Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern

Season 3 Episode 2


Aired Monday 10:00 PM Sep 16, 2008 on Travel Channel

Episode Recap

Andrew is in Sicily at the tip of the boot-shaped country of Italy where he charmed by the Mediterranean culture. The island is autonomous with Italy, and Andrew travels by motorbike to the Mercado Ballero market where he meets Chiara Scharamaglia where they tour and peruse blood oranges, almonds, olives and tomatoes, fruits and vegetables each brought to the island by a separate invader. Andrew comments that Sicilian cooks use their own herbs in dishes around raw brains, lamb head's and cow stomach made into a dish called quaruma or soup of intestines. At the edge of the meat market, Andrew tries frittola, a mystery meat kept secret in a sandwich. Along the Porta Carbone, Andrew samples cow spleen sandwiches which come with and without cheese, sliced and boiled in lard.
Andrew is then off to Palermo for its rich history and architecture. He remarks the natives have a passion for food, and the best place for it is the Tattorio Ferrero del Carrio. The restaurant turns food out of weird combinations, such as raisins in sardine meatballs and a topping called caponata, relish out of eggplant and peppers. Another location, the Osteria del Vesperi is in a former private home. It is most expensive with reservations made far in advance. Albert Rizzo, the owner and head chef, welcomes Andrew for a dish of cow's mouth – the tongue, nerves and cheeks with salsa, aspic and celery. Andrew calls it "Italian Grandmother Food," simple street food remade by the hands of a master.
In Cerda, Andrew comments on the glorious orchards and gardens. The city is the home of the artichoke which is numerous dishes and celebrated every April in a festival. Lucca Luechesi, a resident, invites Andrew to the festival to try a few shooting games before heading to Nasca's Artichoke Restaurant owned and run by his family. Artichokes are served here fried, roasted, cold in dill and made in a frittata. At Antonio's Extrabar, Andrew has artichoke ice cream on a bun.
Onward to Via Grande once conquered by the Gaels, Andrew observes Mount Etna which once wiped out part of the island and whose lava makes the ground fertile for planting. Chef Eleonora Consoli teaches cooking in her home and shows Andrew how she turns rabbit into chocolate rabbit with a sauce of olive oil, onions, carrots and celery with crushed bay leaf and fennel. The dish is fried in a pan. Andrew gives her a part of the cheek she has never sampled. Dessert is a cinnamon pudding.
Andrew reflects on the importance of the city of Siracusa in Plato's time, but it's now a sleepy harbor town. The nearby fishing village of Marzamemi is where Andrew meets up with tour guide Renee Restivo to join up with fishing boat captain Corrado Barone. Out on his boat, they catch sepia, also known as cuttlefish. Andrew is shocked by the voltage in a flatfish. Barone cooks up the catch for Andrew at his home. Andrew is briefly off to the Campiso Processing center to meet Salvatore Campiso, the owner. His company processes and ships tuna along with botango (tune eggs), tuna heart dried for eating and lattume (tuna sperm) which has a sweet taste.
Andrew by now is back to Barone's home for dinner. His wife, Consuela has prepared fish and sea snail with lemon and olives. The sea snail is grilled and eaten out of their eggs. The sepia is eaten whole. Andrew also tries a 1000-year egg among sepia in its own ink and tuna heart with tomatoes, herbs and onions. Andrew gives Corrado a gift of a pocketknife and finally tries boiled and salted lattume which he remarks is spongy. After eating for an hour and a half with more coming, Andrew has to surrender.
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