Andrew Zimmern Explores America’s Historical Backcountry
After more than 10 years of globetrotting in search of the world's most interesting eats, Andrew Zimmern shifts his focus to his homeland. From the site of Paul Revere's midnight ride in Massachusetts to Christopher Columbus' traveled path in the Dominican Republic, the Bizarre Foods expert explores the roots of American eats and meets friendly locals, who introduce him to modern life in these historically significant, and incredibly scenic, locales.
Andrew starts the day with a hearty cowboy breakfast of fried calf brains and eggs wrapped in soft tortillas.
Andrew crosses a river on horseback in Bandera, Texas.
Crispy Cornmeal and Rooster Stew on the Ranch
This is one of many comforting, ranch-style favorites with rooster stew and crisp-fried corn pones from Lonesome Pine Ranch in Chappell Hill, Texas.
Tripas (small intestines), a South Texas favorite, are grilled and served hot in flour tortillas at the Land Heritage Institute in San Antonio.
Sugarcane Market Tasting
While visiting Dominican Republic’s capital city, Santo Domingo, and tracking Christopher Columbus’ journey through the island, Andrew and local vegan chef Diana Pimentel sample fresh sugarcane at the market.
In Los Tanos, Dominican Republic, locals show Andrew how to prepare casabe, a dense flatbread made of cassava flour, which was a staple for native Tainos for thousands of years.
Santo Domingo Staples
Barra Payán opened in 1962 and has been a local institution ever since. They’re best known for fresh juices and their pressed sandwiches filled with everything from roast pork to crispy griddled cheese.
Andrew peruses local produce at a market and enjoys fresh coconut juice, a beverage that arrived in the Dominican Republic with 16th Century Europeans.
History on a Plate
Traditional Dominican cuisine has indigenous Taino, Spanish and African roots, which can be seen in dishes such as pescado frito (fried fish), yuca fritters and smashed plantains.
The Dominican Republic was a haven for World War II-era Jewish refugees, who kept traditional methods of cheesemaking alive by opening shops in small towns and villages across the country.
Making Oil in Alaska
For thousands of years, Alaskan Native people caught candlefish, named so because if dried and lit, the fish burns like a candle. Local Duane Wilson teaches Andrew how to make “hooligan oil” from a catch of candlefish, just as his ancestors made it.
After hunting with Tlingit artist Keith Wolfe Smarch, Andrew joins the family around the fire to feast on roasted Arctic ground squirrel.
Tlingit people were the first to settle and live in Haines, Alaska, and called the peninsula around the scenic Chilkat River “Dei-shu,” or “end of the trail.”
Lynn Canal Ferry Ride
Andrew enjoys a moment of zen and spectacular views of the mountains on the ferry ride in southeastern Alaska.
Touring Skagway, Alaska
During the Yukon Gold Rush, Skagway was one of the major Alaskan ports for prospectors to arrive. Andrew explores the modern-day town with local historian Jeff Brady.
Country Ham in Kentucky
Packed in salt, sugar and pepper, these pork legs are set to cure the old-fashioned way and slowly transform into savory country ham.
Ham House at Dakota Hams
After the salt-and-sugar dry cure, country hams are hung to smoke and develop their trademark Southern flavor.
Salad, Grits and Cornbread at Muse Family Farm
One dish you won’t be able to find often outside of Appalachian country is kilt salad, a warm salad of spring lettuces, leafy greens and onions. The greens are dressed with hot bacon fat that wilts the greens and topped with crumbled bacon.
Historic actors reenact 18th Century life and raid on Martin’s Station in Ewing, Virginia’s Wilderness Road State Park.
Treating the Hide
After the hunt, how do you get a soft hide? Alec Fourman shows Andrew Zimmern and chef Travis Milton how to brain a hide, an old technique that makes the skin soft and flexible for rugs, clothing or other products.
Paul Revere’s Ride, Immortalized
In Paul Revere’s hometown of Boston, Mass., a bronze statue memorializing his midnight ride to alert the American militia of British movement serves as one of the city’s most recognizable historical landmarks.
Crossing the Charles River
Andrew and company enjoy reenacting of Paul Revere’s river crossing, complete with authentic Revolutionary War-era tri-corner hats.
Grilled Guinea Hen
Andrew tucks into a feast fit for Paul Revere at Kirkland Tap and Trotter in Somerville, Mass., starting with grilled guinea hen.
Pork and Beans
Andrew and the crew of Revolutionary War reenactors share a dish that was commonly served in 18th century colonial Massachusetts: salt pork and beans.
At Boston’s Cantina Italiana, hungry meat eaters can find satisfying and hearty dishes such as stuffed pork skin and lamb sausages.
Ponce de Leon in Florida
Andrew learns about Florida’s history with John Browne Ayes, researcher and descendant of Spanish navigator, Juan Ponce de Leon.
Battle in the Streets
Historical reenactors bring a famous battle alive between British and Spanish settlers in St. Augustine, Fla.
Modern Florida Cuisine
In nearby Miami, Andrew enjoys rock shrimp tartare with green curry vichyssoise sauce at Alter restaurant, which serves New American fare made with local Floridian seafood and produce.
Fresh Orange Creamsicle
Head to Wabasso, Fla., for a freshly squeezed orange juice creamsicle at local citrus grove and store Hale Groves.
Quest for the Fountain of Youth
Marking the spot where Ponce de Leon first arrived in Florida, the Fountain of Youth Park represents his motivation to voyage to the Americas to find a fabled source of eternal youth.
Gun Club in the Desert
Andrew learns how to properly handle firearms with a range safety officer at the Pro Gun Club in Boulder City, Nev.
Just outside of Joshua Tree stands the Integratron, a structure designed and built by a Ufologist who believed he was following blueprint instructions from Venus dwellers. Once inside the building, visitors can experience sound baths and observe the domed architecture.
Wild Wild West
Andrew strolls down the streets of Pioneertown, an old Western movie set still standing in the southern California desert.
While in Las Vegas, Andrew stops by Raku Japanese Charcoal Grill to try the grilled king crab legs.
Smoke and Hash
Visitors heading to Pioneertown and Joshua Tree can visit La Copine along the way and try fresh dishes like the smoked sweet potato hash with avocado.