I don’t like that Andrew Zimmern. He and his show (Bizarre Foods, for anyone who doesn’t keep the Travel Channel on a dull roar in the other room at nearly all times) disturb me. I catch a glimpse of his shiny head and pastel travel rompers and want to hunt down the TV exec who hired him. I mean, I understand the point of the show and all, but dude, really? Do not even try to tell me that you eat grubs anytime you travel. Look at you. You seem exceptionally well-fed, and I know you didn’t get that way from scarfing indigenous insect life. Your type of well-fed comes from gorging the buffet at all-inclusive resorts.
Also, it makes me insane to hear the way he describes every single thing he puts into his mouth. It’s like an amateur food blogger waxing poetic on the bread basket. The other day, he started in on a cup of coffee. “This is incredible, it’s really bright in the front of your mouth, and hot, and…”
It’s coffee, you chubby freak. We know what it tastes like. Shut up and drink it. It would be a lot less insulting to the poor people who’ve been roped into hosting you if you stopped acting like some obnoxious American walrus, waddling into their villages and blathering on about what they eat to survive. Not what they eat as a sideshow for your benefit, but what keeps them alive on a day to day basis.
Andrew Zimmern, you are not a citizen of the world. You wear Topsiders. You need to STOP IT.
What’s considered a bizarre food, anyway? A number of my friends would find what I eat to be bizarre. I can only imagine what most of them would say if I took them shopping at Jay’s.
“This place smells weird.”
“None of these boxes are in English!”
“OMG, fish heads1”
Nevermind that I get the tame stuff there. I can’t even guess what some of the people standing next to me at checkout are getting, but most of them prefer not to speak English so I’m not going to ask.
There’s also the American ick factor to consider. My father – who worked in restaurants for years before running his own produce business – is terrified of anything past its expiration date. For a guy who counts stinky cheese, lanjager, and crusty bread as one of his favorite lunches, he sure is a sissy when it comes to food. Processed food, too, food that has maybe two natural ingredients but is fortified with 90% artificial preservatives. I’ve tried telling him that that stuff never goes bad. I know this because I’ve been broke. When those awful Knorr Pasta Mixers went on sale for $1 apiece, you better believe I bought ten. The expiration date on the package said 2004, but when I was hungry and poor in 2005, I checked the label. Nothing I could pronounce without telling myself to “sound it out?” Loaded up with enough sodium to preserve an entire Portuguese fishing fleet? SOLD.
Milk, too. Unless you’re buying organic milk – and I don’t know about you but I don’t have $6 per gallon – the milk you buy is so loaded up with antibiotics that it doesn’t really go bad until maybe a week after the expiration date. Just smell it. If it smells funky, make the decision on your own. Now, I’m willing to admit that this may all be in my head, but I consume enough just-past-date milk, juice, yogurt, and other whole foodstuffs that my body may be developing an immunity. Or possibly destroying itself, but I guess that remains to be seen.
I guess I’m guilty of fetishizing food sometimes, and I can’t ignore that Iron Chef might have been a part of that (the original version, crappily dubbed and the Chairman bit into a bell pepper). But it annoys me when people stop thinking of food as something that sustains them and is very hard to come by in most parts of the world, and start thinking of it as a boutique item that can be thrown away just because some corporation’s dot matrix date code says so.
And by the way, I love me some artisanal bacon like a motherfucker, but Shut Up Foodies gives me the heeees!.