I should just change my tagline to “The Travel Channel Bitch Blog.”
Recently I’ve mentioned my growing ire for Andrew Zimmern. At first his show, Bizarre Foods, was mildly entertaining. He went to different countries I can’t afford to go to, and ate things that I wouldn’t even dare to put on my plate. It was mindless escape on a weeknight. The theme music was pretty irritating, but that’s why we have a DVR and watch things on a delay (seriously, there’s no need to sit through commercials and bad jingles anymore, friends!).
I’ve always thought Andrew Zimmern was a little oafish and culturally clumsy. Well, maybe not culturally clumsy. He handles his reactions and such correctly, according to the culture of the area he’s in, but… He’s just not smooth. Andrew Zimmern is that kid next door that everyone dared to eat ants or worms or <insert gross item here>. “Hey, it’s not so bad, HA HA!” His food critiques never really helped me at all. If I wanted to watch a fat person eat food and go “MMMMM,” I’d eat in front of a mirror. If you really want to tell me how something is or how it tastes, fucking use some adjectives!
Since Bizarre Foods was such a successful show, I guess Travel Channel decided they needed to inflate Andrew Zimmern’s ego even more and give him a “new” show. Titled Bizarre World. Where he goes… to other places… and does weird things… Sure, there’s less of a spotlight on the food, but, on Bizarre Foods he didn’t just sample foods. He was doing/seeing other things in the places he visited. I guess this is just an overdue name change, maybe?
I just can’t take him anymore. It’s like the show’s name change caused his persona to grow from Bumbling American to Smug Douchebag! I can’t stand watching him go hang out and be a token American in some obscure cultural ceremony and try to stammer out some poor excuse for an intelligent sociological comparison.
Well, yesterday evening I pretty much wrote off the Travel Channel. We were channel surfing around 10PM or so, and the encore of the latest Bizarre World was playing. Yesterday’s exotic destination was Milwaukee. Figuring it had to be so bad it was entertaining, I begrudgingly turned it on. Andrew Zimmern was at some Mexican restaurant/grocery store with a bunch of white people, eating things like tongue, tripe, stomach, etc. All he kept saying was how difficult it was to get a good taste out of these organ meats, and blah blah blah.
WHAT?! Now, I love me some organ meat. Gamey, chewy, sometimes oddly crunchy, and likely plenty for me because no one else is eating it. Seriously though, organ meat really requires no sort of flair or skill to cook. These pieces each have their own flavors, and since they’ve basically been soaking in the animal’s gut juices for their entire existence, it’s really hard to change the flavor. You almost literally CAN’T change the flavor of some offal/organ meats; you place the flavor within a dish that has other, complementing flavors. But first, you boil or roast the ever living shit out of the meat. For hours. Seriously.
If you’re just putting organ meat on a tortilla with some onions and cilantro, how is that skill? Answer: it’s not, you’re just making a god damn taco!
I had to rant about that a bit. But the fact remains that Milwaukee is just not “bizarre.” It’s a sleepy Midwestern city, and most of the inhabitants probably drive down to Chicago if they actually want to have an exciting time (sorry cheeseheads, it’s true). Andrew Zimmern should have just driven down to Chicago, because Milwaukee is watered down Chicago.
Of course I can’t really give an unbiased answer because I turned it off after Andrew started yammering on about the huge Polish population in Milwaukee (uh, hello, CHICAGO?). I’m boycotting the Travel Channel until they put Madventures back on the air… Or Bourdain starts again. I can’t help it, I’m a sucker.