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 Monday, May 20, the 140th day of 2013. There are 225 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: A petition is being circulated asking the city council to order awell bored in Market Square. It would be a great accommodation to the public. 1888 -- 125 years ago: At 1 p.m. on May 18 the Mississippi River flooded its banks atRock Island and destroyed the warehouse of the Rock Island Lumber Co. and damagedRock Island Arsenal power plant. Total loss is estimated at $100,000. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Residents of Sough Rock Island Township are circulating apetition favoring the annexation of that area to the City of Rock Island. 1938 -- 75 years ago: A group of state members of the National Grandmothers Clubmeeting in Rock Island are making plans to petition for the observance of a NationalGrandmothers Day. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Deere and Co. reported today that its U.S. and Canadian sales forthe first half of the 1963 fiscal year set an all time record of $323,716.628. 1988 -- 25 years ago: William G. Lawrence, first administrative director, has retired fromPECO Enterprises, Inc. Prior to his service at PECO, Mr. Lawrence was the civilianpersonnel officer at the Rock Island Arsenal.