The true adventures of David Fairchild, a late-nineteenth-century food explorer who traveled the globe and introduced diverse crops like avocados, mangoes, seedless grapes—and thousands more—to the American plate. In the nineteenth century, American meals were about subsistence, not enjoyment. But as a new century approached, appetites broadened, and David Fairchild, a young botanist with an insatiable lust to explore and experience the world, set out in search of foods that would enrich the American farmer and enchant the American eater. [more inside]
The decade-long Great Depression, a period of shifts in the country’s political and social landscape, forever changed the way America eats. Before 1929, America’s relationship with food was defined by abundance. But the collapse of the economy, in both urban and rural America, left a quarter of all Americans out of work and undernourished—shattering long-held assumptions about the limitlessness of the national larder. In 1933, as women struggled to feed their families, President Roosevelt reversed long-standing biases toward government-sponsored “food charity.” For the first time in American history, the federal government assumed, for a while, responsibility for feeding its citizens. The effects were widespread. Championed by Eleanor Roosevelt, “home economists” who had long fought to bring science into the kitchen rose to national stature. [more inside]
In this captivating blend of culinary history and popular culture, the award-winning author of Perfection Salad shows us what happened when the food industry elbowed its way into the kitchen after World War II, brandishing canned hamburgers, frozen baked beans, and instant piecrusts. Big Business waged an all-out campaign to win the allegiance of American housewives, but most women were suspicious of the new foods—and the make-believe cooking they entailed. With sharp insight and good humor, Laura Shapiro shows how the ensuing battle helped shape the way we eat today, and how the clash in the kitchen reverberated elsewhere in the house as women struggled with marriage, work, and domesticity. This unconventional history overturns our notions about the ’50s and offers new thinking on some of its fascinating figures, including Poppy Cannon, Shirley Jackson, Julia Child, and Betty Friedan
In First Bite, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson draws on the latest research from food psychologists and neuroscientists to reveal that our food habits are shaped by a host of factors: family and culture, memory and gender, hunger and love. Taking the reader on a journey across the globe, Wilson introduces us to people who can only eat foods of a certain color, an anosmia sufferer who has no memory of the flavor of her mother's cooking, and researchers who have pioneered new ways to persuade children to try new vegetables. An exploration of the surprising origins of our tastes, First Bite shows us how we can change our palates to lead healthier, happier lives.
Street Food: Season 1 Season 1, Ep 0
From the creators of the popular series Chef's Table, season one of this new series focuses on Asia, visiting nine different cities and countries. Each episode highlights the life and story of a local acclaimed street food vendor. [more inside]
Toasted marshmallows stuffed with raisins? Green-and-white luncheons? Chemistry in the kitchen? This entertaining and erudite social history, now in its fourth paperback edition, tells the remarkable story of America's transformation from a nation of honest appetites into an obedient market for instant mashed potatoes. In Perfection Salad, Laura Shapiro investigates a band of passionate but ladylike reformers at the turn of the twentieth century―including Fannie Farmer of the Boston Cooking School―who were determined to modernize the American diet through a "scientific" approach to cooking. Shapiro's fascinating tale shows why we think the way we do about food today.
Since prehistory, humans have braved sharp knives, fire, and grindstones to transform raw ingredients into something delicious--or at least edible. But these tools have also transformed how we consume, and how we think about, our food. In Consider the Fork, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson takes readers on a wonderful and witty tour of the evolution of cooking around the world, revealing the hidden history of objects we often take for granted. Technology in the kitchen does not just mean the Pacojets and sous-vide machines of the modern kitchen, but also the humbler tools of everyday cooking and eating: a wooden spoon and a skillet, chopsticks and forks. Blending history, science, and personal anecdotes, Wilson reveals how our culinary tools and tricks came to be and how their influence has shaped food culture today. The story of how we have tamed fire and ice and wielded whisks, spoons, and graters, all for the sake of putting food in our mouths, Consider the Fork is truly a book to savor.
An incredibly versatile cooking ingredient containing an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and possibly cancer-fighting properties, mushrooms are among the most expensive and sought-after foods on the planet. Yet when it comes to fungi, culinary uses are only the tip of the iceberg. Throughout history fungus has been prized for its diverse properties—medicinal, ecological, even recreational—and has spawned its own quirky subculture dedicated to exploring the weird biology and celebrating the unique role it plays on earth. In Mycophilia, accomplished food writer and cookbook author Eugenia Bone examines the role of fungi as exotic delicacy, curative, poison, and hallucinogen, and ultimately discovers that a greater understanding of fungi is key to facing many challenges of the 21st century. [more inside]
In his fifth work of nonfiction, Mark Kurlansky turns his attention to a common household item with a long and intriguing history: salt. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions. Populated by colorful characters and filled with an unending series of fascinating details, Salt is a supremely entertaining, multi-layered masterpiece.
Cod, Mark Kurlansky’s third work of nonfiction and winner of the 1999 James Beard Award, is the biography of a single species of fish, but it may as well be a world history with this humble fish as its recurring main character. Cod, it turns out, is the reason Europeans set sail across the Atlantic, and it is the only reason they could. What did the Vikings eat in icy Greenland and on the five expeditions to America recorded in the Icelandic sagas? Cod, frozen and dried in the frosty air, then broken into pieces and eaten like hardtack. What was the staple of the medieval diet? Cod again, sold salted by the Basques, an enigmatic people with a mysterious, unlimited supply of cod. As we make our way through the centuries of cod history, we also find a delicious legacy of recipes, and the tragic story of environmental failure, of depleted fishing stocks where once their numbers were legendary. In this lovely, thoughtful history, Mark Kurlansky ponders the question: Is the fish that changed the world forever changed by the world's folly?
Bad food has a history. Swindled tells it. Through a fascinating mixture of cultural and scientific history, food politics, and culinary detective work, Bee Wilson uncovers the many ways swindlers have cheapened, falsified, and even poisoned our food throughout history. In the hands of people and corporations who have prized profits above the health of consumers, food and drink have been tampered with in often horrifying ways--padded, diluted, contaminated, substituted, mislabeled, misnamed, or otherwise faked. Swindled gives a panoramic view of this history, from the leaded wine of the ancient Romans to today's food frauds--such as fake organics and the scandal of Chinese babies being fed bogus milk powder. [more inside]
First patented in 1856, baking powder sparked a classic American struggle for business supremacy. For nearly a century, brands battled to win loyal consumers for the new leavening miracle, transforming American commerce and advertising even as they touched off a chemical revolution in the world's kitchens. Linda Civitello chronicles the titanic struggle that reshaped America's diet and rewrote its recipes. [more inside]
Mark Kurlansky's first global food history since the bestselling Cod and Salt; the fascinating cultural, economic, and culinary story of milk and all things dairy--with recipes throughout. According to the Greek creation myth, we are so much spilt milk; a splatter of the goddess Hera's breast milk became our galaxy, the Milky Way. But while mother's milk may be the essence of nourishment, it is the milk of other mammals that humans have cultivated ever since the domestication of animals more than 10,000 years ago, originally as a source of cheese, yogurt, kefir, and all manner of edible innovations that rendered lactose digestible, and then, when genetic mutation made some of us lactose-tolerant, milk itself. [more inside]
Top Chef: Kentucky: Naughty and Nice Season 16, Ep 3
It's holiday time for Top Chef, and Richard Blais and Brooke Williamson help spread the festive cheer by presenting a white elephant Quickfire challenge. Then, the Chefs receive an unexpected gift as Michelin starred super Chef Eric Ripert sits down with them to celebrate an elaborate traditional French Christmas dinner. However, once the last bite is taken, Padma informs the Chefs that they’re missing the final part of the tradition of Le Revillon de Noel...the presentation of 13 desserts. It's a midnight pastry free-for-all as the Chefs try to avoid being placed on the naughty list.
Somebody Feed Phil: Season 1 (All Episodes) Season 1, Ep 0
“My little joke that I make whenever I talk about my show is when I sold the show to Netflix I said I’m exactly like Anthony Bourdain if he was afraid of everything. My show is a take on his type of show but just to say that means that he invented an entire genre. I want to dedicate, not this episode, my entire series to him.” - Phil Rosenthal. [more inside]
Ugly Delicious: Pizza Season 1, Ep 1
You can throw ramen on top of pizza dough—but is it pizza? Chef David Chang travels to restaurants around the world in search of the best pizza in season 1 episode 1 of Netflix's "Ugly Delicious." [more inside]
A failing Italian restaurant run by two brothers gambles on one special night to try to save the business. [more inside]
A 1950s period piece exploring the relationship triangle between couture dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), his sister and business partner Cyril (Lesley Manville), and Alma (Vicky Krieps), the woman Woodcock invites into his home to be his latest muse and model.
"This is a story of resistance against all odds, of Cuba’s remarkable recovery from a food crisis brought on by the collapse of trade relations with the former Socialist Bloc and the tightening of the US trade embargo. Unable to import either food or materials needed for conventional agriculture, Cuba turned inward to self-reliance. Sustainable agriculture, organic farming, urban gardens, smaller farms, animal traction, and biological pest control are all part of the new Cuban agriculture." [more inside]
A Japanese man with an incredible love of sweets takes a new job to have more time to visit sweet shops. [more inside]
A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence. [more inside]
Two men decide to start a company. Everything is going well… until it’s not. That’s the moment they decide to start recording their conversations—painful, awkward, emotional conversations. [more inside]
Cooked: Full-season discussion Season 1, Ep 0
A new 4-part Netflix documentary series on food, cooking, sustainability, and our relationships with what we eat and how it is prepared. Hosted and produced by Michael Pollan, inspired by his book of the same name.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: LGBT Discrimination Season 2, Ep 26
This week.... Hostilities flare up between North Korea and South Korea. Vladimir Putin bans the import of many types of food from the West. Greece President Alexis Tsipras resigns (but will still run for reelection) after just seven months in office amidst controversy over his bank-mandated austerity measures. And Now: Another Check-In With The Most Patient Man On Television. (That would be Steve Scully of C-Span's Washington Journal.) The main story: discrimination against LGBT couples still legal in surprisingly much of the nation. YouTube (15m) And Now: The Most Patient Man On Television Faces His Greatest Challenge. Finally, a follow-up on the business of John Oliver's church, Our Lady Of Perpetual Exemption. They got rather a lot of mail, including a giant bag of seeds, followed by gianter bag of seeds the next day. They also got beef jerky and a 100-Trillion-dollar bill from Zimbabwe (worth about 40 cents). Last Week Tonight is taking a break for two weeks. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Food Waste in the US Season 2, Ep 21
This week.... The US and Iran are on the verge of signing a historic nuclear arms deal. Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman escapes from prison by constructing a surprisingly elaborate tunnel a mile long. North Korea gears up to celebrate their "Liberation Day" with a concert by Slovenian band Laibach. And Now: CBS This Morning's Awkward Sex Talk. Main story: The fact that the US wastes 40% of the food it produces each year, and its consequences. YouTube (18m) Last Week Tonight produced their own, more honest version of an "American" cheeseburger commercial produced by Carl's Jr. [more inside]
Regular Show: Lunch Break Season 6, Ep 30
Mordecai and Rigby reminisce about previous food challenges while eating a ten-foot-long party sub.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of 85-year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious three-star Michelin Guide rating, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar. IMDB (7.9/10); Rotten Tomatoes (99% fresh).
Who was General Tso, and why are we eating his chicken? This feature documentary explores the origins and ubiquity of Chinese-American food through the story of an iconic sweet and spicy chicken dish. [more inside]
"The first AMT of 2015 is an absolute peach, so trot over to answermethispodcast.com/episode305 to read all about it." [more inside]
Listeners, thank you so much for contributing your attention, questions and eartime to us this year. What a year it has been! Relisten to the highlights – and lowlights, including such annual delights as the Parade of Melancholy Calls and the blooper reel – in The Best of Answer Me This! 2014. [more inside]
A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.
Of this masterpiece of product placement, the AV Club says "the grotesque ugliness of the animation alone would be a deal-breaker even if the film weren’t also glaringly inappropriate in its sexuality, nightmare-inducing in its animation, and filled with Nazi overtones and iconography even more egregiously unfit for children than the script’s wall-to-wall gauntlet of crude double entendres and weird intimations of interspecies sex. "Thanks" to hellojed for his FPP informing me of the existence of this monstrosity.
Adventure Time: Food Chain Season 6, Ep 7
Finn and Jake go to a museum of natural history to learn about the food chain, but end up becoming part of it! This episode was directed by special guest director Masaaki Yuasa
Hannibal: Kō No Mono Season 2, Ep 11
Jack and the BAU team discover the truth about Freddie Lounds' disappearance, and Will and Hannibal become further engaged with Margot and Mason. Mason thinks Margot plans to get pregnant to produce an heir that will usurp him.