Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern

Season 4 Episode 3

The Outback

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Apr 28, 2009 on Travel Channel

Episode Recap

Andrew has gone to the Australian Outback, praising it for it's unique animals, climate and ecosystem, three things which contribute to its Aborigine way of life. He arrives at the Naiyu Nambiyu community where he meets Steve Sunk, a walkabout guide and chef. Steve reviews the types of things the tribe eats, such as the native plant, turtle and wallaby, a type of kangaroo. The natives are collecting lili seed and find a turtle. Andrew is fearful od crocodiles ans snakes as he participates. The lily shoots found are like asparagus. The Naiyu Nambiyu also discover mallagu turtle and crocodile eggs.
The collecting of food is time consuming. The men hunt for wallaby and cook with fire and no spices. The turtle is cooked in the shell, and bark is used as plates. Andrew compares the turtle entrails to squid or octopus, the wallaby tail to veal and its meat to veal.
Sean Cavanaugh, the local indigenous food expert, takes Andrew up the Stuart Highway to Litchfield Park, a nature preserve. Andrew is not crazy about the heat or the fleas, but he samples green ants and is shown the termite mounds which the natives use to make soup and medicinal treatments. At Wangi Falls, a sacred spot, Sean encourages Andrew to take a swim in the reputedly sacred waters.
Andrew also visits Crocodylus Park where crocodiles are bred and some are taken for their meat and hides. Charlie Manolis, a wildlife expert and croc expert, shows Andrew how to tell the males from the females. The crocodile meat is lean and doesn't need a lot of cooking. Andrew compares it to veal. He also meets Professor Graham Webb, he founder of the park.
Andrew also meets Erin Britton, a Frog Watch coordinator and biologist who studies the cane toad population. Not an indigenous species, they were introduced to wipe out the beetles, but long after the beetles were gone, they survived and prospered. They are poisonous to crocodiles, but their frog legs are a delicacy to humans. Chef Lee Harding, prepares some for Andrew. Much like everything else on the trip, Andrew compares them to something he knows about. He says they taste like chicken.
Andrew mentions that some food in the Outback has been influenced by Asia. One place, The Mindil Beach Market is only open six months out of the year. The food comes from Chinese, Tai, malaysian, and Filipino sources and includes king prawns, shrimp, chili heads and octopus. Dave Mindi, the Mindi beach market manager shows Andrew to the Roadkill Cafe where the menu includes crocodile, opossum, camel and emu, whose meat Andrew calls oily. A local entertainer named Nick the whip shows Andrew how to flail a whip before closing the episode.
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