Nasty and delicious lying close to each other in the world kitchen

Yes, of course that stinks. River fish that has been rotting in a bag for a long time. In Thailand, they make the sauce that is characteristic of Thai cuisine from fermented fish. Axel Daeseleire doesn’t dare to take it himself, but just the thought that his traveling companion is taking a sip makes him gag and walk out of the picture.

In the Flemish culinary travel program Sergio & Axel: From the map (NPO 3), the Flemish actor travels with three-star chef Sergio Herman to discover new cuisines. The idea: Herman spends too much time in his kitchen, he has to go outside, his head has to be fed with fresh ideas. Each episode ends with a dinner that Herman prepares with the newly acquired ingredients.

The first trip goes to Thailand. The best thing is to look for the discomfort. So they go to a house where bird nests are grown: the whole house is full of swifts, which make nests from their saliva. If you pick the feathers out, you can cook bird’s nest soup. The swallow house also smells awful. Nasty and delicious lie close together in world cuisine. In the Netherlands, culinary journalist Joël Broekaert makes similar travel programs.

You have two types of travel series: the series with the experienced guide who teaches you something about the country (Ruben Terlou in China). And the series with the ignorant who thinks everything is crazy (Frans Bauer in China), which makes you identify with him. Sergio and Axel are somewhere in between. Axel is the experienced traveler – he’s been to Thailand 15 times – Sergio is the newbie. But the chef is actually the one who opens up best to the country, at least to the food, and who clicks with the people they meet. In the meantime they squabble and tease each other, act a little tough, boys among each other, which also makes it reminiscent of the travels of Nick, Simon & Kees.

Axel Daeseleire and Sergio Herman are famous in Flanders, which will certainly help to appreciate their adventures and personal outpourings. It also helps if you are interested in good food. Nice program, but I’m not.

A lot of people are foreign to me, so I don’t know anything about football either. So I was somewhat surprised looking at the Quiz with Balls (NPO 1). This program, presented by Frank Evenblij, has been created for all football fans who have to miss the canceled European Championship. You are two teams of former football players, connoisseurs and comedians, who have to answer questions about Orange. The quiz is only about the men’s team. Of the recently much more successful women, you only get a doll from Lieke Martens, which they have to shoot over.

This also seems like a very nice program. But to appreciate the jokes and anecdotes, it probably helps enormously if you even know who, for example, Bert Maalderink is. (Just looked it up: he has been working for NOS Sport for 26 years, but according to those present he knows nothing about football.) I also thought that the best always wins. But here sports reporter Fresia Cousiño Arias (Fox Sports) got almost all questions right, including difficult, associative riddles (Gay Pride + crate = Kees Kist). Still, the other team won. They had to chuckle a lot because of the photo of the gays. I think that’s weird in the football world.

I myself got zero questions right. Well, one. That the man who shot into his own goal during his Orange debut in 1905 was called Ben Stom. But that was a gamble.