Publication date December 12, 2023

5 Bizarre Food Even Andrew Zimmern Wouldn’t Dare Try!

I have been a fan of Andrew Zimmern for years. And after watching all the 13 seasons of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern some of us might think there is no food in this world that Andrew Zimmern would pass up. He will eat almost anything, well apart from some that he knows will make him sick. Throughout the 13 seasons of Bizzare Foods with Andrew Zimmern, he has trotted the globe in search of different dishes that most of us have never heard of and many of us might find disgusting.

But that is exactly why the show was great, no one wanted to miss a chance to see this former chef eat “exotic” food. And boy oh boy have we seen some crazy episodes, whether it’s him eating porcupine in Botswana, puffin in Iceland, goat brains in India, or crocodile in Australia. The people loved the show and that led to two spin-offs named “Bizarre Foods America” and “Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World”.

But Bizarre Foods was never about food, it was about the people. For 13 seasons, Andrew Zimmern travelled the world to shed light on people from different parts of the globe, their cultures, their lifestyles, and what they ate. Andrew Zimmern was on a mission to find out what the rest of the world put on their plate. And in that journey, the former chef found more than a few things that he could not digest and some dishes that he fell in love with. So out of so many what are those dishes, even Andrew Zimmern could not stomach? Lucky for you we have a list of 5 bizarre foods even Andrew Zimmern won’t eat.

Surstromming in Sweden

Surstromming in Sweden

Source: Fox News

Surstromming is Swedish for “sour herring”, it’s a Baltic sea herring that is lightly salted and then fermented. Surstromming has been a Swedish delicacy since the 16th century. But Zimmern would not try this Swedish delicacy because of its strong smell. When Andrew opened up the can of Surstromming, his whole crew had to cover their noses. But Zimmern was aware of this stinky delicacy from his visit to Stockholm and Cypress. Even further in an interview with the Michigan Avenue magazine, Zimmern stated,” The smell is comparable to the worst dumpster juice you can imagine with a little mermaid aroma thrown on top.”

Rotten tofu from Dai’s “House of Unique Stink”

Rotten tofu from Dai’s “House of Unique Stink”

Source: Saigoneer

Dai’s House of Unique Stink is one of Taipei’s most popular and rancid-smelling restaurants. Stinky tofu has been Taiwan's most popular snack for decades now and Dai’s House of Unique Stink specializes in stinky tofu. The tofu in question here, which had Andrew Zimmern’s number, is prepared by submerging the tofu in a bacterial sludge for many weeks. Andrew Zimmern in an interview with The Daily Mail described the smell of the tofu as “the bottom of a dumpster at the end of summer”. Well, I may have never smelled those tofus but Andrew’s words painted quite a vivid picture. 

Bamboo rats: Straight outta Thailand

Bamboo rats grilled in Thailand

Source: Anew Traveller

Many people eat bamboo rats in Asia. And while visiting northeastern Thailand Andrew had his first encounter with bamboo rats. In season 4 of “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” he had traveled to Isan and in search of rural Thai food went to a highway jungle market. There for the first time, Andrew saw a bamboo rat wrapped in plastic but it looked eerie as the animal was intact from ears to tail. But after being salt and grilled, Andrew was all game to try the bamboo rat, but that was not the end of the episode. As soon as he split the rat open, the smell of the rat’s innards stank up the whole market. Yes, even Andrew Zimmern would not dare eat it again.

Rotten chicken innards are a big NO! NO!

rotten chicken innards

Source: TripAdvisor

We all might think Zimmern would eat anything, after all, we all have seen him eat so much disgusting and weird stuff. But there are also rare instances where he has refused to eat. One of these instances occurred when he was served rotten chicken innards. At first, he was willing to try the dish as he was in someone’s home where it was served. But as soon as he saw the dish, he decided to ditch his manners and refused to eat it. He saw there were different coloured spots on the intestines, which was an indication that the chicken was diseased. It would be a big risk to his health if he would have eaten those innards.

Hakarl from Iceland!

Hakarl is the national dish of Iceland and translates to “fermented shark”. Greenland sharks or any other sleeper sharks are cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months. Andrew tried this Icelandic delicacy and immediately said he didn't like it. He told The Daily Meal it was one of the worst things he tried and it smelled rancid, and he would never try this dish again.

6.  Durian Fruit, Indonesia

 Durian Fruit, Indonesia

Durian is a fruit that grows especially in Indonesia and is the most bizarre food for Zimmern as he had a hard time eating. In Southeast Asia, it’s a famous snack and is the “king of fruits.” This fruit is also known to be huge, like a volleyball but heavier. It’s even horrifying to cut apart, as it is fully covered all around in green-brown thorns that are so pointy that they could pierce your skin. And when Zimmern tried it, he instantly said, "I just don’t like it. But if you can get past the threatening exterior and the harsh smell, you might end up loving the fruit."

7.  Local Water

Yes, you heard it right! It's just the water but Andrew Zimmern never dared to try it because the local water of some areas makes him sick. We all know the phrase, “Don’t drink the water” when traveling to foreign places. In North America, water is relatively clean and many people trust tap water rather than bottled water. Surprisingly the city has the best water supply is New York. So, Zimmern stays away from the local waters to drink. He says he'll eat anything if he has to, but the water makes him sick, so he's going to stay away from it.

8. Walnuts


You may wonder that loaded with carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins, walnuts are one of the favorite superfoods, so why is it on the list of Bizarre foods? According to TMZ, compared to the many types of animal genitals Andrew Zimmern has eaten, a distaste for walnuts seems somewhat absurd. He claims in his tweet that walnuts taste like soap to him and in fact, in several interviews including People, he stated that he hates these ubiquitous nuts. 

Would you like to try any of these dishes? Comment down below!

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Is there any food that Andrew Zimmern doesn t like?

In 2017, in his Twitter post, Andrew Zimmern revealed that he doesn’t like walnuts, raw cookie dough, and hot oatmeal, saying "Won't eat 'em, can't stand 'em," he also added this in an interview with People.

Q. Does Andrew Zimmern own any restaurants?

Andrew Zimmern opened and operated many restaurants throughout his career, including Lucky Cricket, Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen & Market, and Cantine. Aside from running these restaurants, he’s an author, columnist and, owns a production company called Intuitive Content, and has been sober for 30 years. Andrew is widely known for hosting Travel Channel's “Bizarre Foods,” and he most recently hosted MSNBC's “What's Eating America.”

Q. Why did Andrew Zimmern become a chef?

From a very young age, Andrew knew he wanted a career in food. After attending The Dalton School and Vassar College, Andrew cooked in New York City restaurants for Anne Rosenzweig, Joachim Splichal, and Thomas Keller, amongst others.

Q. How did Andrew Zimmern get his start?

Andrew began his formal culinary training at the age of 14. He did his first job at a restaurant, The Quiet Clam in East Hampton, Long Island. He later attended the Dalton School and graduated from Vassar College. Andrew worked at multiple fine dining restaurants in New York as either executive chef or general manager.

Q. Where can I watch Andrew Zimmern?

You can stream Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on Discovery+. 

Q. What is the weirdest food in the world?

Watermelon with feta cheese also known as watermelon and feta salad is the weirdest food in the world. 

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