A podcast that combines a love of food with science and history. Gastropod is pretty close to the perfect storm for me.
I discovered it via RadioLab, which is also another of the most perfect podcasts as far as I’m concerned. The hosts, Cynthia and Nicola, are both foodies and food writers – they write a lot for other venues, and Nicola at least has a blog of her own. So they have lots of knowledge and connections which they bring to bear; sometimes one is expanding on something they’ve already written an essay about, for instance.
I’ve gone back to the start of the podcast, and I’ve only listened to the first five or six episodes, but I anticipate listening all the way through until I’m up to date. The first episode was a little stilted; it was clearly scripted and they were trying to make it still conversational instead of a purely academic sort of thing. So some bits were quite awkward, but it was the first episode so I was prepared to be tolerant – and they’ve definitely improved as they’ve each got more comfortable with the format, so I’m really pleased for them and for my ears.
The episodes so far have covered really interesting topics. The first episode made me dead keen to get Bee Wilson’s Consider the Fork, about the development of culinary instruments; then they’ve talked about seaweed (sorry, sea vegetables), and about ecological eating, and ‘The Night of the Radishes’ and the idea of ‘subnatural’ cuisines and yeh, they’re very clever and I’m really enjoying the eclectic nature of their podcasts.
Nicola is a Brit who’s lived in America for a long time. Her accent is a bit disconcerting, especially for an Australian I think.