Travel the culinary world past and present with these 7 food, history, and culture podcasts

Food September 2, 2021

Any good chef will tell you that their favorite meal of all time was a dish their parents used to make for them – the recipes our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents made for us that have been passed down through the generations. Food connects us with our ancestors and our culture. And these food podcasts are based on those truths.

Here is a collection of the best food podcasts that look at the history, culture, science, and psychology behind our food of today. Hear about the wide world of Asian cuisines, the history of Indian food, the science and politics that dictate the food industry and more.

Take A Bao

Listen to ‘Take A Bao’

“Take A Bao” is a 10-part show exploring the history, techniques and intricacies of Asian food. From the durian’s smelly yet revered reputation, to the disappearing coffee houses of Malaysia, “Take A Bao” is a celebration of the vast world of Asian cuisine. Salted eggs, Dalgona coffee, rice, tea and kueh are the tip of the iceberg. Dive in with chefs, farmers, and food critics to learn how to cook, eat, and enjoy iconic Asian dishes.

Gastropod

Listen to ‘Gastropod’

Food, history and science combine to make one “Gastropod.” Hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley explore hidden histories and unsuspecting science behind our food. They are looking at the science and economics of edibles, how much water you actually need, and busting myths about Prohibition. Intensely researched and beautifully presented, “Gastropod” is a smorgasbord of factoids.

Proof

Listen to ‘Proof’

From America’s Test Kitchen, “Proof” is not a show about recipes, chefs, or culinary creations. “Proof” is going beyond food, to the history, culture, science, and psyche that goes into our love for food. Each episode is a different story: from the Olive Tree Cafe in Greenwich Village, which sits right above one of the most renowned comedy clubs in the world, to life, legacy, and death of the Jello Salad. Come for the food, stay for the stories.

The History of Food

Listen to ‘The History of Food’

“The History of Food” is the most thoroughly researched podcast of all time. Each episode is crafted around different time periods, countries, and their cuisines. Host Holden Wilson walks us through the story of human civilizations through the food they created.

Bite

Listen to ‘Bite’

Some of us dig right in when a plate is set down in front of us, unable to help ourselves. And some of us savor every bite. This podcast is for the thinkers, the people who are ever so curious about their food. Tom Philpott, Kiera Butler and Maddie Oatman uncover the politics and science behind the food we eat. From the food of Palestine, the history of rural farm land ownership, and the Iowa farmers who can sway an election, tune in to “Bite.”

A Taste of the Past

Listen to ‘A Taste of the Past’

From ancient Mesopotamia to Downtown Abbey to imperial China and back again, “A Taste of the Past” is the ultimate food history podcast. Culinary historian Linda Pelaccio links past food with present day cuisine along with her slew of food writers and food enthusiasts as guests. Listen to episodes about the roots of barbecue, the art of the sandwich, the cuisine of the Spanish Roma, and the history of pasta on “A Taste of the Past.”

The Food Programme

Listen to ‘The Food Programme’

“The Food Programme” is an investigation of all the food we eat. Covering topics like sexism in the alcohol industry, the controversy around MSG, James Bond’s diet, and the food pulling India through its COVID crisis, the BBC podcast is digging deep.

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