This Was The Mission Of Bizarre Foods, According To Andrew Zimmern

If you've spent any time watching the Travel Channel, you've probably seen an episode or two of "Bizarre Foods," hosted by Andrew Zimmern. Over the course of the show's 12-year run, Zimmern visited countless countries to try local cuisine. We watched him try all sorts of strange things, from cow urine to dung beetles to a fermented sheep's head (via The Daily Meal). He ate grubs in Peru, boiled duck embryos in the Philippines, and devoured palolo worms in Samoa. He even tried some 3000-year-old butter in Ireland, which was among some of the absolute worst things featured on the show.

Clearly, most viewers have concluded that Zimmern will try just about anything. And while this may be pretty close to the truth, it isn't the idea he originally wanted to get across. Sure, the show was entertaining and gross in a can't-look-away kind of way, but Zimmern had very different intentions from the very beginning. In fact, he didn't even like the name of the show and has since spoken out about it.

'Bizarre Foods' was about more than just strange cuisine but about our similiarities

In an interview with Men's Health, host Andrew Zimmern talked about how "Bizarre Foods" didn't quite have the impact he had anticipated. Most people saw it as "a show about a fat white guy that goes around the world and eats bugs," he said. "That wasn't what I intended it to be."

Zimmern's vision was far different. In part because of his previous struggles with substance abuse, Zimmern wanted "Bizarre Foods" to be about more than just food. As he told Men's Health, "It was a vehicle for me to preach about patience, tolerance, and understanding. I created that show in recovery rooms. The mission was to show people how much we have in common."

He also took issue with the name "Bizarre Foods" as he thought it gave the impression that cultures other than American were strange, which wasn't at all the message he wanted to convey. Rather, Zimmern wanted to use "a freshly cooked meal" to show viewers around the world just how similar we all are (via Mental Floss).