Crossborder News: Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods Eats Up Baja California (and likes it!)

June 8, 2010 at 8:29 pm 4 comments

The border can be a pretty serious place, but sometimes we can find some unexpected fun.  Last December, Crossborder Group received a call from a good friend, Bill Esparza of Street Gourmet LA fame, who had reached out to the adventurous people of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.  At the time, with all of the bad news circulating about Tijuana, we didn’t think his outreach would go too far…but, thankfully, we were wrong.  In fact, the production company, Tremendous! Entertainment, was asking for some insights into Baja California’s security situation — as well as some suggestions on how to handle security when the crew was on the ground.  The team from Crossborder Group sprung into action, pulling together the most recent security statistics, providing some context about comparative risks in Baja California (which we still find are relatively low, compared with many other regions of the world…and even a few popular places in the United States), and got in touch with the State of Baja California Tourism Secretariat — which worked closely with Mr. Zimmern’s crew while they were visiting Tijuana and Ensenada in January of this year.  Remember January? All of the bad press about security in Tijuana and Mexico?  Well…thankfully, Andrew Zimmern and Bizarre Foods got to see for themselves.

Andrew Zimmern...enjoying Baja California

The result:  Bizarre Foods in Baja California, airing this coming Monday, June 14th.  For those that have been wondering if they should return back to Baja — check it out.  For those that love great food in Tijuana and Ensenada (oh…yes, and La Paz, too!), it’s a great program, too.  The only thing better:  going back and eating at your favorite places in Baja California.  After some excellent meals with clients recently at Casa Plasencia and Cheripan in Tijuana…well, all we can say is “thanks” for Mr. Zimmern for coming, and while most of the food is far from bizarre — a lot of people appreciate his effort to highlight a part of what Mexico has to offer (oh, and thanks to Tremendous! Entertainment for appreciating the work that went into the security and risk analysis that Crossborder Group provided).

Update (6/10/2010):  Looks like some additional information about this episode is now on Facebook ( and the BF Twitter page (, including some TwitPics of Mr. Zimmern in Ensenada… If you like the episode, let them know (or invite them back for more!).


Entry filed under: Crossborder News. Tags: , , , , , .

Our Two Pesos: Reflecting on the Opportunity for Stronger North American Competitiveness Front Page Union-Tribune Article Features Crossborder’s President on Border Crossing Trends

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Real Tijuana  |  June 10, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    It is difficult to consider that Baja California might be a source of “bizarre” food (in the sense of “things that most people in the U.S. would be afraid to eat”). The cuisine of our indigenous population might qualify in that regard, since their recipes included cachora asada (roast lizard) and tejón en agua (boiled badger), but those had to be collected up in an ethnographic cookbook, Recetario indígena de Baja California (CONACULTA, 2000), in order to preserve them from extinction. About the most bizarre we have to offer at the moment is cuitlacoche – and we import that from central Mexico.

    The food here in Baja California is at times unusual to the northern palate (or “pallet”, as the Street Gourmet might say), yes, but it deserves better than to be promoted as bizarre.

    • 2. crossbordergroup  |  June 10, 2010 at 1:36 pm

      Definitely agree that most food in Baja isn’t in the “bizarre” category…but I am sure glad that a well-known, well-watched, and popular television personality was willing to look beyond the negative headlines and come to visit (and taste) some of the wonderful flavors of Baja California and Baja California Sur! With Mexico’s overall reputation suffering so much in the media, coverage in a show like Bizarre Foods is very refreshing (even if we don’t think there’s much truly bizarre cuisine…). Un abrazo, and thanks for reading and commenting!

  • 3. The Real Tijuana  |  June 11, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    It seems I spoke too soon. You can get chapulines at La Oaxaqueña in Tijuana’s Mercado Hidalgo. (At least to my mind, crickets will out-bizarre corn smut any day of the week.) Forty-five pesos for a meal, twenty pesos for a side order.

    Honestly, though, Baja California is not bizarre central. For that you may as well go to Mexico City. On its streets you can find criadillas (bulls’ testicles), acosiles, jumiles, and escamoles (three kinds of insects), ojo (cows’ eyes), nana (cows’ uteruses), gusanos de maguey (the worms you sometimes find in mezcal bottles, only not so pickled), and machitos (fried sheep tripe).

    Here in the extreme northwestern corner of the country our cuisine is mild by comparison. This week’s edition of El Informador interviewed chefs who say they’re avoiding non-local ingredients such as cuitlacoche in order to keep their costs down. We tried to get a local restaurateur to mount a pre-Columbian dinner a few years ago, cash on the barrelhead – and he refused!

    Saludos desde dónde empieza la patria.

    • 4. crossbordergroup  |  June 12, 2010 at 10:41 am

      Saludos, Real…and thanks again for the great information and comments.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 13 other followers

%d bloggers like this: