I love a good podcast. Maybe it’s because I grew up listening to “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” and “Fresh Air,” or maybe it’s because there’s nothing better to listen to while you’re hanging out on the Red Line. Either way, it’s probably one of easiest, most entertaining ways to stay up to speed on current events and trends if you’re a busy college student. Not surprisingly, many of my favorite podcasts are all about food. I have a rotation of shows that teach me new things about food culture, history and science every week. Here are a few of my favorites:
Spilled Milk, by Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton: This show will make you laugh out loud until you cry. Every episode tackles a different ingredient or dish in around 20 minutes. The conversation between the hosts is lively and runs the gamut from factual and informative to just plain silly. My favorite episodes are “Day of Perfect Meals” and all of the junk food episodes from countries around the world.
Gastropod, by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley: “Gastropod” is all about food through the lens of science and history (also known as my only true interests in this world). Every week, the hosts bring in experts and provide a thoroughly researched show about anything from bitter flavors to microbes. (Check out the episode with Tufts Biology Professor Ben Wolfe!)
The Sporkful, Dan Pashman: Tufts alumnus Dan Pashman (A ’99) wants to teach us how to “eat more, better.” With debates like “Is a hotdog a sandwich?” this show is neither highbrow nor snooty, and it appeals to everyone. Make sure you listen to his episode that was recorded at Tufts this past fall.
America’s Test Kitchen Radio: All of the video hosts of “America’s Test Kitchen” come together on this weekly show that runs similarly to their TV show on PBS (clearly, the theme to my childhood was public television and radio). In one full hour show, Chris Kimball takes you through recipes, equipment reviews, taste tests, food science, call-in questions and even a famous celebrity guest. The episodes are long, but boy are they chock-full of nerdy kitchen information. Start with the episode with Yotam Ottolenghi as the special guest, and you will not be disappointed.
Burnt Toast, Food 52: For those of you unfamiliar, Food 52 is like the Washington Post of online food publications (America’s Test Kitchen is the New York Times equivalent, obviously). The website features well-vetted recipes, expert columns and hotlines for novice cooks. The podcast, on the other hand, features celebrity chefs and guests like Ruth Reichl and Nigella Lawson. The coffee episode, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Coffee,” is not to be missed.