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Andrew Zimmern: “Bizarre Foods” had a cultural insensitivity problem

Andrew Zimmern: “Bizarre Foods” had a cultural insensitivity problem

It’s always strange to interview the interviewer. But Andrew Zimmern, the creator and host of Bizarre Foods, was a willing subject during the day we spent together at the Minnesota State Fair last Labor Day weekend.

Over countless sausages and loose meat amalgamations–plus one potentially radioactive ice cream sandwich wrapped in cotton candy–I asked him about everything from battling alcohol and drug addiction during his cooking career, to the exoticism of the early days of his show, to opening his new restaurant–Lucky Cricket–which opened this week. Zimmern was remarkably frank about his own cultural insensitivity in the first seasons of his show, but he contends that it can be his place, as a white guy in the middle of Minnesota, to bring Chinese food to Middle America.

We condensed the interview, filmed over the course of six hours, into 14 minutes. Watch it on your lunch break.

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