Andrew Zimmern is a freak. A food freak that is. The host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods America wore a broad smile during his trip to Miami's Little Havana, South Beach and more.
Bizarre Foods America's Zimmern was in a foxy mood checking out the beautiful people and the exotic foods put before him during the show's trip to Miami.
He was unable to contain his glee while tasting seafood and sweet treats. He had the unbridled excitement of a child at an amusement park as he went along for a ride with the top crab fishermen in the area.
Stone crab dismemberment: Crab nirvana is how Zimmern described the stone crabs available in Miami. Joe's Stone Crabs restaurant is the mecca for the dish. Keys Fisheries in Marathon Key, Florida is the sole supplier for Joe's. They also supply the product worldwide and Andrew decided that he would tag along on a daily crab catch.
Turns out that it's the claw, not the crab that is the catch. Viewers watched as Bizarre Foods' host Zimmern learned to pull the claws from the crab's body and throw the body back into the ocean. Claws are regenerated so one crab can provide more than one meal's worth of pleasure. It only takes six weeks to do so. "Terminator 2" anyone? There are some rules however. A crab's claw must measure no less than two and three-quarter inches from elbow to tip.
Ice cream served by bodacious babes. The Aphrodisiac Ice Cream Truck is naughty fun, as scoops of ice cream are served by scantily clad, curvy women in stilettos. They also stand on top of the truck swaying to the music that is always playing. "Talking about how good the ice cream is here at the Aphrodisiac is like talking about how good the wings are at Hooters," Andrew shares. We get the point.
Pig slaughter for "pure porcine pleasure". Andrew and Cuban American business owner Roberto Guerra got ready to roast a pig for a scrumptious traditional Cuban meal by picking out the right animal.
Off they went to the only licensed slaughterhouse in the area where it's a five-minute wait from pointing to your choice until it is loaded in your vehicle ready to cook. Zimmern told his host that despite him waiting for what he knows is a mouth watering treat, he feels, "...a little guilty. Just a bit."
What Guerra demonstrated for Zimmern is a patented roasting process with a product named La Caja China, a metal-lined cooking box. The pig is injected and rubbed down with seasoning, loaded into the box, with charcoal briquettes on top of a metal shelf. Coals are ignited and four hours later a fully cooked pig emerges.
The result is crispy pig skin, which for Cubans is apparently a must. The best part for Andrew? The brains that tasted like "crushed gravel that evaporated over the top of my tongue." Whatever floats his boat I guess.
Over-the-top food scene: "Miami is a city built on excess and irony," the show's host said as he visited a place that gives excess new meaning. At Prime 112, the foodie held in his hand a hot dog unlike any other. "Fourteen ounces and twelve inches of smoked, grilled swinging meat," he says with a barely repressed grin. It's made of Kobe beef.
Red, another restaurant catering to those for whom money is no object serves a 64 ounce portion of dry-aged Angus, tomahawk style rib eye steak, served on the bone to give it that Flintstones feeling. All for the low, low price of $465.00 For surf and turf, add a six-foot Alaskan King crab for a measly $299.
Andrew spent copious amounts of time in Little Havana and attended a native Nicaraguan festival known more for its food than for the religious purpose of the holiday that celebrates the Virgin Mary. It was a night to remember.
Bizarre Foods America airs new episodes each Monday night at 9:00 p.m. ET on the Travel Channel with replays on its website and at various times during the week. Image: Wikimedia Commons/Diana