Bizarre Foods: Asia
I caught this show on the Travel Channel tonight, right before No Reservations. I know the MSP people know about the show host, he is a food reporter/columnist in the twin cities and he used to be a hard core chef. I quite enjoyed the show. The funniest part was that this guy was able to snarf down pig testicles, fried fruit bats, frog sashimi, a still beating frog heart, fugu, etc. but couldn't take durien. Now, I have had some experience with durien but I don't think the durien is half as bad as some of the junk this guy was able to stomach.
Since I've set No Reservations to start recording about two minutes early, I caught the last few minutes of Bizarre Foods: Asia, in time to witness the host unsuccessfully attempt to eat durian (in stark contrast with Tony in tonight's episode of No Reservations, who happily sucked down what appeared to be copious amounts of fresh durian). Bizarre Foods: Asia looked intriguing enough to set it to record on its next showing which appears to be Saturday afternoon (6/24).
I didn't catch the show but I enjoy following Andrew Zimmern (the host) in his various outlets here in MSP -- Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, his blog "Chow and Again" on that magazine's web site (www.mspmag.com), his cooking classes and radio/TV gigs here. His expertise and competence are apparent and delivered with a no-nonsense style (albeit he can be a goofy oaf sometimes). He brings credibility to, and is an advocate for the MSP dining scene.
Based on his style, I can easily imagine him going on about the intricacies and history of fruit bats, pig testicles, etc. then spitting out a mouthful of durian and loudly proclaiming "gross" with melodramatic facial expression. Thankfully, I think he'll deliver way more substance than style with this show.
Incidentally, his weekly radio show is called "Chowhounds". I know he's familiar with this site, e-gullet and the like.
I saw that show! Guh, it was so embarassing watching him spit out the durian. The worst thing was the durian farmer who was standing right there when he did it. You gotta figure he must've been so stoked to have his show being filmed, and then to have this big American buffoon retch it all up..? Sad.
But Tony did redeem the durian, at least for me. It was his Indonesia show, I think. If durian tastes even remotely like stinky cheese, I'm there.