This article previously featured in the March 18 edition of The Tribune's Weekend section.
Lent is almost over, and as people prepare to end their fasts, we turn our ears to podcasts concentrating on food.
The Splendid Table
This is a podcast where the rest of the website is worth exploring just as much as the podcast section. It boasts recipes, stories about food and more. Their latest episode starts off talking about brain food – foods you can eat to help with mental health and in psychiatry. It's a fascinating discussion, including how seafood is a great source of vitamin D and Omega 3 fats to build a better brain, with expert Dr Drew Ramsay on hand to say how food can boost your physical and mental health. The show runs to nearly an hour, with further segments looking at food in the Ukraine, and also a look inside a culinary school. There's passion for food here, and wit and knowledge to go with it. By the time you're done, you'll be sure to have a rumbling stomach.
A Taste Of The Past
Host Linda Pelaccio takes a different angle on her podcast about food – exploring the history of cuisine. I'll confess I wasn't taken with the first podcast I listened to, about the changing face of Italy's cuisine, as it seemed to skim across the surface and only gave glimpses of the rich history behind the modern culinary world. There were stories of how oil used to be shipped to restaurants by individual dealers, and discussions on how pasta went from a cheap staple to an expensive choice – but these details were often mentioned rather than explored. Far more interesting, though, is the discussion of the history of mac and cheese – and black chefs serving in the White House. Here, food and cultural histories combine into a remarkable slice of history, well worth the indulgence.
If you just have time for a bite-size broadcast, then NPR: Food fits the bill nicely. With episodes less than ten minutes long, you can quickly breeze through a number of episodes – be it listening to the song Raisins In My Toast from the Waffle House's very own record label to the scientific guide to making the perfect pumpkin pie, or from the health risks of peanuts in children's food to what the White House chef is serving for a Canadian state visit. The show crams a lot into a little time and is well worth a dabble.