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Polashek’s Locker to be featured on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern

Posted: February 12, 2013

Polashek’s Locker to be featured on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern

“Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” on the Travel Channel will be featuring local Protivin locker, Polashek’s Locker Service on Monday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. Polashek’s Locker, owned and operated by the Paul and Judy Polashek, has been in service since 1983; that will be 30 years this March.

“We got a call from them in late April or early May,” said Adam Polashek. “They called about three or four times and wanted to come to the locker [last] July.”

But it wasn’t just a one-shot deal. Bizarre Foods, under Tremendous Entertainment, sent out some crew members a week prior to the July 12 filming.

“A producer for the show, as well as someone from the lighting crew and camera crew came out,” said Polashek. “They walked around the property inside and out; figuring out where the filming would take place, space and lighting.”

Polashek believes Bizarre Foods got their lead from a farmer near Fredericksburg.

“We found out from Bizarre Foods that they were doing a piece on a farmer we knew from Fredericksburg who has brought some hogs here for butchering,” said Polashek. “We figured he gave them our name.”

A 10-piece crew with a combination of members from Tremendous Entertainment and Bizarre Foods showed up at the locker at 7 a.m. on July 12 for the shoot. Crew members included camera, lighting, sound, someone on an iPad and, of course, Andrew Zimmern, Bizarre Foods host.

“We had four different foods showcased for the show,” said Polashek. “Jaternice, tripe, hocks and head cheese. Dad cooked what needed to be cooked before they got here so they could try everything and it was ready to go. They also filmed us making it.”

• Jaternice is, well, let’s just say it’s hard to describe if you don’t know what it is. It is a pig combination of snouts, tongue and trimmings with onions, cracker crumbs, barley and seasonings added in. It is fried before serving. Some like it lightly browned and others like it dark and crispy.

“The jaternice is getting more popular every year,” said Polashek. “We usually make some about three times a month and probably average about 10,000 pounds a year.”

• Tripe is beef intestines. Yes, you heard it right. Beef intestines.

• Pork hocks are the lower legs and feet from the hog. Most often it is cooked until the meat is easily pulled off. Seasonings and pickling juices are added to the meat prior to it being placed in jars. Zimmern ate it cooked and not pickled.

• Head cheese is a jellied loaf or sausage made from edible parts of the head, feet and sometimes the tongue and heart, especially of a pig.

Andrew Zimmern is the co-creator, host and consulting producer of the Travel Channel series “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.” Zimmern lives in Edina, Minn., so he didn’t have a long commute in order to get to Polashek’s Locker.

“Zimmern is a very nice guy,” said Polashek. “Just a normal guy. My dad, Paul, really enjoys Bizarre Foods and it’s actually one of his favorite shows.”

After the filming took place, roughly five hours, Polashek’s had locker favorite brats for the crew and Zimmern. Zimmern’s favorite: the broccoli cheese brat.

Zimmern wasn’t done in Iowa with the Polashek feature.

“He started in Fredericka,” said Polashek. “We were second on his list. He was then going to Des Moines and I believe the Mount Vernon Café.”

Although the head cheese, jaternice, hocks and tripe are the showcased items for Bizarre Foods, Adam said there are some favorite items the locker sells.

“We make hot sticks, bologna, wieners, brats, jerky and summer sausage consistently every week,” said Polashek.

Polashek’s Locker isn’t a stranger to notoriety. The locker has consistently produced award-winning products within state competitions and beyond.

“Our most recent recognition is receiving the ‘2012 Best of the Midwest Reserve Champion’ award for our ring bologna,” said Polashek. “This award was from the Quad State Convention and was made of Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.”

Check out Polashek’s Locker on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Travel Channel, Feb. 25, 8 p.m.'

Source: Kim Soukup,, February 12, 2013. 

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