In his new book, Andrew Zimmern's Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild, and Wonderful Foods, out on October 30, the Bizarre Foods host and F&W contributing editor shares interesting facts and kid-friendly anecdotes on edibles that range from bats and wildebeests to familiar foods like foie gras and hot dogs.
The amusing excerpt below, for example, explains why most of us have eaten buttholes.
By Andrew Zimmern
At least several times a year the following passion play ensues.
THE SCENE: I am with my son sitting in our seats at the Twins game at Target Field in Minneapolis.
FAN (walks up or down steps, eating a hot dog as he goes, notices us, and stops): Hey, you’re Andrew Zimmern. How do you stomach eating some of that stuff I see you chowing down on every week on Bizarre Foods? That stuff in Africa was so gross, what was that? Grilled porcupine? Or that meat in Thailand, was that a rodent? Ugh.
ME: Well, sir, that’s kind of ironic. The hot dog you are eating is made of chlorinated ammonia– rinsed animal parts of unknown origin, bought at auction, shipped out of country in many cases, liquidized and cleansed, and shipped back here. It’s made Hot Dogs into sausages and contains parts of animals that many of us feel are unsafe to eat on any terms. Need further proof that commercially prepared dogs are strange? Our government has laws that prevent you and me from even checking out the facilities they are made in or knowing what’s in them!
What’s the old adage, “no one wants to see how laws or hot dogs are made”? Well, I want to see that! And I think you should also. At least when I eat porcupine in Botswana and rice field rats in Thailand I know that the meat is fresh and unadulterated and where it comes from. I would ask you, sir, to be more open-minded. The hot dog you hold in your hand is all fat, lips, and buttholes. Enjoy!
Reprinted with permission from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group ©2012 Andrew Zimmern