‘Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World’ Premieres Tonight—He Goes to Cuba

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  09.01.09 | 4:58 PM ET

Andrew Zimmern’s Travel Channel series “Bizarre Foods” has evolved into Bizarre World, and it debuts tonight at 10 E/P. The first show goes where few American travel shows have gone recently: Cuba. Judging from the description of the show, it would seem that bizarre foods still have a place in “Bizarre World”:

Andrew participates in the Santeria ritual that leaves him covered in blood. He devours the biggest tree rats he’s ever seen, and he discovers how to grow world-class tobacco.

10 Comments for ‘Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World’ Premieres Tonight—He Goes to Cuba

JL Pitt 09.01.09 | 10:40 PM ET

Zimmern lost me tonight…He used to be one of my favorites, but he has gotten weird….Santeria is dark and not appropriate.  Get back to Bizzare Foods and let me know so I can watch again.  I wasn’t too crazy about him in devil paint either…..somehow the fun of the program has been lost.

At 09.02.09 | 9:49 AM ET

The show was produced with respect to both parts Cubans and the people watching the show. If you want to produce a show about the world, you have to show their culture the way it is, you can’t sugar coat life. Andrew did a great job, he showed respect and compassion. Are a lot of things in our American culture that other people donít like about, but they respect it any way.  I see this show as an educational one, and I loved it! I think the only way we learn to respect other cultures is by learning about them. Have you seen the show TABBU? Is the same concept.
Good job the show producers and to Andrew!

AS 09.02.09 | 11:57 AM ET

As a Cuban I was very disappointed to see the land I Ieft behind in 1965 so run down. It was sad to see people having to eat tree rats and not being allowed by the goverment to go out on a boat and fish for fear that they would leave. Mr. Zimmerman glosses over why things are the way they are and thus became a propaganda tool for the goverment’s tourism board.

AreaMan 09.02.09 | 12:05 PM ET

I wonder if Mr. Zimmerman would have gone to South Africa when apartheid was the order of the day?

Or maybe he could have gone to Cambodia in the late 70’s, probably no waiting to get a table at a restaurant.

But, hey Andrew all that is ancient history…if “Bizzare” is what’s on the menu how about a trip to Darfur? Or North Korea?  Plenty of bizarre in those places.
What, do you think it would be wrong to show a bald headed stooge living it up while thousands are starved, raped, imprisoned or tortured?
But Cuba is okay because idiots like Zimmerman think it is a quaint little island stuck in 1959 instead of the brutal police state that it really is.

You suck Zimmerman

Lourdes Chu 09.02.09 | 12:37 PM ET

I enjoyed the show from the standpoint that I get a glimpse of the island where my parents were born, yet I refuse to visit for the same reasons that the previous writer, AreaMan, describes. I’ve been a big fan of Andrew, but Mr. Zimmern, like so many other naive americans, doesn’t understand that the Cuban people have been subjugated to this third world lifestyle for too long. If only they knew how well their puertorrican brothers have it, just because they live under the protection of the American flag. The Cuban people deserve better.

Leo R. 09.02.09 | 3:12 PM ET

You know, I’ve been living in the United Stated for over 42 years raised here since the age of 3. Now and even though I grew up in the US and I will defend it the end, I was insulted the have ANDREW show something that is not true. He was shown around by communist pigs the good parts Cuba. Since heís always talking about Andrew Zimmernís Bizarre World and the strange food he eats. Why doesnít he really show what the Poor Cubans eat everyday I bet he will get sick or loose weight.!!!!! That is the real Cuba not the happy going people you showed on TV.
Cubans have been in Violations of human rights for many years now, particularly in the case of detainees and political prisoners. Many have been assassinated, while thousands have been beaten, tortured physically and mentally, forced into hard labor, and locked into isolation cells with steel planks for doors for extended periods of time. They have been deprived of family visits for years and their families have been constantly harassed. Detainees have been subjected to electroshock and suffer from lack of adequate nutrition and medical care.
The struggle for subsistence or food rationing has been one of the Cuban government’s most powerful forms of control, since people preoccupied with sustenance don’t have the time or energy to rebel. The Supply or Ration Book has controlled the amount and the frequency with which the bare necessities may be purchased, only as they become available and only at the store assigned to the individual. In fact, it has been a crime to buy food from unauthorized sources. Now that the possession of dollars has become legal, many staples are practically available at stores that sell for American currency. This has created considerable hardship. Despite the heavy penalty, the black market has flourished, as Cubans are forced resort to it to survive. The system of water distribution is also in serious disarray and has proven unable to satisfy the needs of the Cuban population. Poor pumping capacity also limits the number of hours that water is available through these connections.
That is the real Cuba; I have lost all respect for the Travel Channel and your show.

Samuel 09.02.09 | 5:24 PM ET

I was watching this program with my grandfather who is Cuban. He was astonished at the way Cuban life was presented in this episode. The program made it seem as if food was prevalent, when in actuality, is scarce. Of course, that is unless you’re part of the communist elite and don’t have to take part in the rationing of food like the normal Cubans. It’s obvious the people interviewed in this episode are part of that group. This program was shamelessly tailored to distort true life in Cuba.

ricki liff 09.07.09 | 9:33 PM ET

I watched for the food. Guess Bourdaine is better now. Sorry

Esther Pino 09.07.09 | 10:31 PM ET

Andrew Zimmermans’ Cubas is really Bizarre….Amazing how a properous island…The monaco of the Caribean is now in ruins….You mention the embargo…..this is nonsence ...the true embargo is the Castro embargo….He is the one that has his people starving…so they dont have time to think about a revolting…He controll what they eat, what they say…where they go…and they are allow to see…there are no basic higene products such as soap,toothpaste, toilet paper and forget about kotex…So the Cuban people improvise….they make their own toothpaste with bicarbonated power, Soap…they cook one bar and make it into four…toilet paper is the local newspaper, kotex a reusable small towel ..Let me tell you I thought I had seen it all…..As you can probably can tell I’m Cuban and I never heard of rats as a staple food….Keep in mind that the people in Cuba have no choice than to resort to eating rats,cats, dogs and anything that is can be made into a meal to substaine their family…....It is hard to survive in Cuba…their hospitals have not bed sheets (bring your own and guard it with your life)No light bulbs, medicine.  Any thing good about Cuba is Propaganda.Many families have lost their life at sea looking for a better life and the ones that made it are hard broken..for the families left behind….....by the way Nicolas Gomes is my husband cousin.

Roberto 09.14.09 | 12:28 AM ET

I have not even seen the show but Damn from what I hear its another communist commercial and retarded people like Zimmerman singing about Ernesto Che Guevara, a son of a b**** that killed thousands. As a child in the Cuban schools system I was ordered to praise his name just like everyone else in Cuba. There is not way to sugar coat him, he was nothing more than a murdered. Some say he was an idealist and a person who brought hope and liberty. So was Stalin and Hitler in a sick way. He brought nothing but misery along with the other bastard, Castro. So people grow up, get your head’s out of you a**** and smell the coffee. This was all another commercial so that all you Canadians can go over and spend money on their turist attractions that no Cuban is allowed to enjoy.

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