This week, we’re leaving behind France and moving east to talk about another land of flaky pastry: the Middle East. We discuss the controversial beginnings of baklava, how the Iranians came up with possibly the best name for a dessert ever, and a diplomatic dust up involving baklava, Barack Obama, and Greece-Turkey relations. Finally, the geography of the Iliad.
This week we’re returning with a very delayed episode on bread. If last time was about the precursor to the French Revolution, this week, we’re in the thick of it as we watch Louis XIV repeat the mistakes he made a decade ago. This week, we revisit our discussions about grain markets, hit up the greatest hits of the first wave of the French Revolution and follow angry French women marching across Paris. Finally, we discuss Marie Antoinette.
This week, we start part 1 of our two part series on the French Revolution by talking about the precursor: the Flour War. We discuss the importance of grain prices, the origins of capitalism, and the complete mess that was known as the Ancien Régime. Finally, we discuss how taxes work in Massachusetts.
A special thanks to the Revolutions Podcast and Cynthia Bouton for providing the bulk of today’s source materials.
It’s election season, so we’re returning to one of our favorite themes: Presidents and food. This week, we discuss the famous tale of George Washington and the cherry tree, how a bowl of cherries might have killed Zachary Taylor, and why presidents have to forgive turkeys for their purported crimes every Thanksgiving. Finally, we speculate wildly about how various Presidential rumors.
We’re back for season 4! We apologize for the delay but what is time anymore? We return with an exploration of a hearty stew that has come to epitomize the fall harvest and the High Holidays. We discuss the symbolism of tzimmes’s different ingredients, how geography affects the evolution of dishes (shocker), and why you stew certain cuts of meat and not others. Finally, we end with a public health PSA: wash your hands, wear a mask, stay six feet apart!
It’s our season finale, and this time, we wanted to end on a happy note, and the happiest thing we could do is bring back a very special guest: the one, the only, the incomparable Mary. We quiz her on Victorian sweets, reassess American geography, and revisit the history of starches.
We’re done with the rice chronicles, and hurtling towards the end of the season, so this week, we don’t even cover food! Instead, snuggle up with your favorite quarantini, because it’s time to talk about the birth of the fanciest cocktail. We discuss Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Yalta conference hangover, why you might ever muddle an olive, and FDR’s infamously terrible cocktails. Finally, we debate whether or not Joseph Stalin invented the pickleback.
This week, we reach the end of the Tolstoyesque saga that has been The Rice Chronicles. We return to one of our first stops on our journey with rice to discuss parallel histories of rice and fermentation in Japan and Korea, some old and classic colonialism tactics, and the key differences between gimbap and sushi, because they are not the same! Finally, we explain why Korean culinary history can be difficult to trace aka why gimbap has so many names.
We’re continuing our rice series by not talking about rice. Instead, we head to North America to talk about an aquatic grain that has played a central role in Indigenous cuisine across the Great Lakes region for centuries. We discuss how wild rice is harvested, the role of wild rice in the origin story of the Ojibwe, and the evolution of the wild rice economy. Finally, we give you a glimpse into our storied podcast planning process.
Our rice series continues, and this week we move further west and into Egypt to discuss a cherished rice and lentil dish. We discuss the history of lentils and rice as a combination, migration during the heyday of the British Empire, and why pasta makes a guest appearance in kosheri. Finally, we revisit the connections between carboloading and street food.