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Monday, October 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 53.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Daily

FRINGE FOODS

Bizarre Foods America and Andrew Zimmern go elbow-deep into Wisconsin food culture

I guess if I had to pick between grilled emu balls and a cannulated cow for the centerpiece of the pre-credits sequence to the Wisconsin episode of Bizarre Foods America, at least the cow isn't something you see Andrew Zimmern dealing with very often. The man's run-ins with cooked testicles are famous to the point of stereotypical. This is, of course, what you get with the full Zimmern treatment. >More
 Fringe Foods: Calliope Ice Cream offers innovative frozen flavors to Madison

In architecture or medicine, industry or food, innovation is so often the child of happy circumstance. Take, for example, the smoked apple pie ice cream recently available at the Weary Traveler. "I sauteed a bunch of apples, and I didn't really know what to do with them, and Joey [Dunscombe, chef at Weary Traveler] was smoking bacon," recalls Jason Borgmann, proprietor of Calliope Ice Cream. Looking at the smoker, he asked Dunscombe, "How about we put those in there?" >More
 Fringe Foods: Scrapple at Crema Cafe

Scrapple is one of those regional specialties, like beef on weck in Buffalo or lutefisk in the upper Midwest, that mystifies outsiders and inspires fierce loyalty in most locals. It owes its origin to the Germans who settled in the area, and brought along a willingness to leave no chunk of pork behind. >More
 Fringe Foods: The 84th annual Delafield Coon Feed

There were fifty-three raccoons in the Delafield American Legion Post 196 on Saturday, January 29 -- and the only person up on the table screaming was an unhappy baby. Since 1927, a similar scene has been unfolding every year around this time, though the scale hasn't always been so grand. What started as a private hunting party feeding a handful of people has blossomed into a feast that cooks up 300 pounds of raccoon for hundreds of people, local and otherwise. >More
 Fringe Foods: Cuitlacoche from Las Cazuelas

This is another one of those foods that forces you to wonder what exactly the first daring eater was thinking; infected ears of corn puff up, turn purplish-black, and grow fuzz. The Aztec name for this freaky-looking cob is cuitlacoche (also frequently spelled "huitlacoche"), which likely meant "sleeping shit." Wrapped in the husk, cuitlacoche does look a bit like a swaddled turd. So, naturally, it's what's for dinner. >More
 Fringe Foods: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations dines in the 'Heartland'

At least Tony Bourdain opened last night's No Reservations by acknowledging that this scattershot episode, entitled "Heartland," was born out of nothing so high-minded as his latest book/speaking tour. To have masqueraded it as something more thoughtful or purposeful would have been even more insulting to many viewers than the episode already was. >More
 Fringe Foods: Hook's Cheese 15-year Cheddar from Fromagination

Yeah, you can get a 2-year aged cheddar from Hook's. You can get a 4-year, a 7-year, or even a 12-year cheddar, and most ages in between. But right now, there's one vintage that everyone's talking about, from Los Angeles to upstate New York: the 15-year cheddar currently selling for no less than $35 per pound at Hook's factory store and more elsewhere. >More
 Fringe Foods: Andrew Zimmern shoots a Bizarre World episode in Wisconsin

Food critic, chef, and Minnesotan Andrew Zimmern has been revealing the strangest of foreign foods to American television viewers since his show, Bizarre Foods, debuted on the Travel Channel in February 2007. He has expanded his focus to culture as well as cuisine with Bizarre World, and on Tuesday night we were treated to his trip to Wisconsin. >More
 Fringe Foods: Crispy pig bung from Asia Express

Like menudo, pig bung is a product of efficiency, frugality, and a little bit of poverty thrown in for good measure. When the finer cuts -- the belly, the hocks, the loin -- are gone, "what's left" becomes "what's for dinner." Think ears, hooves, jowls, and bung. >More
 Fringe Foods: Rajbhog from Maharani Indian Grocery

The Maharani grocery, like rajbhog, is small but packed with goodies. There are a lot of spices, naturally; the dishes that Americans are most familiar with are often differentiated only by the spice profile. There's also a lot of pre-made items, frozen and awaiting only a warm-up. And there are the shelf-stable, prefab items like rajbhog. >More
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