Chef Andrew Zimmern encourages food lovers to expand their taste buds as host of the Travel Channel shows "Bizarre Foods" with Andrew Zimmern and "Bizarre Foods America." Now, he's encouraging kids to do the same in his new book, "Andrew Zimmern's Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild and Wonderful Foods." Recently, we spoke to Zimmern about how kids can venture beyond chicken fingers to try new foods. Time for Kids: What was your motivation to write the book? Andrew Zimmern: My biggest purpose in life is to try and get people to stop thinking of food in terms like weird or not weird, gross or not gross, what we eat or what other people eat, but to get everyone to a place where all things edible can be enjoyed. I am trying to get to a place where people are excited about having that conversation, and they are talking about the differences in foods and learning about a broad, inclusive and roomy kitchen. TFK: Can you give three adjectives that describe your book? Zimmern: Funny, naughty and curious. TFK: What prompted your interest in bizarre food? Zimmern: People put words like bizarre or interesting in front, but I don't really think of it like that. (We think eating) fruit bats from Samoa is bizarre, but it's not for people in Samoa. My point is what's weird to some people is wonderful to other people. What prompted my interest in food is that it is a universal way to communicate. TFK: When I first tried the European delicacy foie gras, I didn't know it was made from duck liver. Do you think giving kids so much information will scare them off from eating unique foods? Zimmern: Maybe, but that is not my experience. I think kids are smart. If you're not going to tell them what it is and you're sneaking something past them, then any other time they are going to wonder, "What are you sneaking past me?" I think it is better to be up front and honest. TFK: Your book includes foods like cuy (guinea pig eaten in South America) and various animal brains. What is the texture of roasted guinea pig and brains? Zimmern: Guinea pig has the same texture and flavor as barbecued pork. Brains have the texture of warm cream cheese and a delicious nutty flavor that tastes like hazelnuts. TFK: What is the best way for parents to ease kids into eating unique foods? Zimmern: Let the kids call the shots. Find great, unique foods near your home, pick a couple of restaurants and let them choose one. When you get there, everyone has to get something off the menu they never tried before. TFK: Where can you buy some of the foods you give recipes for in the book? Zimmern: You can buy guinea pigs at Latin American markets in big cities in South America, especially in Peru, Equador and Chile. Many large markets carry them too. I would like people to visit these places and learn about the culture from where the food originated.
Today is Thursday, Aug. 21, the 233rd day of 2014. There are 132 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Sheriff McLaughlin had the misfortune to dislocate his right shoulder some days ago when his carriage upset. He is now able to walk about but has a very sore shoulder. 1889 -- 125 years ago: A kindergarten was started in the downtown district of Rock Island with the Misses Dodie Hawes and Grace Knowlton as teachers. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Pope Pius X died in Rome. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's new theater was named Esquire. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The J.I. Case Co. plant in Bettendorf will add from 150 to 200 employees by Jan. 1 a spokesman for the company said today. The Bettendorf Works today had a payroll of 1,350, but an increased production schedule will require additional people. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illowa Council Boy Scouts of America reached and passed its campaign goal in a drive that began 14 months ago by raising more than $2.2 million for the expansion of Loud Thunder Reservation near Andalusia.