We’re starting a new staple series, and this time, we’re turning to Oprah’s favorite carb, bread. In this episode, we start at the very beginning and explore how a hard seed that broke people’s teeth became the central food for some of the oldest civilizations in the world. We discuss the how women probably invented agriculture, where the first sourdough starter was invented, and how a changing climate gave us civilization. Finally, we talk about underwater archaeology.
This week, we’re taking a respite from 19th century political turmoil in Europe and taking our podcast westward – to America! We discuss prohibition, how an Italian immigrant in San Francisco ended up in Tijuana and created a famous salad, or maybe how he might have stole it. Finally, we analyze the many iterations of fast food caesar salad offerings.
Another week, another revolution. This week, we’re moving on from France to Central Europe to talk about the revolutions of 1848. We discuss lost German dialects in Texas, the long-lasting legacy of Central Europe’s revolutions on Hill Country, and why Texas barbecue is so special. Finally, we give reading recommendations.
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 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.
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.
Another week, another episode about rice! We’re taking a short trip from Japan to Korea as we talk about the trendy rice dish. We discuss traditional Korean food theory, the role of efficiency in developing an all-inclusive meal, and the possible precursors to the bibimbap we know and love today. Finally, we talk about the Oscars.