Taste TV

Historical hunger: Andrew Zimmern chows down on America's early eats

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Andrew Warren / TV Media
Andrew Zimmern as seen in "Bizarre Foods"

Andrew Zimmern as seen in "Bizarre Foods"

Andrew Zimmern sure does get around. The chef is probably one of the more well-traveled TV personalities out there, with his long-running Travel Channel series "Bizarre Foods" taking him around the globe to sample some of the more unusual dishes and cuisines out there.

For the new season (its 21st!), premiering Tuesday, July 25, on Travel Channel, Zimmern stays close to home and sticks with all-American foods. In his cross-country trek, he doesn't just seek out modern cuisine, oh no -- he heads out on an adventure through time, too, and looks for foods that are ripped right out of the nation's history.

In the July 25 season premiere, Zimmern seeks out the history of cowboy culture. With a cowboy hat on his head, he visits a modern-day vaquero, who shares with him a centuries-old dish: the barbacoa, which is a whole cow's head that's slowly roasted until it's perfectly tender.

Sound gross? Not for Zimmern, who's not averse to trying -- and usually enjoying -- any food, no matter how off-putting it may be to our modern sensibilities. That becomes apparent later in the same episode, when he chows down on an old-fashioned chuckwagon stew made of calf heart, stomach, liver, tongue and marrow.

Later this season, the four-time James Beard Award-winning chef and TV host retraces Paul Revere's legendary ride, cruises down the Mississippi and recreates legendary pioneer Daniel Boone's famous journey. Every step of the way, he mixes history with modernity, with a special focus on the foods that were enjoyed as America was built.

This is far from the first time that "Bizarre Foods" has stayed home. Seasons 7 through 12 even had the title "Bizarre Foods America," and the last season, which aired earlier this year, also stayed in the United States. It just goes to show that in a country as large and diverse as this one, there's always more tasty -- and bizarre -- foods to be discovered. "Bizarre Foods" returns for season 21, premiering Tuesday, July 25, on Travel Channel.