EXCLUSIVE: Bizarre Foods Host Andrew Zimmern Will Never Eat Cookie Dough But 'Loves Fermented Walrus Anus'
“I can’t eat walnuts,” Zimmern tells PEOPLE. “Won’t eat ‘em, can’t stand ‘em. Raw cookie dough. Won’t eat it. Can’t stand it. Oatmeal. Won’t eat, can’t stand it. I love fermented walrus anus, so I get to not like some things.”
And despite his extensive travels both on and off his show, the celebrity chef still has one country he’s yet to cross off his bucket list. “Every year I’m like, ‘So why the f— aren’t we going to Poland this year?’,” he says. “Still haven’t been there. Amazing stories there.”
For the 10th season of Bizarre Foods, which premieres Tuesday (June 21) at 9 p.m. ET on Travel Channel, Zimmern reflects on how the show has evolved over the years. “The shock value part was not a piece of this show when I birthed it,” he claims. “I went in to try to sell a show with a broader message. The head of the network at the time said, ‘That’s a PBS show and you’ll have 1 season.'”
That message, it seems, is simple: Eat local when possible, be informed, and keep an open mind. “Food is food and the more that we broaden our food choices, the healthier our planet’s gonna be. Eating from a restricted buffet line is killing us health-wise, economically, every which way.”
WATCH THIS: Andrew Zimmern Gives Us a Taste of His World
Part of his philosophy includes expanding upon the foods we find socially acceptable — and breaking past taboos. “For some reason, in this country, people won’t eat horse — which angers me because it’s a wonderful meat that the rest of the world does eat. But if people in America have a problem with horse, fine. Let’s do donkey. We should be eating healthier meat — animals that can be raised and quickly pastured. Donkey and horse are lower in fat and much better for you than beef or lamb or pig.”
After a decade on air, Zimmern finally feels settled in to the role he’s always wanted to play. “Every year I try to make it more impactful in the ways in which I think people will tolerate it,” he says. “The show we’re making now is what I went in to sell.”