Podcasts for Foodies

I got an Iphone a few months ago.  It has caused a bit of tension in our home--Tim is a Droid user.  Need I say  more? We are at an impasse on the discussion of which phone is better so we've decided to keep our marriage happy and agree to disagree.

But I am really enjoying the things that come along with having an Iphone including Angry Birds, the Instagr.am photo editing application, and particularly having access to Itunes.  I've never even owned an Ipod so this phone has opened up an entire world of media that I hardly knew I wanted.

Podcasts have gotten me through hours upon hours of commuting for job.  I generally download a handful over the weekend and create a playlist for my next trip.  My downloaded podcasts include the usual story-driven suspects--This American Life, Radio Lab, and The Moth Podcast--but I've also recently started stocking up on podcasts related to cooking, dining, entertaining, and food politics.

A coworker recently pointed out to me that it's a bit ironic to be listening to radio shows about food when you can't see the food, smell the aromas, or taste the flavors. The host has to be creative in describing the topic so that the listener can actually visualize and experience the food.  Not everyone can do this, and I've downloaded a show or two that I've disliked for the sole reason that I never felt connected to the host or that the host cared about my listening experience.

This list that I've compiled are shows that I listen to regularly.  Some of the shows update on a regular basis and some of them more sporadically.  I've equally enjoyed listening through the archives as I have listening to new episodes.  I hope you get as many hours of enjoyment out of these as I do.

Seven Podcasts for Foodies
(in no particular order)

Spilled Milk
Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton are writer-bloggers who brave taste testing different recipes and ingredients while taunting their listeners with the sounds of them licking their lips and mmmmmm-ing about their favorites.  It's comedy, it's educational, it's biased (neither of them love mac & cheese--the horror!) and non-scientific, and it's very fun.  The topic of each podcast is generally focused an ingredient like ham or chiles or a common food staple like burgers and salad dressing.  Molly and Matthew muse about their experiences with the food and then taste test and compare.  You'll laugh, you'll learn, and you'll come back for seconds. 

The Splendid Table
As an avid NPR listener, I have loved this show for many years.  Lynne Rossetto Casper, with her sultry, raspy voice, describes food in a way that I can practically smell and taste it.  I particularly enjoy her discussions with guests on world cuisine, food trends, and hot topics in the industry.  There is always something for the gardener, the baker, the cook, and the diner-outer in the show archives.  (And don't miss her Thanksgiving Day call-in show where she often talks panicked hosts down from the ledge with thoughtful and helpful ideas on saving or improving this year's meal!)

Earth Eats Podcast
Produced in Bloomington, this is a new favorite program of mine.  Largely focused on midwestern, seasonal foods, you will hear an array of topics ranging from foraging for ingredients like ramps to making the perfect vegan taco.  Host Annie Corrigan narrates you through cooking in the kitchen with Chef Daniel Orr as well as interviews in the field and in studio with people holding unique food perspectives. 

Eat Feed
While not produced as consistently now as in the past, listening through the archives and the occasional new shows of this Chicago-based podcast will engage you in topics ranging from food history, interesting ingredients, persons in the food world, and seasonal eating.  Host Anne Bramley guides the podcasts as a teacher would a class allowing the listener to absorb everything from varying points of view, and as a listener you will come away continuing to ponder what you just heard. It's a highly respected show that is really as good as the hype.

Food Programme
This BBC program hosted by Sheila Dillon has given me a new insight into European food.  Did you know that frozen foods are a growing trend in France?  Have you considered how climate change may be affecting our farms and gardens? What is the effect of the mafia's influence on food in Sicily?  Who wouldn't want to learn about this stuff?  Each show is presented in a satisfyingly investigative manner and the information is equally provactive and memorable.

KCRW's Good Food
While this program is focused on regional food and news in Southern California, it's still very enjoyable.  You can expect recipe ideas for seasonal foods, interviews with locals about farming and gardening in California, short pieces about the science of food, and local dining ideas with insight into new and interesting cuisine.  Since we all benefit from the California bounty, I like to be kept abreast of what is happening.  It helps that the host, Evan Kleiman, has a warm, friendly tone to her voice that makes you feel like the podcast is a conversation between her and her listeners. 

Wine For Normal People
If you've read my About page, you'll know I enjoy wine.  But what you may not know is that my first professional job out of college was as a wine sales representative for a local distributor.  My life was immersed in wine for nearly two years, and it's one of the first common interests shared by Tim and me.  Even having lived and breathed wine as a job, there is still so so so much to learn.  The duo of hosts have their own set of strengths concerning the industry: Elizabeth is an excellent educator and Rick thinks of wine from a consumer's point of view.  You will learn about growing grapes (particularly the where and why), what goes into making wines, how to get the most out of wine tastings, choosing a wine for different occasions (with meal, with cheese, giving gifts, just because, etc), wine equipment,and why drinking wine is not just for the wine snobs (dare I say like me?).

Of course, this is just a list of my personal favoritesPlease feel free to share your own favorites--from this list or not--in the comments.  If it's not on this list, tell me and other readers why you like it and maybe we will all discover something new.

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