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: The Bread Books, pt. 1

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. 

House of the Herrs

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.

Of Filo and Honey

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.

Bread: The Song of Angry Men

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.

Pardon the Turkeys

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.

The Final Showdown: A Trivia Special

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.

Finally, this week, we’re asking, if you can, to donate to The Okra Project, which provides Black Trans people with home cooked meals: https://www.theokraproject.com

Olives in the Time of Martinis

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.