Thursday, March 01, 2007

How Bizarre.

What am I doing watching a show called Bizarre Foods?

I would call it 'Ethnocentriful! The Unexamined Cultural Presumptions of a Jolly Bald American Man.' That's what I'd call it.


He travels the world and eats things that White Americans consider 'bizarre.' The 'White American' part is assumed. It's a given.


So in the last episode, he was in the Philippines, eating balut, dinuguan, and giant tree worms. Which, of course, he was happy to eat.

What he couldn't eat was an ice cream sandiwich in Quiapo. Too unusual. Well, unusual for White Americans. Ube and cheese ice cream on a hamburger bun. Sure, it's not what he's used to.


The funny part is that a crowd had gathered around his shot, he handed off the ice cream sandwich, unable to finish it, and said to a guy in the crowd, "this is unusual."

That's right! He was in Quiapo, and handed an ube and cheese ice cream sandwich on a hamburger bun to the first guy he saw... a Filipino dude... and said "this is unusual."

If I was the dude, I would have yelled at him. No, THIS is not unusual. This is an ube and cheese ice cream sandwich on a hamburger bun from a street vendor in the Quiapo district in the heart of Manila. THIS is perfectly normal. YOU are unusual, you freaky tree-worm eating land beluga. YOU are unusual Andrew Zimmern, you crazy gringo puñetero.

Grr. Masakit ang puwet ko.

He's in Morocco next week. I might watch it, to see Morocco, but I'm not really excited about all the crazy shit he eats.

I wonder if there are shows about all the crazy stuff Americans eat, like peanut butter, or root beer floats, or Chicken McNuggets. Or a corn dog. That kind of stuff would send the French television audience over the edge.

3 comments:

Kathryn said...

This show annoys me because it really should be titled "watch me eat things that will gross out the average white American". It's not really about appreciating the diverse foods or culture. It's kind of insulting actually. He has a list on the website of top 10 most bizarre foods he has eaten. Of course on the list is something I have been have been eating since I was a child and consider a revered part of my cultural heritage. Everything on his list and everything he eats on his show has that role in someones culture. So it all comes off as a big gag at the expense of those persons who are not white americans.

Tita said...

This post was so dead on, it killed me. I am dead. Thank you very much.

Paul the Spud said...

This show annoys me because it really should be titled "watch me eat things that will gross out the average white American".

That's almost exactly what I was going to say! I just read "the other version" of this at BPHD; spot on. All I could think of was the MST3K quote: "Fun with ethnocentrism!"

I'm pretty adventurous, food-wise, for your average white American, and when you look at what I eat, it's really not all that adventurous. I mean, I'm amazed at the shrieks and horror when I order chicken feet at dim sum, and that's not exactly a challenging food to eat, if you ask me.

It's not really about appreciating the diverse foods or culture. It's kind of insulting actually.

Yep. It's a "freak show" show. I'm a little surprised at all of the horror directed towards tripe. What, these people have never had a sausage with natural casing? I wonder if the "ewww" reaction would come out in a Polish restaurant... after all, they love their blood soup.

Nice blog, John. I'll be coming back more often. :)