Who is Baron Ambrosia? That’s what many folks are wondering as his new series, The Culinary Adventures of Baron Ambrosia, premieres this Friday at 10 ET.
His background is not exactly… straightforward. So we caught up with Baron and asked a few questions to get a better picture.
Cooking Channel: Baron, how did you get started chasing after exotic foods?
It started out on a very primal level. For most children, their first way of exploring the world is through taste, whether it is a poisonous berry, an action figure or a stick of cherry ChapStick. The question “what is this?” can usually be answered by “let me taste it and find out.” I guess in that sense, I have had a failure to launch.
COOK: Can you tell us more about cà cuõng? How did you hear about it and why is it the world’s most expensive condiment?
Cà cuõng is a pheromone produced by lethocerus indicus (the giant water bug). The liquid is produced by males to attract females. It has been part of Vietnamese cuisine for hundreds of years. Due to the near extinction of the bugs in Northern Vietnam and the incredible amount of labor involved in extracting the minuscule amount of liquid, true Cà cuõng is considered the world’s rarest condiment. A few drops in some chilled vodka makes for one hell of a martini.
COOK: What other places have your culinary interests taken you?