Andrew Zimmern has earned national fame (if not envy) for his highly entertaining Travel Channel gig. (If you haven’t seen Bizarre Foods, it revolves around Zimmern eating anything and everything likely to freak out conventional American diners.)

But Zimmern touched off a firestorm amongst his Twin Cities readership late last week with a post on Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s Chow & Again dining blog. Before launching into a thoughtful exploration of the thriving scene on St. Paul’s Grand Avenue, he drops the following thought bomb upon his unsuspecting readers:

I have been in a major funk ever since the book-banning scourge of Wasilla, Alaska, was nominated for the Veep seat on the GOP ticket. She is a Bush clone of the highest order, and her selection shows that her running mate is no maverick, just a brain-dead moron for selecting her as his potential second in command—or maybe he is the smartest man alive based on her resonance with some of the voting public. Are Americans that easily swayed from what has gone on for the last eight years?

Comments ranged from intensely grateful:

Goodness! I love your show and reading your blog… I didn’t realize you were so opinionated politically until now. Good for you! Now I like you even more! :)

To intensely critical:

I didn’t realize you were a snob besides a food critic. The fact that your candidate is not up by 10+ points in the polls and is sputtering with an idiot president, a poor economy, a creaky old man Repub nominee, and a hick Veep candidate, says something about B.O. Or maybe as you imply there are a lot of stupid people. Surprised you can see that well from your lofty elitist perch.

To, well, Minnesotan:

Andrew, please don’t make fun of others religion and politics. It’s not polite and distracts from the real reason we have been coming to your site.

As per usual with this sort of thing, the comment thread is almost as much fun to read as the original, incendiary post. One thing’s for sure: Zimmern is about as averse to controversy as Julia Child was averse to cooking with butter.

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