Andrew Zimmern talks eating penises and stealing to buy drugs on Nightline

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Andrew Zimmern arrived in Minnesota in 1982 and headed to Hazelden to recover from a serious drug addiction. In subsequent years, the onetime chef became a food writer and host of the Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods. This week, he was profiled on ABC's Nightline and shared a few stories on the bizarre foods he's eaten (raw cow blood, bile, 15 types of rats), and sordid tales from his drug-addicted past. Here is the video, plus our top five quotes from the interview transcript (some portions edited out of the video):

5. On eating animal penis
"The fact that I've had 60 or 70 types of animal penis and testicles actually in my mouth at one time is a huge amusement to many people. To me, I'm just curious. I'm just hoping to one day find one that's actually good. But size does matter. The bigger ones cook better and end up having a better flavor."

4. On criticizing the cook
"Never tell someone that has cooked something that their food sucks."

3. On what he says when he doesn't like something he's eating
"...I say, 'This is very interesting. Thank you.'"

2. On being homeless and stealing to pay for drugs

"I lived in an abandoned building in lower Manhattan; one that we squatted--a bottle gang and I. I would steal purses off the backs of chairs in those swanky little cafes on Madison Avenue, run down the side street, leap the wall at Central Park and 5th Avenue, get on the subway, go down to the lower east side and sell the credit cards and passports that were in the purses for money to support my drug and alcohol habit. And then go to sleep at night on a pile of dirty clothes in this abandoned building and I sprinkled a bottle of Comet Cleanser around so the rats and roaches wouldn't cross over at night so I could pass out in some peace and quiet and that's what I thought was normal. That's how I lived for a year--no showering. I was the guy you crossed the street to avoid if you walked by me in New York.

1. The one thing he won't eat
"Human beings."


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