Bizarre Foods America: Birmingham, AL, Pictures

Unique ideas, big flavors and bold chefs are putting Birmingham, AL, on the culinary map, from a progressive chef using pig skin to make Chinese noodles to scientists creating a sweeter sea urchin.

Photos

Andrew Zimmern at Chappapeela Farms in Husser, LA

Andrew Zimmern at Chappapeela Farms in Husser, LA

Chappapeela Farms owners Louis and Rebecca Lirette welcome Andrew and chef John Besh of La Provence to their duck and hog farm in Husser, LA. 960 1280

  

A dish of duck testicles

A dish of duck testicles

Chef John Besh turns duck testicles into an elevated dish, pan-fried with shallots, white wine and lemon juice. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern eats seafood boil in Louisiana

Andrew Zimmern eats seafood boil in Louisiana

While at Casanova's Seafood in Saint Bernard, LA, Andrew digs into the seafood boil and boudin, the sausage of Cajun cuisine. 960 1280

  

A dish of duck liver

A dish of duck liver

This duck liver was transformed into a pate, made with duck eggs and emulsified duck fat at La Provence in New Orleans. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern eats gumbo at La Provence

Andrew Zimmern eats gumbo at La Provence

Andrew is all smiles after tasting chef John Besh's gumbo, made with Chappapeela Farms pork sausage, okra, duck neck and duck fat roux. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern goes hog hunting

Andrew Zimmern goes hog hunting

Andrew takes a boat ride out to feral hog territory in Bay Minette, AL. 960 1280

  

A wild boar head in Alabama

A wild boar head in Alabama

This wild boar was the guest of honor at a pig potluck in Bay Minette, AL. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern with Saint Bernard parish local

Andrew Zimmern with Saint Bernard parish local

Saint Bernard parish local Mike Martin takes a break from cooking up his Louisiana marsh hen gumbo to tell Andrew about the hardships his community has overcome in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 960 1280

  

Ingredients in an Isleno-style nutria stew

Ingredients in an Isleno-style nutria stew

Kathy Ann Zeigler shares Isleno-style cooking, passed down from descendants of the Canary Islands. The main ingredient in this stew? Nutria, an invasive species of river rat. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern poses with stingray in Alabama

Andrew Zimmern poses with stingray in Alabama

There are plenty of fish in the sea, and after eating this stingray off the coast of Alabama and Florida, Andrew's tried almost every one of them. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern makes a skate taco in Alabama

Andrew Zimmern makes a skate taco in Alabama

Andrew and bow-fishing pro Dustin Mizell create the perfect skate tacos. 960 1280

  

Grilled skate for tacos in Alabama

Grilled skate for tacos in Alabama

Alabama chef Will Hughes knows what to do with grilled skate -- marinate it in collard green chimichurri and serve it with salsa and pickled onions. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern poses with duck in Louisiana

Andrew Zimmern poses with duck in Louisiana

Andrew with duck before its liver becomes pate. 960 1280

  

A fermented fish stew in Alabama

A fermented fish stew in Alabama

In Bayou La Batre, AL, Andrew samples an authentic Vietnamese stew of fermented fish, shrimp, pork belly and fresh-rolled mullet balls. 960 1280