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Although some states across the country are easing their coronavirus restrictions, many Americans are still spending more time inside and learning new skills, especially in the kitchen. Folks are hopping on the bread-baking bandwagon, taking online cooking classes with celebrity chefs and more. For fans of podcasts, there are also shows that can help you hone your cooking skills, keep up with the latest restaurant news or learn more about the fascinating history behind your favorite foods. Here are the best food podcasts to listen to while staying at home and social distancing.
Hosted by Samin Nosrat, chef and author of the cookbook “Salt Fat Acid Heat,” and Hrishikesh Hirway, “Home Cooking” was conceived as a way to help people figure out what to cook during quarantine. Although it’s only a limited-run mini-series, the episodes are chock full of helpful information on making recipes using pantry staples, how to use canned fish in your cooking and more. “Home Cooking” is available on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.
The podcast “Doughboys” is all about the most beloved and popular chain restaurants in America. Each episode, comedians Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger review a different fast food or sit-down chain from heavy-hitter pizza chains like Pizza Hut to regional favorites like Culver’s and Rita’s Italian Ice. “Doughboys” is available on iTunes and Stitcher.
Courtesy of Copper and Heat
The James Beard Awards are prestigious prizes bestowed on the best restaurants in America — but did you know that podcasts can also win James Beard Awards? Since 2015, the James Beard Foundation has honored the best food podcast of the year, and the 2019 winner was “Copper & Heat.” This podcast, available on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher, explores issues in restaurant kitchens, including gender, race and privilege, through conversations with industry insiders.
Food52’s podcast “Burnt Toast,” hosted by cookbook author and food photographer Michael Harlan Turkell, is in its third season. Each episode focuses on a food-centered topic that is packed with cool history and fun, dinner party-worthy facts. Past episodes have revolved around the world’s spiciest foods, how world-record-setting giant vegetables are grown and more. The show can be found on iTunes, Stitcher and iHeartRadio.
“Chewing” is a bi-weekly podcast hosted by Chicago Tribune Food & Dining reporter Louisa Chu and WBEZ Food & Health reporter Monica Eng. Chu and Eng interview award-winning chefs and celebrity cookbook authors and spotlight fascinating food stories in Chicago and beyond. “Chewing” is available on Chicagotribune.com, iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher.
“Gravy” is both a classic Southern staple and the name of the podcast founded by the Southern Foodways Alliance to explore the diverse, evolving food cultures of the American South. Learn the history of biscuits and moonshine or the complex relationship between Southern and Mexican food. You can listen to episodes on Southernfoodways.org, iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.
Courtesy of Smart Mouth Podcast
On the podcast “Smart Mouth,” host Katherine Spiers talks to famous guests about the history of their favorite foods, including dishing about matzo ball soup with Mara Wilson and the best Thanksgiving dishes with “Top Chef” judge Gail Simmons. “Smart Mouth” is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher.
For the latest and wildest in restaurant news, check out “Eater’s Digest.” In this weekly podcast from food website Eater, hosts Amanda Kludt, Eater’s editor-in-chief, and producer Daniel Geneen discuss stories from restaurants and kitchens around the world, including how restaurants are handling the coronavirus, why spiked seltzer is having a moment and more. The show is available on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.
Courtesy of Kathi Bahr/Gastropod
In their podcast “Gastropod,” hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley explore the history and science behind a different food- or farming-related topic. Their deep-dives often include interviews with experts, tours of lab facilities and more. Recent topics include the history of white versus wheat bread, as well as the history of licorice, one of the most polarizing and popular jelly bean flavors in America. “Gastropod” is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher.
Courtesy of A Taste of the Past
Culinary historian Linda Pelaccio hosts this podcast that examines food cultures from ancient Rome to American Jewish delis. There are more than 300 episodes about topics such as the history of tailgating, what exactly halal food is and where to find the best Chinese street food. You can listen on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.
“The Sporkful” is a James Beard Award-winning podcast hosted by Dan Pashman, who you might recognize from the Cooking Channel's “You're Eating It Wrong.” Despite its high-brow acclaim, the podcast claims that “it's not for foodies, it's for eaters.” Each episode features different celebrity guests from chef Jamie Oliver to comedian Nicole Byer to Bill Nye the Science Guy as they explore topics like the science behind the perfect crackers or why seltzers sparkle. “The Sporkful” is available on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.
Courtesy of Robyn Lee/Special Sauce
"Special Sauce" is a James Beard-nominated weekly podcast in which host Ed Levine, the founder of food website Serious Eats, sits down with a famous guest and food lover. Previous guests include “Top Chef” lead judge Tom Colicchio, YouTube star and cookbook author Maangchi and James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Claudia Fleming. “Special Sauce” is available on iTunes and Stitcher.
If you’re looking for a series to binge, the weekly “Bon Appétit Foodcast” hosted by editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport has hundreds of episodes to choose from and has something for everyone: at-home cooking hacks from professional chefs, restaurant trends, how to use Dutch ovens, recipes to use up leftover rice and more. Check out episodes on Bon Appétit’s website as well as iTunes and Stitcher.
Courtesy of Spilled Milk Podcast
On their podcast “Spilled Milk,” writer/comedians Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton spill their thoughts on a particular food topic and explore its history. Past episodes spotlight shrimp cocktail, Moscow mules, Korean BBQ and the famous retro snack foods of Little Debbie. The show is available on iTunes and Stitcher.
On the podcast “Savor,” hosts Anney Reese and Lauren Vogelbaum explore why people like the foods they like through history, science and pop culture. Episodes include looks at the history of Girl Scout cookies, the role food plays in “The Simpsons,” fun facts about the popular Easter candy Peeps, and the science behind the perfect pancake. “Savor” is available on iHeartRadio, iTunes and Stitcher.
Courtesy of Melanie Dunea/The Splendid Table
Hosted by James Beard Award-winning food journalist Francis Lam, “The Splendid Table” is a weekly podcast that grew out of a radio program from acclaimed food writer Lynne Rossetto Kasper that began all the way back in 1995. Hundreds of previous episodes are available online dating back to 2000. It’s also available on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher. The show features interviews with celebrity chefs, Hollywood stars, musicians and others about food and culture as well as call-in portions where Lam and his guests answer listeners’ biggest cooking questions.
Courtesy of Andi Murphy/Toasted Sister Podcast
For fans of cool food history, Andi Murphy, a member of the Navajo Nation, hosts “Toasted Sister,” an award-winning show about Indigenous cuisine — its traditions, how it’s used now and where it’s headed in the future. In each episode, she interviews different restaurant owners, farmers, scientists and more within the Indigenous food industry. Listen to episodes on iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher.
The BBC podcast “The Food Chain” has hundreds of episodes documenting what it takes to put food on your plate. This includes the bittersweet reality of the chocolate industry, the sustainability issues surrounding palm oil and what it’s like to be a private chef for celebrities. The show is available on the BBC as well as iTunes and Stitcher.
On the podcast “What Doesn’t Kill You,” journalists, authors, scientists, activists and more join host Katy Keiffer to weigh in on issues affecting food systems, from food waste to labor rights to agricultural technology. It’s available on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.
Courtesy of Rachel Liu/ The Table Underground
Hosted by chef and activist Tagan Engel, “The Table Underground” is a New Haven, Connecticut, radio show and podcast that examines stories of race and social justice involving food. While many stories are about local chefs or community gardens, others are about beekeeping in Ethiopia or social justice movements in Puerto Rico. “The Table Underground” is available on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify and Stitcher.
Courtesy of DGA Productions, Inc./Milk Street Radio
“Milk Street Radio” is a weekly hour-long public radio broadcast and podcast that debuted in 2016. Every week, host Christopher Kimball and his team of contributors get answers to listeners' questions about cooking, food, culture and more. Previous guests include Ed Currie, the creator of the Carolina Reaper pepper, “Chopped” host Ted Allen and John Whaite, winner of “The Great British Bake Off,” one of the best feel-good TV shows. The podcast is available on iHeartRadio, iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.
Courtesy of Gabriel C. Pérez/ Bite Podcast
Hosted by blogger Tom Philpott and Mother Jones editors Kiera Butler and Maddie Oatman, “Bite” is a podcast about food news along with the politics and science behind the industry for people who want to know how food ends up on their plate. Recent topics include starting a garden during the pandemic, how to make recipes using pantry staples and more. Bite is available on Motherjones.com, Spotify and Stitcher.
On this show, hosts Juna Gjata and Dr. Eddie Phillips examine the science behind healthy eating, trend diets and exercises used for weight loss. Episodes focus on topics like stress-eating and how stress affects your body, whether you should take supplements and which exercises actually burn fat. This podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher and WBUR.
Courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen
Hosted by Bridget Lancaster, “Proof” is a podcast from America’s Test Kitchen, which is known for its television shows, cookbooks, magazines and cooking website. This podcast explores the fun facts and weird backstories from popular food and drinks such as kombucha, ranch and jambalaya, a classic New Orleans dish. “Proof” is available on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify.
Each week on the “Radio Cherry Bombe” podcast, host Kerry Diamond, co-founder and editorial director of the indie magazine Cherry Bombe, sits down to chat with noteworthy, interesting women in the world of food. Radio Cherry Bombe is available on iHeartRadio, iTunes and Stitcher.
Nordic cuisine — which comes from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland — has much acclaim, making the area a foodie destination. “Nordic Food Lab Radio” spotlights the lab’s work as well as the ingredients and culinary culture of Nordic countries, such as superfood chaga mushrooms and the origins of baking bread. The show is available on iTunes and Soundcloud.
The women behind the “Kitchen Sisters Present” podcast, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, are also the duo behind multiple award-winning series such as NPR’s “Hidden Kitchens.” This series centers around uncovering lost recordings and hidden histories, some related to food and others not. Past episodes include discovering Emily Dickinson’s hidden recipe archive, the obscure Egg Wars of the California Gold Rush and the history of tequila and the frozen margarita.
On the seven-episode podcast “Why We Eat What We Eat,” host Cathy Erway investigates what shapes eating habits, such as why kale became such a food trend and why American kids are picky eaters. Episodes are available on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.
Courtesy of Cole Wilson/I’ll Drink to That
If you’ve missed chatting with the bartender or sommelier at your favorite cocktail lounge or wine bar, there’s a podcast for you. In his podcast “I’ll Drink to That!,” former sommelier and host Levi Dalton hosts famous characters in the wine industry, including wine-makers, vineyard owners and authors. Their wide-ranging conversations will give you insight into the industry and the storied history of different wine regions and producers. It’s available on iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher. If you’re looking for other ways to get your fill of fascinating food history, here are 35 fun food facts you probably didn’t know.
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