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The Tranquilo Traveler

The Tranquilo Traveler is a celebration of voluntourism, slow travel, and other interesting ways to see the world. Travel writer and award- winning Moon Handbooks author Joshua Berman created The Tranquilo Travel as a resource for world trippers and international volunteers, a window to the author’s travels in Nicaragua, Belize, and beyond, and an update of his books and articles.

Andrew Zimmern, “El Pelón Comelón,” opens wide in Nicaragua

Username By Joshua | February 21st, 2009 | Comments 15 Comments »

prens2.jpg“STOMACH OF STEEL” read the headline on the front page of yesterday’s La Prensa, featuring renowned culinary traveler, chef, and host of Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.” The “pelón who eats worms,” as everyone here refers to him (”pelón” means “bald guy”) is well known in Nicaragua. I’ve been traveling with Zimmern and his crew as their “location specialist” in Nicaragua, helping them find the most interesting sites and dishes. While visiting the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes, Zimmern is sampling bus food, market food, fritanga food, Creole food, fair trade coffee, and a few pleasant (and not-so-pleasant) surprises along the way.

juan.jpgZimmern has traveled to the culinary boundaries of dozens of countries with his show, but this is his first time in Central America. In fact, “Bizarre Foods Nicaragua” will be the premiere episode of the third season; the show is seen in 70 countries around the world and the Nicaragua episode is scheduled to air June 2, 2009.

The La Prensa article, entitled “Chanfaina o Moronga?” (which means “Pig guts stew or blood sausage?”) by Geiner Bonilla is very well written and reported, undescoring Zimmern’s main point: that eating local food with its people is the best way to get to know a country and that “disgusting” is a relative term. Of course the show is about much more than just “bizarre” dishes of Nicaragua; it is about the food, people, and natural beauty that make this country unique in the region and the world. This includes high-quality coffee, baseball games, and Nicaraguans’ ability to continually rebuild and reinvent their country. I can’t wait to see the end result, but first, we have a few more volcanoes and restaurants to hit…

Category: Travel, Nicaragua
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15 Responses to “Andrew Zimmern, “El Pelón Comelón,” opens wide in Nicaragua”

Maslov | February 21st, 2009 at 6:12 am | comment link
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Oh my gosh! I totally missed that you were in Nica with Zimmern! I am a HUGE fan of his show. I can\’t wait to see this episode!

Claire Walter | February 21st, 2009 at 6:35 am | comment link
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I frankly dislike this show. While masquerading as cross-cultural awareness, IMHO, it is really about the gross-out factor. “Let’s see what disgusting food we can show so that viewers really look down on these people,” comes across to me as the producers’ thinking. I’ll watch on Nov 2 because you, my friend, were involved. But otherwise, I never tune in.

Josh | February 22nd, 2009 at 4:43 am | comment link
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In response to Claire, I can assure you that the producers of “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” do everything in their power to give a positive view of the country and culture. The way I see it, the “gross-out” factor is pure gimmicky shock value which is used to carry a thoughtful and respectful look at the country. This was my impression when I first watched a few episodes last month and it remains my impression after traveling with Andrew and helping to produce an episode. I am really excited to see the final product on Nicaragua.

Casey Welch | February 22nd, 2009 at 7:05 pm | comment link
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When will the Nicaragua show be shown on TV?

Josh | February 22nd, 2009 at 8:17 pm | comment link
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June 2

Lauren G | March 1st, 2009 at 1:44 am | comment link
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I am forever envious that you get to work on this show. Andrew has inspired many people to not be (as) afraid of local ingredients and dishes. Bizarre food is in the taste buds of the beholder.

Now we’re off to dinner in LiJiang, China where Todd and I might eat some yak meat, deep fried dragonflies, or pig intestines. Yum!

garifuna | March 8th, 2009 at 6:18 am | comment link
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Not only i lovvve this series,but because of it had tried some of the same grub myself in Mexico and liked it.If it looks good…..

Rodolfo | March 30th, 2009 at 4:25 am | comment link
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I have watched many of Andrew\’s shows and i think they are just awesome. I am a locl tour guide in Nicaragua and it so happenned that the tourist that i had were huge fans of Mr. Zimmern, we got to meet them and we also saw the first pitch at the local baseball game that night.

Debbie | May 23rd, 2009 at 6:18 pm | comment link
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I was in Nica when you were filming this episode. Got to meet Andrew at the hotel in Managua. I love Nicaragua and its people, and I am so happy that it is being featured on his show.

danny hong | May 28th, 2009 at 3:14 pm | comment link
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hello Andrew and the crew of Bizzarre food..i love your show and wish i could travel around the world with you..every episode..that i’ve seen..has very very interesting stuff.and yes i love to try all of them..thanks for showing the love and the cultural interest of the world..

Ellen | May 31st, 2009 at 1:15 pm | comment link
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Wow, excited! I love Nicaragua, Beautiful Country and Beautiful people. I remember when Samantha Brown went there and she said it was her favorite country in Latin America. So naturally my husband and I had to find out. And its a jewel of a place. And like Samantha brown pointed out its the safest county in the Americas including North, Central, and South America. But, I do not know about eating worms :) But they have amazing food. Not to mention I found out that the famous Tres Leches cake was invented in Nicaragua, not Mexico.

stephanie | August 6th, 2009 at 2:17 pm | comment link
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soy nicaraguense y la verdad fue un orgullo haber tenido a andrew por aca, espero que todos, mas a el hallan disfrutado de nuestra cultura.

RICARDO MARTINEZ | September 7th, 2009 at 7:54 am | comment link
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Samantha was right. Nicaragua is a very poor country, but its one the more beatiful nation in Latin America. Nicaraguan are very special people. Ric.

James | February 7th, 2011 at 1:26 pm | comment link
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I find the show to be very interesting, however, why does Andrew have to smack, slobber and have and have bad table manners as the “interesting” foods he eats?

Dino | March 24th, 2011 at 1:26 pm | comment link
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my last girlfriend was from Nicaragua, i can say these people are very nice!

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