FoodStuff

The stuff we eat and drink is part daily necessity and part cultural identity. Every mouthful represents millennia of human collaboration and innovation. On FoodStuff, Anney and Lauren bite into the juicy stories – and science – behind everything that nourishes us.


The history and science behind vanilla is anything but bland. Anney and Lauren explore how the fruit of a rare orchid captured the world's fancy, and what lengths researchers go to to replicate the flavor.

Lembas is the one bread to rule them all from J.R.R. Tolkien's world of 'The Lord of the Rings.' We delve into the real-world inspirations and Elvish science behind lembas and other foods of Middle Earth.

This everyday utensil is a relative newcomer to the table -- eating with a fork was considered scandalous and even sinful for centuries. Anney and Lauren trace the history and potential future of the fork (aka the dinglehopper).

The turkey is a study in contradictions: majestic yet ridiculous, ridiculous yet aggressive, prized for feasts yet often poorly cooked, and definitely NOT from Turkey. We cover everything turkey, from cooking tips to snood science.

The miracle berry is a fruit that can make sour foods taste incredibly sweet. We explore the science behind flavor tripping, plus the strange, conspiracy-ridden history of the miracle berry's legality in the United States.

From a Chinese side dish to a Japanese staple to an international phenomenon, we slurp through the history and science of ramen.

It's just a staple food for over half the population of the planet, and has been for long enough that it shaped our languages, religions, and maybe even social psychology. This will probably be a short episode.

A savory spread with a divisively strong flavor, Vegemite earned its place in Australian culture through decades of clever marketing. We explore the history and yeast-extract science -- plus talk Tim Tams.

Quiche, the simple baked custard that took the '70s by storm, has a winding history involving some weird gender issues. We serve forth the ins and outs of quiche.

We owe so many innovations in food safety and technology to the simple fact that astronauts need to eat. We dig into the history (and sometimes questionable menus) of space food.

Although she didn't even start cooking until her late 30s, Julia Child is known for bringing the art of French cuisine into American home kitchens. We trace the biography behind this TV icon

Despite (or perhaps due to) its simplicity, the whiskey sour is one of the most popular cocktails on the planet. We walk through the history and science behind the drink in this edition of cocktail (half-) hour.z

This North American winter staple has sprouted crazes, battles, and bitter scares. Let's linger just a little on the cranberry.

The concept of savory, broth-based gelatin molds may sound strange to the modern palate, but they were posh for centuries. Tune in to learn about history's fanciest aspics, plus the science of gelatin.

Waffles have been around in more or less their modern form since the 1400s, but we have three 20th-century brothers to thank for the technology behind tasty, convenient frozen waffles. Here's their story.

Cinnamon's heat drove hundreds of years of intrigue before becoming the kitchen staple it is today. We dig into spicy history and culture of this delicious bark.

You knew we had to do a pumpkin episode. This squash and its pie spice blend have a rep for being basic, but we go behind the gourd to explore pumpkin's history as food, decor, and phenomenon.

Humans may have invented agriculture to make beer, and for millennia that beer was kinda sour. We explore the science and history of sour beer, plus the chemistry of flavor.

Expiration dates cause confusion and food waste -- Lauren and Anney do some demystifying (and talk about how a notorious gangster may have been involved with their inception).

Oysters were one of humanity's first foods, and they've remained ragingly popular ever since. We dive into the biology, culinary history, and bloody piracy behind oysters.

A pizza-loving rat, a live band of animatronic animals, and beer on tap: We explore how a scheme to make more money off of arcade games became an international cultural phenomenon.

What the heck is margarine, and how does it play in butter's history? Is it healthier to eat one versus the other? We wrap up our butterganza with these questions, plus cultural notes and cooking tips.

Anney and Lauren visit Banner Butter to learn how cultured butter gets made.

Since before written history, humans have been mad about butter. (Er, sometimes literally angry.) We explore the slippery physics and surprising strife behind butter.

Anney and Lauren visit MalviMallows to learn how marshmallows are made, sample serveral flavors and roast some marshmallows over a tabletop barbecue.