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The Best Thing Jim Gaffigan Ate For His Pale Tourist Series - Exclusive

Calling Jim Gaffigan an "adventurous" eater might be an understatement. The father of five has described vacations as, "Just us eating in a place we've never been." So willing is Gaffigan to taste just about anything that he's now starring in a new Amazon stand-up comedy series, Jim Gaffigan: The Pale Tourist, in which he eats his way through Canada and Spain. Nothing is off the menu — not a cocktail flavored with clam water, a kale poutine smoothie, or even the intriguingly named "tiger nuts." Gaffigan even ate a Canadian meat dish called donair, which seemed to have the same gastrointestinal impact on him as Hot Pockets, the microwave snack this Emmy Award-winning comic is most famous for joking about.

Of all of the international delicacies Gaffigan sampled, which did he enjoy the most? In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Gaffigan revealed which country had better food — Canada or Spain — and what was his absolute favorite dish abroad.

Why Jim Gaffigan says 'ole' to Spanish cuisine and 'eh' to food from O Canada

While of course an admitted junk food lover like Gaffigan would enjoy Canadian treats like poutine — which, if you haven't had it, is essentially French fries loaded with gravy and other artery cloggers — he said Spain is a food lover's paradise. "Well, poutine is pretty amazing, and donair is amazing. I mean, I love Canada, but Canada has much more of British roots," Gaffigan explained. "But I would say, yeah, the Spanish food, there's something about, even like gazpacho, or some vegetable stuff in Spain is just amazing. And the tapas are really amazing. It's just like having appetizers!"

Even seemingly mundane beverages were better in Spain, Gaffigan added. "That [milk] drink that I drink in Valencia, which is not non-dairy, was far more refreshing than a glass of milk [here]," he said.

It wasn't just the way the food tasted in Spain that made it so delicious, Gaffigan added. "It's also the cultural experience of ordering, and paella itself is a dish that takes a while to cook." Coming from a country known for fast food, Gaffigan poked fun at the concept of waiting for hours for this entree in his routine, but Gaffigan said, all joking aside, American tourists likely would find this dish worth the wait. "I think where there's alcohol, there's patience," he added.

Gaffigan's favorite food from 'The Pale Tourist' series was jamon

After tasting every treat both Canada and Spain had to offer, Gaffigan has determined that the best food from his The Pale Tourist series was also the simplest: jamón, or as we say in the United States: ham. "It's just ham, but it's different from ours, you know?" Gaffigan added. "And just as bacon is different in different countries."

Might Gaffigan's love of jamón have been foretold by his favorite childhood food? The comic admitted he sometimes pines nostalgically for bologna, which, like jamón, comes from pork (although much less elegantly). " I would say bologna... feels like childhood," Gaffigan said.  

Still, maybe it's possible to have too much of a good thing: Gaffigan said that after eating jamón every chance he could while he was traveling, he hasn't touched the stuff since he returned home to New York City. "I ate so much jamón in Spain, that I needed a break from it, anyway," he explained.

Watch Jim Gaffigan: The Pale Tourist on Amazon Prime starting July 24, 2020.