Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern

Season 4 Episode 4


Aired Monday 10:00 PM May 05, 2009 on Travel Channel

Episode Recap

Andrew is in the woods and mountains of Appalachia near West Virginia. In this isolated culture, the resident eat what they hunt and collect, and in Cass County, West Virginia, squirrel-hunting is very popular. Andrew is not very good at the shooting part, but squirrel-hunter Larry Holsen bags him one. It's then off to Brian Ball to prepare the meat at the Ember Restaurant at the Snowshoe Resort. Andrew tries the meat, comparing it to chicken, and the squirrel brain. He's excited that the meat is fried in bacon fat for the extra flavor. He gets roasted squirrel with cog au vin for a taste between duck and pork. Along the way, he samples genuine Appalachian moonshine.
In Helvetia, a region settled by Swiss immgrants, Andrew heads to the Hutte Restaurant to meet Eleanor Maillor. He has a pfeffernusse cookie which is made with pepper, sugar and flour. Joined by her grandsons, Willie and Ben, Andrew is treated to roasted deer which has been hoisted by chains and cooked by fire. It's stuffed with vegetable, butter and bacon. Andrew also samples its heart, liver and tongue. He also has a bollyflade, a sweet quiche from eggs, milk, nutmeg and onions along with mountains apples.
Andrew is then off to the Shelby Liver Mush Festival in North Carolina for liver and pighead parts with cornmeal. He compares it with fried liverwurst. Irwin Price of the Ora Market is a mush maker and takes Andrew through the process, allowing Andrew to sample the product again, adding most people have it with mustard, mayo or jelly. Andrew also meets Joe edwards, the ice cream maker.
Off to the Qually Reservation near Cherokee, North Carolina, Andrew reveals the natives here have a cuisine based on brook trout, nuts and berries, sumac, deer and wild sochon. Joanne Sue Meyers, the tribal leader, introduces him to venison and beer meat which tastes gamey from the fat. He has chestnut bread and fatback. Andrew joins her family for blow darts in the backyard in a family gathering in the Cherokee tradition. The sochon is like spinach, and the trout is served with sumac.
On to Asheville, Andrew gathers chestnuts and wasp larvae with Alan Muskat, "The Mushroom Man." It's then off to the Biltmore Estate for foraging on the grounds for honey mushrooms. At the Market Place restaurant, it's time for ox-tongue mushrooms and chaga mushrooms made into a coffee-like drink. Joined by friends Justin and Michelle, Andrew has pickled beef steak, hen-of-the-woods and honey mushroom with rabbit served with mushroom coffee.
In his last stops, Andrew turns up at the Pittman Center near Gatlinburg, tennessee for raccoon meat in barbecue sauce. He also samples opossum meat with potatoes. Ruth Miller, his host, a local historian, invites him to sample the raccoon brain which tastes a bit chewy and the opossum brain which has a more gritty taste to it. Andrew also meets Robin McCoy, a descendant of the family from the famous Hatfield-McCoy feud. In closing, Andrew says his visit was like living in a time warp filled with bluegrass and mountain music, a very special place to be.