Sunday, April 18, 2010

Living Vicariously Through Television

I have a love for shows that focus on cultures from all over the world. I just find them fascinating and they serve as good reminders that the world we live in is much bigger than what we in North America realize.

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
He is a writer, chef and world traveler. This show features him crossing the globe to interact with cultures though their food. Despite being a chef, Anthony spends most of his time in well worn alleys rather than in 5 star restaurants. He believes that understanding a culture comes best from sitting down with the nationals and sharing a meal. I'll give you fare warning that his show is not for a faint of heart due to Anthony's sharp tongue. However this is honestly one of my favorite shows on television right now and if you are interested in seeing a culture from a culinary point of view I would highly recommend it.

Bizarre Food
This show (also found on the Travel Channel) follows Andrew Zimmern as he visits various countries seeking out their most bizarre and often somewhat repulsive foods. I have a warning for this show as well; if you have a queasy stomach you may need to pass. Once again this show focuses on exploring cultures through their food.

I have to admit that I'm a bit ashamed to say that I watch this last show. Now I completely acknowledge that it does not quite have the same cultural focus as the first two shows I mentioned but it is a bit addictive. I can't help but enjoy watching an affluent young American thrust into various cross-cultural situations.

The Price of Beauty
Jessica Simpson...yes THAT Jessica Simpson travels the world to discover what other cultures consider beautiful.

Don't judge me! :-) Check them out for yourself and let me know what you think.

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