Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern

Season 4 Episode 8


Aired Monday 10:00 PM Jun 02, 2009 on Travel Channel

Episode Recap

Nicaragua was shaped by Spanish invaders, indigenous tribes and escaped Africans, and Andrew finds all traces of their cultures in the local cuisine. He travels to a city in the shadow of the Masaya volcano and stops over at Gaby Baca Vaughn to meet guitar craftsman, Sergio Zapada, for a trip through the town center where food is informal and cheap. He experiences chanfina made from all the parts of the pig. Andrew even feels the hairs as he tries it. He also has iguana eggs, even shown how to take out the shell, but as Andrew discovers, they are an acquired taste.
Out to the small town of La Trinadad, Andrew experiences raw bull balls in seviche, armadillo and boa constrictor cooked over an open fire. Josh Berman, a guide book author, lets it be known that boas are domesticated for consumption and served with armadillo. Because of the bones, they are best eaten by the fingers.
Andrew now takes the bus from Managua to Matagalpa along the Pan-American Highway. Fast food is available along the way and it is brought to the passenger. Alex Cuadra, his traveling companion, introduces him to a tropical fruit called jocote, cornbread, drinks in bags, fried pork skin and yucca from local farms.
German immigrants in Malagalpa raise high-end gourmet coffee beans in the area. Andrew meets Julio Obregon, a quality control chief at one of the farms for a lesson in coffee quality. It's a matter of smell before taste before Andrew even gets to the coffee-tasting part. Four hundred pounds are sold a season which adds to how much in demand it is.
Andrew next turns up on the Ausquito Coast, once a home for pirates and escaped slaves, but now conquered by the descendants of Mosquito traders and escaped Creole slaves. Tour guide Kenny Sui takes Andrew to meet spiritualist herbalist Celso Francia for a spiritual cleansing passed down by Mosquito Indians using spells of ginseng and garlic. It's then for Edna Cayasso Burns, a cook and storyteller, to provide a dinner of rice and beans, rundun made from coconut milk and wari meat, cassava pop and seaweed pop. In this case, pop is really a type of smoothie. Andrew also has a dried seaweed drink he hears is good enough to raise the dead.
Andrew is next off to the Casa San Francisco in Granada founded by the Spaniards. He meets Dana Remedios, the manager of the Casa San Francisco, Gloria Ordonez of the Ministry of Tourism and Octavio Gomez, a chef. Dinner consists of roasted iguana with sour orange and Nicaraguan cilantro and a cheese and fruit plate. The cheese has a smell like Limburger and tastes like Camembert. It's only available in Nicaragua, but it's unique for having live maggots in it. Andrew says it smells bad, but it doesn't tastes bad, even going so far as sharing it with another table, then revealing the maggots.