Peas in a Podcast
Podcasts! Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve likely noted the mega rise of the podcast. I am personally a BIG fan. True crime, interviews, pop-culture commentary; I’m listening to them all. Unsurprisingly one of my absolute favourite podcast genres is FOOD. I thought I’d write a y’all a brief piece with a couple of my top picks in the food podcasting world.
As host Dan Pashman tells us each episode, the sporkful is a show that obsesses about food to learn more about people. Less a ‘cooking’ show and more a cultural exploration of how food effects our world, our communities and our relationships.
Episodes vary from week to week. Sometimes it’s a conversation with a comedian about the perception of masculinity and salads, other times it’s a piece of investigative journalism tracking the origins of California’s independent doughnut stores and their connection to the Cambodian genocide, or a piece about how cooking can connect people to their roots. There are frequent discussions about food science, food writing and restaurant culture. Dan Pashman is unashamedly totally obsessed with eating, and frequently gets sidetracked talking about the best way to eat a sandwich or piece of chocolate. He seems genuinely delighted to learn something new or have a laugh with his guests. Recent guests include Nailed It! host Nicole Byer, Alan Alda, renowned former food critic Mimi Sheridan, and even occasionally his own children. It’s a good time.
This new Australian podcast features fascinating, in-depth conversations with hospitality leaders, chefs, restauranteurs and tastemakers. The interviews happen on the streets, in markets, in kitchens and dining rooms; no stale studio air happening here. The interviews are thoughtful and go well beyond the kitchen. I enjoyed Neil Perry’s episode where he had some amazing things to say about the culture and work ethos that he tries to create within his 60-restaurant strong empire.
The website gives you even more information from each guest with the ‘Little Black Book’ section. They’ve collated each guests top picks for restaurants, brunch spots, cheap eats, market stalls, and even which instagrammers they love to follow! They’ve got extra podcast content too, with one-off ‘seasonal specials’ and ‘side orders’ with cooking tips and recipes.
The Fridge Light
This Canadian based production is nerdy. Proper nerdy. You won’t get any recipes here, but you will get some excellent knowledge about the stuff in your fridge. What happens to the parts of the pig that don’t get used in food production? What is the deal with yeast?
The Fridge Light team go deep into the backstory of foodstuffs we just take for granted. I enjoyed their episode about why bars stock certain brands of alcohol, and how the alcohol marketing industry got started. It’s always fascinating and will make you look at the contents of your fridge a little differently!
I started listening to Gastropod quite recently and it’s a great podcast that explore the history, science, and cultural impact of food. The episode on the early days of preservatives and food regulation was super interesting (and frighteningly relevant given the recent allegations about adulterated honey). I also really enjoyed listening to their conversations about cookbooks with culinary superstars Yotam Ottolenghi and Nigella Lawson.
Speaking of cookbooks I’m going to give my last shoutout to Salt + Spine which focusses on cookbooks and their authors.
That was about a thousand recommendations for y’all so happy listening! Let me know if you have a favourite podcast that I should be listening to.
Also, if anyone wants some true crime podcast recommendations… I’ve got you covered. Hit me up.