Bizarre Foods last night broadcast its Seattle episode, a travelogue that ricocheted between the city's slimiest and most scientific foods. Since the show ran for a full hour -- although it felt like eight when host Andrew Zimmern learned how to pull espresso - we're presenting here a condensed version for the many locals who likely didn't have a chance to watch from start to finish.
(Don't fret if you missed out: the Bizarre Foods team may not have watched the show either. "Gooey duck, moldy sausage, Seattle coffee and more," the production team promised via Twitter. To which Zimmern tweeted back: "It's geoduck, and the sausage isn't moldy.")
The show opens with Zimmern establishing the show's themes in a voiceover accompanied by a B-roll montage of mountains, parks and Pike Place. "No place in America beats this town's variety of flavors from the Pacific Rim," he explains, before pronouncing Seattle "an ultra-sophisticated city committed to living the simple life."
Zimmern's first field trip takes him to the Modernist Cuisine lab, where he samples high-tech pea puree and slurps up bagel extract. But it's soon time for slime, so he next joins Taylor Shellfish's Bill Dewey on a geoduck dig. He uncovers a few clams and loses his souvenir hat.
The host then heads for Sea Breeze Farm on Vashon Island, where George Page seemingly exalts in foisting every odd animal byproduct on his wide-eyed guest. Zimmern is fortunate enough to be on the farm for a birthing day, which means there's placenta for noshing. "If you want it, we can just cut off a little piece," Page says. "I mean, it's life itself, and why wouldn't you want to take life into your body?" Zimmern bites.
His good luck streak continues when Page leads him into the barn. Courtesy of the new mama cow, there's colustrum for sipping. "I feel like this has even more of the life-giving properties we've been talking about all day," Page says.
"That's dairy in the extreme," Zimmern agrees, post-sample. "It's just superb."
After an espresso interlude, Zimmern visits "Pike's Place Market," tasting the salmon collar soup at Oriental Mart Kitchen. But it's notably not slimy, so he detours to Fu-Lin for cold jellyfish. At Maneki, he eats fermented squid intestine ("gooey, slimy and fishy is an understatement") and herring roe ("crunch, slimy, briny.")
The program ends at Fare Start. Zimmern, a recovering drug addict, teaches students how to prepare sweetbreads, ox hearts and kidneys. His pupils include Virginia, who says she was "in prison for a little while." "How long?," Zimmern asks. "18 years."
Zimmern's charmed by Fare Start, and the city surrounding it. "It's fertile ground for bold experimentation," he declares. And then, the show ends, just in time for Smash.