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Have a Halloween Party Andrew Zimmern Would Be Proud Of!
I’m a big fan of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. He’s had a couple of episodes about Halloween parties. In this article I’ll tell you how you can have your very own bizarre foods Halloween gathering.
If you and your friends are adventurous when it comes to food, having a Bizarre Foods Halloween party might be just the ticket to make a memorable holiday gathering. For those of you who don’t know the show, Andrew Zimmern goes all over the world and samples the strangest cuisine on the planet. There’s hardly anything he won’t eat, and you can bring a bit of his adventurous nature to your next Halloween party.
The first thing you’ll need to do is find out how adventurous your friends are willing to be. Some might try a fried worm, but wouldn’t eat kangaroo. Some would eat an ostrich egg but not a candied scorpion. Knowing your friends’ limitations will help you plan the menu. You’ll want a combination of bizarre foods and more traditional ones as well.
The next step is to start pricing your bizarre foods. Your best bet is probably to go online and search for “edible insects”, “strange delicacies” and “exotic foods”. You might be able to find some odd foods if you have authentic ethnic shops nearby. Figure out what you’d like to have, and make up a price list. Write down lots of options so people will have a variety to choose from.
If you’re having a hard time thinking of what to have on the menu, here are some ideas:
Edible bugs are a great starter. I’ve personally had ants, grasshoppers and meal worms. I really like BBQ meal worms, and they’re quite inexpensive. Try a variety of insects, and maybe some dishes involving exotic meats. Kangaroo, alligator, bat and snake might be good choices. Miracle berries (the ones that make sour taste sweet) and other fruit can be fun too. Just be sure you check into the legality of purchasing and receiving exotic foods in your area. Bugs are usually no problem, but sometimes meat and fruit can be iffy, so it’s a good idea to make sure they’re legal in your state.
After you have your list, it’s probably a good idea to see if your friends and family will pitch in on the cost. Exotic foods can get pretty expensive, so sharing the cost will help a lot. Take up a collection and figure out what you can afford to put on the menu. Order all of your less perishable items as early as possible to make sure they have plenty of time to get shipped to you. If you’re adding any off meats or other perishable items, try to get them locally and get them at the last minute.
Once you have your bizarre foods and it’s party day, set up a buffet to display all your exotic goodies. Intersperse your bizarre items with normal ones so people don’t avoid the “weird end” of the table. Also be sure to clearly label all foods so people know what they’re eating. Try to keep portion sizes small so people can sample without being committed to eating a lot of anything weird. It’s also a good rule of thumb to mix odd ingredients with normal ones, like serving roasted cricket on a slice of cucumber with a touch of sour cream.
When it comes to using meat or other animal ingredients, try to use them in recipes people will be comfortable with, like soup or kebabs. Just keep in mind that you want to highlight the flavor of your exotic foods, not cover them up. If possible, find recipes for ethnic dishes that feature the animal, that way you can serve it in a way that reflects the tastes of those who normally eat it.
Encourage people to sample as many items as possible from your bizarre foods buffet, but don’t force anyone. We all have our limits, and it would be no fun to push someone over theirs. However, if people are really timid, you might want to turn the food sampling into some sort of game with a prize that makes the sampling worthwhile, even if it’s just “freakiest party-goer” bragging rights. Make it fun, and you never know, you might expand the tastes of some of your Halloween party guests!