Lou’s beans. 960 1280

  

South Dakota: Chislic

South Dakota: Chislic

Chislic is weird, but delicious. This meaty stunner is made by deep-frying cubed red meat, dipping it in garlic salt and serving it with saltines. 960 1280

Tara Donne  

Tennessee: Hot Chicken

Tennessee: Hot Chicken

So much to choose from, but you gotta go with the people’s choice and they have spoken: Nashville HOT CHICKEN baby! 960 1280

  

Texas: Brisket

Texas: Brisket

Texas is all about the beef, and real Texas BBQ is all about beef brisket. 960 1280

  

Utah: Funeral Potatoes?

Utah: Funeral Potatoes?

Utah, you make this so hard, your official State Snack is Jell-O. But you love to gather at potlucks and funeral potatoes -- a traditional Mormon casserole consisting of hash browns, cheese, onions, cream soup, sour cream and butter, topped with crushed potato chips -- seem like a natural pick here. 960 1280

  

Vermont: Ben & Jerry’s

Vermont: Ben & Jerry’s

Maple syrup would be an easy answer, but I think Canada owns that one. I’m going with Ben & Jerry’s, the state’s most popular export besides Phish. 960 1280

  

Virginia: Country Ham With Biscuits

Virginia: Country Ham With Biscuits

Need I say more? 960 1280

  

Washington: Oysters

Washington: Oysters

Your oysters are the best. Period. I know it’s hard to hear for all the other states, but it’s true. 960 1280

  

West Virginia: Pepperoni Rolls

West Virginia: Pepperoni Rolls

All the hunting and fishing I do in my FAVORITE state makes me want to offer up a hundred of my campfire favorites, from chicken-fried squirrel to whole-roasted venison, but pepperoni and tomato rolled in store-bought bread or croissant dough is the thing here. If someone makes you them homemade. even better. 960 1280

  

Wisconsin: Cheese Curds

Wisconsin: Cheese Curds

Cheese curds and brats, double down and eat them at the same time. 960 1280

  

Wyoming: Steak

Wyoming: Steak

The best steak I ever ate was on a dude ranch in Wyoming. It was grass fed, aged 4 months and grilled over dying embers to become a charred, rare piece of beefy intensity. Thank you, Wyoming. 960 1280

  

grilled chicken salad
10. Grilled Caesar Salad, California State Fair

10. Grilled Caesar Salad, California State Fair

Who said fairs only do food that’s crummy for you? Leave it to the Californians to give us some healthy fair foods, such as grilled Caesar salads and peaches with cottage cheese. That being said, news of the Big Beef Rib (24-ounce steak on a 17-inch cow’s rib) has traveled all the way to me in Minnesota. Gotta try that next time! 960 1280

  

9. Cream Puffs, Wisconsin State Fair

9. Cream Puffs, Wisconsin State Fair

It's said that the original cream puffs are the essential food at Wisconsin's state celebration. How can you argue with a mountain of sweet cream sandwiched in a puff shell? You can’t. I implore you to also eat a brat or 2, along with some cheese curds. ’Cause hey, you're in Wisconsin! 960 1280

  

8. Fried EVERYTHING, State Fair of Texas

8. Fried EVERYTHING, State Fair of Texas

The State Fair of Texas is the largest state fair in the US when measured by annual attendance. And when it comes to foods, it’s all about the deep fryer. There’s deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fried cookie dough, fried peach cobbler on a stick, zesty fried guacamole bites, deep-fried lattes, fried chili Frito burritos, fried hot dogs, chicken fried bacon, fried banana splits, fried grilled-cheese sandwiches ... I could list about 100 more, but I am getting queasy just writing this down. 960 1280

  

7. Sweet Martha's Cookies, Minnesota State Fair

7. Sweet Martha's Cookies, Minnesota State Fair

I think I remember Martha telling me that they make a million cookies every day of the fair. This is a fair must and one of those food experiences that cannot be accurately replicated at home, even if the dough is available for purchase in your grocer's freezer. Few things can beat piping-hot, messy chocolate-chip cookies served with an enormous glass of milk. Martha (yes, Sweet Martha is a real person), I adore you! 960 1280

  

6. Barbecue Chicken, Arizona State Fair

6. Barbecue Chicken, Arizona State Fair

I am a self-proclaimed BBQ snob and was pleasantly surprised at the caliber of 'cue at the Arizona State Fair. From drummies and ribs to sliders and pizza (that only kind of counts), I'm a fan. 960 1280

Shaiith  

5. Kiwanis Strawberry Malt, Minnesota State Fair

5. Kiwanis Strawberry Malt, Minnesota State Fair

There are a lot of great dairy items at the great Minnesota Get-Together. (Hello, we carve our fair princesses out of butter!) My favorite is the little stand run by the Kiwanis ladies adjacent to the Fine Arts Center. I have a hard time picking among chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, so I like to go with friends and order all 3. I’m not sure if this is actually the very best malt at the fair, but it’s been around since 1969, and I think some of the original folks are still employed. It's just a warm, fuzzy kind of place. 960 1280

  

4. The Original Deep-Fried Cheese Curds, Minnesota State Fair

4. The Original Deep-Fried Cheese Curds, Minnesota State Fair

All curds are not created equal. Trust me, I have tried them all. My go-to Minnesota State Fair cheese curd purveyor has got to be the Original. Look for the bright yellow sign with the long, fast-moving line. 960 1280

  

3. Navajo Tacos, Arizona State Fair

3. Navajo Tacos, Arizona State Fair

Think of this as a culinary lesson in cultural hybrids — traditional Navajo fry bread smothered in taco stuff, including ground beef, lettuce, cheese, beans and tomatoes. It's fantastic, and you can't really find it anywhere else. 960 1280

  

2. Gizmo, Iowa State Fair

2. Gizmo, Iowa State Fair

If I could pick only 1 state fair food, this would be it: ground beef and Italian sausage smothered in a secret sauce and seasonings, covered with melted mozzarella cheese and served on a delicious toasted Italian roll. It's like an Italian sandwich torpedo. I'm lucky enough that these guys hit both the Iowa and Minnesota state fairs, so sometimes I get to eat it twice a year. 960 1280

Jaimie Duplass  

1. About a Foot-Long Hot Dog, Minnesota State Fair

1. About a Foot-Long Hot Dog, Minnesota State Fair

I love the classics, and it just doesn't get better than this one. I think this stand has been at the fair since the Stone Age, and simply put, it does a hot dog better than anyone else. 960 1280

Henrik Freek  

About the Show

Andrew Zimmern is dusting off his passport to crisscross the globe in search of the world's most bizarre foods.

Bizarre Foods

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Andrew Zimmern is a food writer, TV personality, chef, and teacher.  Find out more about the host of Bizarre Foods America.

Andrew Zimmern's Bio

Bizarre Foods Andrew Zimmern is on a quest to find America's most unique tastes.
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