American Pie

This week, we’re deep in Holiday Season, as we discuss one of America’s most divisive and storied holiday desserts: pumpkin pie. We discuss Indigenous farming practices, the myth of the first Thanksgiving, and how New England used tourism to elevate the story of Plymouth Rock. Finally, we discuss the connection between the Civil War and pumpkin pie’s firm place on Thanksgiving tables across the country.

The Scarlet Apple

This week, we’re taking on seasonal treats. We discuss a marketing strategy that worked too well, how candied fruits traveled from China to the Americas, and the connection between Yeats and candied apples. Finally, we explore the dental dangers of various kinds of hard-shelled apples.

Remember the Margarita!

In this episode, we’re diving into one of Mexico’s beloved cocktails – the margarita. Of course, the history of this drink is murky, and we explore the margarita’s competing origin stories. We discuss a showgirl who was allergic to every alcohol except tequila, a house party hosted by Dallas socialite and a Hilton in Acapulco, and Rita Hayworth’s time in Tijuana. Finally, we give you a Spanish lesson.

Wheat Streets 8: Pan y Circo

This week, we’re ending our wheat series with yet another revolution. But this time, we’re not talking about a political revolution. We discuss the hottest fads in farming, the environmental impacts of fertilizer, and the negative impacts of an agricultural movement to end hunger. Finally, we talk about the superbugs that keep us up at night.

Wheat Streets 6: Brot and Peace

As our journey with wheat continues, we come to the most important event of the 20th century: The Great War. This week, we pick up right where we left off, and discuss why America’s grain couldn’t get to Europe fast enough, how Germany’s quest to feed its people may have prolonged the war, and how Herbert Hoover won the war. Finally, we foreshadow the next years in Russia by returning to our favorite theme: grain prices.

Wheat Streets 5: Grown in the U.S.A.

We’re back on our grain train! This week, we’re talking about wheat’s trip across the Atlantic, the role that railroads (yet again) play in the rise of a beloved food in the United States, and how a century of revolution in Europe allowed American farmers to feed the world. Finally, we discuss the rise of Chicago.

Wheat Streets 4: London Falling

It was only a matter of time. As we continue our stories on wheat, we return to a very familiar theme: bread and revolution. This time we’re continuing last week’s discussion and finally exploring how the peasants took out their anger on the millers. We discuss the medieval farming practices, the storming of the Tower of London, and the Lutheran Reformation. Finally, we revisit the Canterbury Tales.

Wheat Streets 3: Milling About

This week, we’ve got another addition to our bread ┬áseries and things are getting personal. We talk about why everyone hated the millers, how peasants avoided eating bread, and how pubs became central to medieval English villages. Finally, we discuss Chaucer.

Wheat Streets 2: Roman around

This week, we continue our bread series, and this time, we go from Egypt to Rome. And with our entrance to Rome, we explore burdensome Roman economics, analyze Jesus’s bread and loaves, and revisit our old discussions of grain and revolution. We conclude our discussion just as Rome did – with the fall of the Roman empire.