Bizarre Foods America: Summer 2012 Sneak Peek

Go behind the scenes with Andrew Zimmern for a sneak peek of the 2012 season of Bizarre Foods America.

Photos

Lechon

Lechon

Legal Beans in Jersey City, New Jersey
I love Filipino food; the post-colonial cuisine combines the best of South Asian ingredients with Spanish technique. Although it hasn’t taken hold in this country like Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, you can still find phenomenal Filipino food on both coasts. The Cebu-style lechon from Legal Beans in Jersey City is as good as it gets. Stuffed with lemongrass and scallions, rubbed with vinegar and spices, and slow-roasted for several hours, this whole hog is ideal tailgating grub for a crowd.
960 1280

  

Flaczki

Flaczki

S&D Polish Deli in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is an Eastern European immigrant city with a dynamic food scene that's reinvented itself over the last couple decades. For traditionalists, a stop at S&D Polish Deli is a must. Run by a couple from central Poland, it's a one-stop shop for everything from Polish shampoo to Warsaw-style head cheese and other fantastic Polish fare. One of their specialties is flaczki, a beef tripe soup that hits the spot on a chilly day.

  

Burgoo

Burgoo

Eastern Kentucky
Burgoo is a true hunter’s chowder that’s legendary in eastern Kentucky. Although a singular recipe doesn’t exist, there are a few things everyone can agree on -- it has to have at least 3 different types of meat (i.e. squirrel, turkey and deer) and it’s gotta be cooked on an open fire pit. My Kentucky hunting pal, Tim Farmer, makes a killer version with 5 wild meats, along with vegetables from his garden, including tomatoes, okra and his secret ingredient, homemade currant jelly. Served with bacon-rich cornbread, burgoo is ideal cool weather comfort food.
960 1280

  

Fish Boil

Fish Boil

Two Rivers, Wisconsin
Great Lakes whitefish is one of the only species left for commercial fishermen to harvest from Lake Michigan, and it’s perfect for a fish boil. The Two Rivers Fire Department has a long tradition of manning the raging fire at the annual Door County Fish Boil, where the firemen use a hefty amount of kerosene to create a crowd-drawing spectacle. What’s better to feed a crowd than a fish boil?
960 1280

  

Beef Barbacoa

Beef Barbacoa

Pitmaker in Houston
You'll find the ultimate tailgating scene at a Houston Texans home game, where the scale of the food matches the enthusiasm of the die-hard fans. The guys from Pitmaker, a local barbecue manufacturing company, know how to throw one hell of a pregame party, turning Mexican specialties into an ultimate tailgating feast (they even have a live band). I was lucky enough to sample their beef barbacoa de cabeza … yes, all the meat from a slow-roasted whole steer head. Grab a tortilla, and a mix of cheek and tongue, and you have the makings of one of the best tacos I've eaten.
960 1280

  

Crow and Jalapeno Wrapped in Bacon

Crow and Jalapeno Wrapped in Bacon

Gravette, Arkansas
Crow meat has a bad reputation, but when cooked correctly, it reminds me of canvasback duck, some of the sweeter-tasting species that we have in the North. After hunting crow in the Ozarks, I helped cook up some bacon-wrapped crow and jalapeno bites. Rolled in brown sugar, dipped in soy sauce and then grilled, this is Arkansas-style game day food -- superb Ozarks finger food.
960 1280

  

Caldo

Caldo

St. Bernard, Louisiana
Traditional Isleno cooking abounds in St. Bernard, LA, along what I like to call the "Third Coast." Caldo is a humble peasant stew with its roots in the Canary Islands. It’s a tender braise, filled with a hundred vegetables and in this case, big knobs of pickled pork. It’s a one-pot-wonder that makes use of whatever meat and vegetables you have on hand -- beans, cabbage, corn, tomato, sweet potato and turnip greens are all in abundance in this part of the country.
960 1280

  

Porchetta

Porchetta

Ionia, Iowa
On a small farm, Rustik Rooster Farms, outside of Waverly, Iowa, my friend Carl Blake has crossbred one of the most delicious pigs in America -- he calls his breed an Iowa Swabian Hall in homage to the classic German pig stock. With an ideal balance of intra- and inter-muscular fat and well-marbled muscle meat, this is truly one of the greatest hogs you'll ever eat. I had the pleasure of tasting Carl's porchetta, a boneless whole hog, stuffed with sausage, loins and its own organs, all roasted to perfection. Touchdown.

  

Whole Smoked Armadillo

Whole Smoked Armadillo

Central Florida
When most people think of Florida, they imagine Disney World and Miami Beach, but if you venture into the heart of the peninsula, you'll find wonderful folks who take pride in living off the land. This means eating and cooking animals like armadillo. My guides, hunters David Tyburski and Rick Stafford, prepared smoked armadillo, cooked in its own shell and filled with seasonings and vegetables. Believe me, it makes for one unique barbecue. And it's delicious.
960 1280

  

Matanza

Matanza

Los Lunas, New Mexico
It's pretty obvious I have a thing for whole animal cooking. And when it comes to ceremonial whole hog feasting, a traditional matanza is solidly at the top of my list. In the community of Los Lunas in New Mexico, for example, everyone gathers together to butcher and cook all parts of the pig, creating dishes ranging from blood pudding and fried pig skin, to adobado and braised red chili ribs. This kind of cooking wouldn’t be out of place outside of an NFL stadium. It's the best whole hog cookery I know of.
960 1280

  

Bigos

Bigos

Czerw's Kielbasy in Philadelphia
Bigos is a traditional Polish pork-and-sauerkraut stew that is rich in soulful Eastern European flavors and ingredients. Czerw's Kielbasy in Philly has one of the best versions I’ve ever tried. These guys are serious about family traditions, using the same kielbasa recipes that grandpa Jan Czerw used back in 1938 when he first opened this smokehouse. It's the perfect meal in a bowl.
960 1280

  

Andrew takes on Chicago where he uncovers some of the best food in the world. 960 1280

  

960 1280

  

Andrew and the production crew shoot a scene in front of the tomb of John the Baptist's head for the Syria episode of Bizarre Foods. 960 1280

  

Andrew milks a sheep in the desert outside Palmyra, Syria. 960 1280

  

Greek cookbook author Diane Kochilas invites Andrew into her home to show off some of her legendary cooking skills. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern eats with Goschenhoppen Historians, Inc. at the historic Henry Antes house in Perkiomenville, PA. The group was founded in 1964 to preserve folk culture of the Pennsylvania Germans, the area's earliest settlers. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern adds the key ingredient, a pig's head, to a boiling cauldron of scrapple in White Haven, PA. 960 1280

  

'These cheesy straw hats worn by gondoliers are an irresistible tourist trinket even for me.' ' Andrew Zimmern 960 1280

  

'I love Venetian seafood, especially when it's raw!' ' Andrew Zimmern 960 1280

  

Photographer Adrian Danciu takes a moment to take in the beautiful landscape in Lapland, Finland. 960 1280

unknown  

Andrew digs into a pot of seal meat with on Hailuoto Island, located off the northern coast of Finland. 960 1280

Adrian Danciu  

Andrew and his guide Rachel Raj pick up some fresh challah bread at Carimama Pizzazo in Hungary. 960 1280

  

Andrew dances in the rain with his new Roma friends in Paszab, a rural village in Hungary. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern and his Jewish Quarter guide Rachel Raj discuss Jewish bread pudding. 960 1280

  

Andrew observes how local fishermen on Lake Balaton net large Busa carp. 960 1280

  

'My guide, Edison, explains some of the fascinating Himba rituals in Madagascar.' ' Andrew Zimmern 960 1280

  

'This is the backyard kitchen of a 'Smiley Den' in the Katatura slum of Namibia -- where the food is pretty hardcore.' ' Andrew Zimmern 960 1280

  

The Bizarre Foods production crew grabs a few shots outside John's Roast Pork in South Philadelphia. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern points out a personal favorite at Chocolate by Mueller in Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market. 960 1280

  

Andrew demonstrates the proper way to hold a 40-lb. snapping turtle in Mountain Top, PA. 960 1280

  

The crew films Philly's skyline from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Arts -- made famous in the movie Rocky. 960 1280

  

Andrew tastes bigos -- a traditional Polish stew -- at Czerw's Kielbasy in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia. 960 1280

  

Andrew pulls a rack of sausage links out of the old-school smokehouse at Czerw's Kielbasy. 960 1280

  

Chef Masaharu Morimoto shows Andrew how to prepare a signature dish at Morimoto restaurant in Philadelphia. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern and John Bucci, owner of John's Roast Pork, share a cheesesteak in South Philly. 960 1280

  

Cameraman Adrian Danciu films 4 snarling, snapping turtles near the small town of Mountain Top, PA. 960 1280

  

Cameraman Adrian Danciu gets an establishing shot of Philadelphia's Italian Market. 960 1280

  

Andrew Zimmern and Delmar Anthony prepare a pot of snapping-turtle soup by carving up meat in Drums, PA. 960 1280

  

Andrew and the crew watch snapper expert Delmar Anthony artfully prepare a dish using snapping turtle. 960 1280

  

In White Haven, PA, Andrew adds a key ingredient -- a pig's head -- to a boiling cauldron of scrapple, a loaf made of cornmeal and pig scraps. 960 1280

  

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.