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The Bizarre Truth: How I Walked Out the Door Mouth First . . . and Came Back Shaking My Head Hardcover – September 8, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Host of his own Travel Channel show, chef and food writer Zimmern has made a career of unusual travel destinations and even more unusual food. In this memoir of his exotic experiences, Zimmern shares his favorite experiences as well as his broad-mined approach to the world. From illegal lobsters in Cuba to roasted bats in Samoa to a simple bowl of noodles in Guangzhou, China, Zimmern lets his gusto be his guide, resulting in a passionate but messy read. While he helpfully avoids overloading readers with shock after shock (knowingly referring to himself as "a guy who eats bugs"), he's seemingly uncertain whether to organize his stories by theme or location, leading to repetition nonetheless. Popular ecological themes-sustainable food production, neutral carbon footprints, local ingredients-wend throughout, but the tantalizing focus is Zimmern's unrelentingly positive methods of travel and immersion, emphasizing keystone values like graciousness, open-mindedness and leaving assumptions behind while stirring readers' appetite for adventure.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Andrew Zimmern is a food writer, dining critic, chef, and co-creator, host, and co-producer of Travel Channel series Bizarre Foods and Bizarre Worlds with Andrew Zimmern. Zimmern is the founder and editor in chief of www.andrewzimmern.com, writes monthly for Delta Sky Magazine and Minneapolis-St Paul Magazine and lives in Minneapolis with his wife and son.
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Top Customer Reviews
charming, funny and lively self as he takes us through food and cultural adventures from Uganda to Iceland. Andrew's most memorable experiences come not just from food but through sharing cultural experiences via food. Here he gives us details of some of his most emotionally charged moments on the cultural food trail. Particularly moving is his description of the trance state entered by the bushmen of the Kalihari as they lay hands on Andrew and bring him into contact with a deep part of his soul.
Also interesting are the moments of great danger that Andrew puts himself in on his adventures, something not seen on the show. Not all the food encountered in the book is of the bizarre kind. There is a memorable chapter where Andrew eats his way through the gastronomic delights of Paris. One segment in the book did bother me greatly and it didn't involve yucky food. Andrew visits a healer in Ecuador where he is instructed to bring along a live guinea pig. As part of the ceremony the healer beats the guinea pig to death against Andrew's body. While I accept many moments of animal cruelty in the book realizing most of the people Andrew encounters are very poor and must eat, this episode of gratuitous cruelty was stomach churning and didn't seem to bother Andrew at all. After its death the poor guinea is tossed on a pile of cigarette butts on the floor. Still Andrew's message in the show as well as in the book is that through food sharing comes cultural understanding and respect and caring for one's fellow man.
The one question that I've always wanted to know, however, was not answered in the book. Has Andrew ever become ill after eating some of these crazy foods?