Bourdain in the Ozarks...Squirrel, anyone?

Good morning, Good morning! How are you all today? I have to admit that as much as I've been willing the warm weather to hurry up and get here already, I actually was kinda, sorta, maybe hoping for one last snow day today. Alas, it's just rainy and gross, making it absolutely no fun to go outside.

So I have a confession for you guys this morning. I love the Travel Channel. It would be my ultimate dream to travel the globe, finding new places and tasting lots of new food. I can't imagine anything more fun! My favorite show on Travel Channel though, is Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. I love his signature snark, his honesty, his ability to connect with people in every culture and his true love and openmindedness for all things food. Give me Tony over Andrew Zimmern (who seems a little too excited to eat things like maggots crawling in cheese) any day. Ack.

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Last night, Shaun and I got to work on our very full DVR, including Tony in the Ozarks. Did any of you see this episode? I found it to be so fascinating since the culture there is so very different than here in urban NJ/NYC, even though it's really not all that far away.

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Some of the highlights:

  • Tony dining on squirrel pot pie...and liking it
  • Tony learning to skin a squirrel (even though I covered my eyes)
  • Tony dressed up in hunting gear to hunt mallards, then subsequently giving the good ol' boys a quick lesson in preparing a delicious duck (even I have to admit that it looked unbelievable) and made me sad that I never dined at Les Halles
  • Chili-coated spaghetti...an interesting take...
  • Hunt racoons with coon hounds, which made me think of the book Where the Red Fern Grows...remember that one?
  • Oh and fishing for 'suckers'.
  • And did I mention that he lost $200 and his pride in an arm wrestling matching to a skinny-armed woman in a bar?

click for sourceIt was enlightening friends.

From the moment the episode opened, Shaun and I couldn't help but immediately think of Winter's Bone...did anyone see that movie? The episode was sort of like an extension of the film, in terms of exploring the Ozark culture. In fact, Tony meets up with the writer of the film (who is unfortunately maimed during sucker fishing...oops).

I thought this was such a refreshing episode. While I do think it's so interesting and captivating to see far off lands or light being shed on third world countries, it was refreshing to explore a bit of the US that I'm completely unfamiliar with! Not to mention the very interesting eats that he enjoys during his stay. Squirrel anyone?

So what do you think? Do you watch the Travel Channel? What's your favorite show? What's the most unusual thing you've ever eaten?