Misha Collins Reveals How He And The Roadfood Team Differ From Anthony Bourdain's Early Work - Exclusive

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"Supernatural" alum Misha Collins may love acting, but his love for food is also no secret. Collins co-wrote the cookbook "The Adventurous Eaters Club: Mastering the Art of Family Mealtime" with wife Vicki Collins and began a YouTube series with his son called "Cooking Fast and Fresh With West." Suffice to say, the star has sufficiently cemented himself just as much in the world of food over the years. 

So, it was only natural that his next venture would involve cuisine, making him an obvious choice to host the new PBS series "Roadfood." During each episode, Collins travels across the country to find the most innovative and cultural dishes the United States has to offer. At the same time, he talks to community leaders to discuss the cultural issues faced in the places he visits.

Though it may sound similar to shows like "Parts Unknown," during an exclusive interview with Mashed, Collins revealed why he and the "Roadfood" team went in a different direction from Anthony Bourdain's early work. Collins also dished on the most surprising dish he ate while filming the series.

The 'Roadfood' team has a mission to avoid 'stunt journalism'

For filming "Roadfood," the idea is to stick to the straight and narrow of cultural food, while still finding unique angles. "One of the things that we talked about when we were conceiving of the show was, we don't want to do 'stunt journalism eating' on this," Misha Collins shared with Mashed. Of course, the production team is certainly along for the ride when opportunities present themselves, though they don't necessarily seek out the strange and bizarre. "We're not seeking out the weirdest, or the grossest of exotic foods like Anthony Bourdain did in his early work. We're not going to go get the venom out of snakes and make it into a drink or whatever." Collins then gave an example of the most surprising dish he can recall eating on the show. "We did Barbacoa without the intention of making it a sensationalized, disgusting display." 

He added that Barbacoa was something that he had heard of, being told it was "basically roasted cow's head, somewhere between a slow roast and a barbecue, I guess." (In fact, when it comes to Barbacoa meat, every part of the animal is a commodity). As Collins further explained, "I had seen Barbacoa on menus, but I didn't know that all of the meat surrounding the head was consumed: The tongue, the cheeks, the jowls, and most notably the eyes."

The time Collins had to eat eye tacos

Eye tacos certainly aren't exactly offered at your local Taco Bell, but they're considered quite a delicacy, as Misha Collins recalled. "Nonetheless, when push came to shove, and an eyeball was proffered to me on a taco, I felt compelled to try it," he said. "It was conceptually difficult to eat an eye, and the texture was quite eye-ish. That was surprising. I am cringing just a little bit right now. It's not something I'm eager to go back for."

As it turns out, though, the eyes are one of the most sought after parts of the cow, he learned. "The thing that was surprising to me too, [the] place where [we had] Barbacoa, it's a restaurant in Brownsville, Texas. They have a sign on the door that says ... in Spanish, 'We don't have eyes. That's because the eyes are the first thing to go," Collins said, adding, "Every time they take a head out of the fire pit, everyone lines up to get the eyes. They have a shortlist of VIP regular customers that already have dibs on all the eyes, so don't bother showing up to [their] place, asking for eyes, because they're already gone."

The first season of "Roadfood" is now available on PBS Passport and episodes drop Saturdays on the PBS Living Channel on Prime Video.