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.


On our trip to Kentucky's bourbon trail, we visited a few other eateries along the way and chatted (a bunch) about food. Join Anney, Lauren, and Producer Dylan from the road to hear about the original KFC, local Lexington breweries, donuts and lots more.

As complex to make as it can be to pronounce, Worcestershire sauce is prized for its pungent flavor. Anney and Lauren examine the history and science that make Worcestershire sauce possible.

Although peanuts have been feeding us for basically ever, peanut butter is a pretty new invention. Anney and Lauren explore how peanut butter came to be, plus the science of how it stays fresh for so long.

Canned food existed for almost 50 years before the can opener, and even then it took us centuries to come up with a really good one. Anney and Lauren explore the history and physics of this finger-saving device.

We went behind the scenes at the Wild Turkey distillery to learn how bourbon is made, plus sat down with Master Distiller Eddie Russell to talk about the past, present, and future of American whiskey.

The history and science of bourbon and the barrels it's aged in is fascinating, frisky, and overall neat. Just how we like our bourbon. The episode isn't this corny, we promise. 

Crayfish (aka crawfish or crawdads) are arguably the tastiest li'l Lovecraftian horrors around. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and seriously strange science behind these curious crustaceans.

The longest-running sporting competition in the U.S., the Kentucky Derby is both a national and specifically local cultural event. Fresh back from a field trip, we discuss the foods & drinks of the Derby.

From acini di pepe to ziti, pasta comes in way more than 50 different shapes. But why? And how?? Anney and Lauren explore the saucy history and science of pasta in all its glorious forms.

The pomegranate has been associated with fertility in everything from ancient myth to modern marketing campaigns. So how did it get this reputation? Is there any science behind the stories? Anney and Lauren explore in this episode of FoodStuff.

When you cook, you're telling a story -- but in the food industry, some voices have typically gone unheard. We speak with two activists, Julia Turshen and Hawa Hassan, who are working to give those voices a platform and help connect us all through food.

Ancient Greco-Islamic medicine and philosophy created the concept of the four humours: bodily fluids that must be kept in balance -- or else. Anney and Lauren explore how humoral theory codified food and healthy eating habits for millennia.

No- or low-alcohol cocktails are getting some serious attention these days, and for pretty excellent reasons. We explore the science, history, and culture of mocktails with help from a special guest: podcaster and food writer Julia Bainbridge.

This episode is your (golden) ticket to 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and its films -- we explore both our favorite fictional foods and their weirder-than-fiction, real-life counterparts, from Everlasting Gobstoppers to flammable ice cream.

Maple syrup has been sweetening dishes for centuries -- and it may contain the key to some futuristic medicines. Anney and Lauren pour themselves into the history and science of maple syrup.

This Thai-style condiment, popularized in the U.S. by a Vietnamese immigrant, inspires fan loyalty and frustrations alike. Anney and Lauren explore where sriracha comes from, its meteoric pop-culture rise, and the science of why hot sauce burns so good.

Many cultures, especially Western ones, eat three meals a day -- by why? Have we always done that? We explore the history (and etymology) of breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- plus some science behind whether breakfast is really the most important meal.

History: How people have infused cannabis into food and drink for millennia, but recent stigma rendered edibles illicit and illegal. Science: Why the edible high is different. Bonus: Beca Grimm joins us to talk about modern pot culture and dope girls.

Tamales are an ancient food imbued with limitless possibilities, tastiness, and... chemistry-based nutritional benefits? Anney and Lauren get wrapped up in the long history and hot science of this Mesoamerican staple/comfort food.

James Beard is called the dean of American cooking for good reason -- he was a prolific pioneer of local, sustainable food that's celebratory, indulgent, and approachably DIY. We explore the life of this sometimes troubled chef, writer, and bon vivant.

This textured vegetarian protein is fairly new to a lot of the world, but tempeh's history goes way back. Anney and Lauren dig in, plus explore the amazing fungal chemistry that makes tempeh tasty, nutritious, and safe to eat.

In researching our previous episode, we spoke with salt expert Suzi Sheffield about where different salts come from, and how they can provide a palate of flavors to play with in your cooking. Join us for the full interview in this bonus episode.

Salt -- necessary for human life yet easy to overeat -- has sparked wars and innovations alike. We dig into the complex history and science behind this edible mineral, plus talk to expert Suzi Sheffield about salts’ amazing flavor properties.

The same things that make bacon delicious also made it safer to eat in the era before refrigeration -- but they're also the same things that make it less than healthy. Learn the history and science behind bacon's popularity in this episode of FoodStuff.

The martini (and its glass) are American icons -- but why? How? And should you order it shaken or stirred? Anney and Lauren dip into the shaky history and storied science behind the martini.