Cover image of Food Non-Fiction
(210)

Rank #52 in Food category

Arts
Food
History

Food Non-Fiction

Updated about 12 hours ago

Rank #52 in Food category

Arts
Food
History
Read more

Food Non-Fiction tells the incredible true stories behind food. We look forward to taking you on this wild food journey - through history, and around the world. Think of us as food historians, food scientists, and food journalists.

Read more

Food Non-Fiction tells the incredible true stories behind food. We look forward to taking you on this wild food journey - through history, and around the world. Think of us as food historians, food scientists, and food journalists.

iTunes Ratings

210 Ratings
Average Ratings
164
29
8
5
4

Great podcast!

By 1482001 - Jul 27 2017
Read more
Awesome! Fun little bit of information!

Love it!

By lingriding - Apr 19 2017
Read more
Love the podcast! More episodes, please! :)

iTunes Ratings

210 Ratings
Average Ratings
164
29
8
5
4

Great podcast!

By 1482001 - Jul 27 2017
Read more
Awesome! Fun little bit of information!

Love it!

By lingriding - Apr 19 2017
Read more
Love the podcast! More episodes, please! :)

Listen to:

Cover image of Food Non-Fiction

Food Non-Fiction

Updated about 12 hours ago

Read more

Food Non-Fiction tells the incredible true stories behind food. We look forward to taking you on this wild food journey - through history, and around the world. Think of us as food historians, food scientists, and food journalists.

#3 Michelin Stars Restaurant Rating System

Podcast cover
Read more

Intro 0:00

John lying to his Mom 0:17

Undercover Restaurant Reviewers 0:29

Michelin Guide Restaurant Reviewers 1:31

How the Michelin Guide began 2:14

Current use of the Michelin Guide 3:52

Michelin stars and symbols 4:10

Bib Gourmand 5:18

Mystery of the process 5:41

Anonymous Michelin Server 5:49

    Preparing for a Michelin Reviewer 5:59

    Characteristics of a Michelin Reviewer 6:12

Controversies around Michelin Guide 6:55

    Pascal Remy "The Inspector Spills the Beans" 7:01

    Bias for French Cuisine 8:04

    Lax standards for Japanese restaurants 8:39

    Secretive nature of the inspectors 8:58

New Yorker interview with Inspector M. 9:25

Inspector background requirements 9:56

Michelin Guide Social Media Attempts 10:32

Famously Anonymous 10:43

Twitter 11:20

Michelin Guide Locations 11:52

Honor of the Michelin Star 12:18

Chefs that do not want the Michelin Star 12:37

Anonymous Michelin Server 12:49

    Excitement of being reviewed 12:49

    Backslide in interest 13:08

Pressure of expectations 13:33

Star stats 14:29

Digital Age vs. Guide books 15:04

Anonymous Michelin Server: Zagat vs. Michelin 15:15

Michelin Guide earnings and losses 15:29

Future of Michelin Guide to 15:48

Final words- contact us at feedback@foodnonfiction.com 16:00

www.foodnonfiction.com

Other References Used:

Financial Times New Yorker "Death of a Chef" About.com The Telegraph Wiki

Apr 09 2015

16mins

Play

#2 Eating Insects - Part 2

Podcast cover
Read more

Intro 0:00 

Recap of last episode 0:12

The ick factor 0:49

Six Foods story 1:27

Chirps 1:46

Harvard Innovation Lab pitch competition with mealworm tacos 3:12

Cricket flour 4:30

Massachusetts Innovation Nights 6:20

Ofbug (Kathryn Redford) 9:46

What to feed insects 12:20

Partnering with UBC’s Entomology & Toxicology Lab 13:10

Canadian law on insects as food 14:24

How Kathryn farms insects 15:20

David George Gordon (The Bug Chef) 17:43

What factors affect how an insect tastes 18:59

Backyard insects & pesticides 21:02

Final words - contact us at feedback@foodnonfiction.com 22:42

www.foodnonfiction.com

Apr 02 2015

23mins

Play

#10 All About Mangos

Podcast cover
Read more

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is all about mangos! This is our first listener requested episode so thank you Spencer! Looking at fossils, we can trace the appearance of the first mangos to around 30 million years ago in Northeast India, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Looking at old Hindu writings found in Southeast Asia and India, we can trace mango cultivation (for domestic use) back to 4000 B.C.E.  so that’s 6,000 years ago. Buddhist monks were amongst the first to cultivate the fruit and it is said that Buddha himself often meditated under the shade of a mango tree. Looking at historical records, we can see how the fruit spread. Mangos were spread over the world by traveling with people. They needed to travel with humans because their seeds are so big that they can’t be dispersed by animals eating them and pooping out or otherwise discarding the seeds further away / and the seeds definitely can’t travel by blowing in the wind. 

Nutrition One mango is around 135 calories and will hold most of your daily recommended vitamin C as well as almost a third of your daily recommended Vitamin A. Actually the vitamin content changes depending on ripeness - when the mango is less ripe/more green, its vitamin C content is at its highest and when it is more ripe, its Vitamin A content is at its highest. Mangos contain over 20 different vitamins and minerals and are a great source of fiber. 

Health Benefits Mangos nutrients support a healthy immune function, normal blood pressure, good vision and strong bones. There are studies that also claim added protection from certain cancers as well as stroke.

Cooking Their natural tenderizing properties make mangos a great ingredient to marinate meat in.

Storage Refrigerate mangos when they’re perfectly ripe. If you haven’t cut them, they’ll stay good for around five days. If you’ve peeled and chopped them, keep them in the freezer in an airtight container. They can last about 6 months like that.

Selection - Check firmness. Push against the mango’s skin and look for something in between squishy and hard. - You should also be able to smell its fruity aroma on the stem end. 

Useful References

Mango Food Nutrition Fruits Production Statistics History and Production

Please subscribe! Visit our site www.foodnonfiction.com.

Jun 02 2015

7mins

Play

#27 Space Food with Chris Hadfield and Andy Weir

Podcast cover
Read more

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we begin our interview with astronaut Chris Hadfield (concluded in part 2 of the space episode). We also speak to Andy Weir, author of The Martian (film adaptation out in theatres Oct. 2, starring Matt Damon). We ask Chris Hadfield what breakfast lunch and dinner are like in space and we ask Andy Weir about how he came up with the idea for his book.

Oct 05 2015

12mins

Play

#12 A Baker's Dozen

Podcast cover
Read more

In this podcast episode of Food Non-Fiction, we talk about the baker's dozen. When someone says "a baker's dozen" they mean 13. But why is it 13 when a dozen is actually 12? The history of "a baker's dozen" goes back to medieval England. In 1266, King Henry III revived an old statute called the "Assize of Bread and Ale", which set the price of bread in relation to the price of wheat. To make sure that even the poorest of citizens could buy bread (because it was a staple food), bread was priced at a quarter penny, a half penny or a penny. In years when wheat prices went up, the loaves got smaller, but you could still always buy bread for a quarter penny. The Worshipful Company of Bakers was the name of the baker's guild - one of the oldest guild in England. They were given the power to enforce the Assize of Bread and Ale and would punish bakers that sold underweight bread. In order to make sure they wouldn't be punished for selling underweight bread, bakers gave customers extra bread. Extra slices were called "inbreads" and extra loaves were called "vantage loaves".

References:

The Worshipful Company of Bakers Phrase Origins Bakers in the Middle Ages Wonderopolis

Jun 16 2015

10mins

Play

#49 Temple Grandin and The Slaughterhouse Revolution

Podcast cover
Read more

This is a very special Food Non-Fiction podcast episode. We had the immense pleasure of interviewing one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the Heroes category of 2010. Her name is Temple Grandin. She is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. In North America, over half the cattle are handled in the humane systems designed by Dr. Grandin.

Thank You to Our Esteemed Guests:

Temple Grandin

Christopher Monger

Mark Deesing

Special Thanks to:

David Porter and Rachel Winks of Cabi.org for all your help.

Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music:

Memories Acoustic 1 by BradoSanz 

Ambellient by Danke

Primitive Piano by Danke 

Nasty Patterns 4 by flsouto

Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems

Whats Goin Down by rasputin1963

Concert Cello - Heaven by kickklee

Piano Quality Cajsa by MINOR2GO

SynCato by DesignedImpression

Credit to Rosalie Winard for the photos of Temple Grandin

Apr 13 2016

25mins

Play

#28 Space Food Part 2 - Chris Hadfield, Dr. Louisa Preston, Chris Patil

Podcast cover
Read more

In this podcast episode of Food Non-Fiction, we continue our discussion of Space Food from part 1. This episode features Dr. Louisa Preston, an astrobiologist who discusses with us how realistic the book/movie The Martian was in depicting the growth of potatoes on Mars. We also talk to Chris Patil who is part of the Mars One mission that is hoping to send human colonists to Mars. Finally, we finish our interview with astronaut Chris Hadfield who reveals his favourite space food.

Thanks to our guests Chris Hadfield, Dr. Louisa Preston and Chris Patil for the insightful interviews.

Thanks to Looperman artists for the music:

140BPM Acoustic Guitar by ferryterry HiGuitar by EpicRecord Going up by LarsM

Oct 08 2015

21mins

Play

#16 Popcorn from the Beginning

Podcast cover
Read more

In this podcast episode of Food Non-Fiction, we are talking about popcorn! Popcorn is made out of any variety of corn that can be popped. Corn was selectively bred from a wild grass called Teosinte, which was a very tough plant. So right from the beginning of the cultivation of corn, people were making popcorn, because corn kernels were a lot harder and popping it was one of the easiest ways to eat it. Corn spread over Central and South America because it was traded. One of the civilizations that ate popcorn was the Aztecs. They even had a word for the sound of kernels popping - "totopoca". During the Depression, popcorn was one of the few foods that actually rose in sales. This is because it became considered an affordable luxury. So vendors sold popcorn outside of theatres. Eventually, theatres started charging vendors to sell either right outside their doors or even inside the lobby. And then by around 1938, theatres started having popcorn machines inside.

References:

New York Times

Livestrong

PBS

Popcorn Origins

Jul 15 2015

9mins

Play

#13 China's Bone Chopsticks

Podcast cover
Read more

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the origin story of chopsticks. During a 1993-1995 excavation of Neolithic ruins in North China, archaeologists found sticks made of bone. They believe that these bone sticks are the first versions of chopsticks. Previous bone sticks were considered to be hairpins but these bone sticks were placed close to the hands, alongside other things used by the hands, such as pots and tools, whereas previous bone sticks were more polished and placed near the head at burial sites.

The first chopsticks may have only been used to cooking, but eventually it became the norm to use them to eat as well. This isn't surprising given some context. North China was dry and cold, so people ate foods that were both juicy and hot - foods like stews. They likely ate their stews while the food was still piping hot, so the time between cooking and eating was minimal. Chopsticks were used to stir the food while cooking and then people could have simply used those same chopsticks to just begin eating right away. The chopsticks norm would have been spread, because North China happened to be the political and cultural centre of China at the time.

Spoons actually came before chopsticks, but as the popular foods changed from millet porridge to the foods of dim sum (eg. dumplings), spoons became less important.

How to hold chopsticks (quoted from the book "Chopsticks: A Cultural and Culinary History")

“First, chopsticks users generally believe that the most effective and elegant way to hold the sticks is to place the lower one at the base of the thumb and secure this position by resting it between the ring and middle fingers in order to keep the stick stationary. Then the upper stick is to be held like a pencil, using the index and middle fingers for movement and the thumb for stabilization. In conveying food, the two sticks are worked together to grasp the food for transportation and delivery.

References:

The book "Chopsticks: A Cultural and Culinary History" by Professor Q. Edward Wang

Special thanks to Professor Wang for granting us an interview!

Jun 23 2015

13mins

Play

#7 The World's Greatest Food Fight

Podcast cover
Read more

This episode starts with the true story of Ryan Shilling and the huge food fight in his UK school, Jarrow, in the town of Jarrow. We then piece together the history of food fights, starting with the creation of the pie-in-face gag from the Vaudeville era to the first pieing scenes in silent films to our modern day idea of food fights in schools. Next, we tell you about the world's greatest food fight - La Tomatina in Bunol, Spain. We interviewed Rafael Perez, the organizer of the event.

Special thanks to our interviewees:

Thank you Ryan Shilling! Thank you Rafael Perez!

Promised Links:

3 Stooges Pie Fight  Telegraph article on the Colombian La Tomatina  La Tomatina-esque events in the US

Other References Used: La Tomatina Colorado Tomato War The Salt Blog history of food fights Evolution of Pieing Web Urbanist list of food fights

Contact us at: feedback@foodnonfiction.com

Visit Our Site: www.foodnonfiction.com

May 10 2015

22mins

Play

#55 The Sriracha Story

Podcast cover
Read more

This is the story of the extremely popular and iconic Huy Fong Foods hot sauce - Sriracha. The company, Huy Fong Foods, is an American success story. The founder, David Tran, left Vietnam in 1979 and ended up in the U.S., along with many of his fellow refugees. He had been part of the Chinese minority in Vietnam, and because of his Chinese heritage, he had been pressured to leave after the Vietnam War. 

David Tran missed the taste of the hot sauces from Vietnam, and also needed to make money, so he started the company, Huy Fong Foods, in 1980 in California. The company was named after the freighter that he took to leave Vietnam. It was named "Huey Fong". Huy Fong Foods has never spent money on advertising, but it continues to grow year after year. They make Sriracha from fresh red Jalapeno peppers, which comes from Underwood Ranches - their sole supplier. The peppers are delivered within hours of harvesting.

It's believed that the original Sriracha sauce was created by a woman named Thanom Chakkapak from a coastal town in Thailand called Si Racha. The original sauce is still being produced, and it is called "Sriraja Panich". It is sweeter and runnier than the Huy Fong Foods brand Sriracha that we know so well.

Thank You to Our Interviewees:

Griffin Hammond

Ernesto Hernandez-Lopez

Craig Underwood

Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music:

relaxed chillout strings by rasputin1963

within reach piano by designedimpression

DNB EXPLOSION Piano by frogdude34

Jul 26 2016

17mins

Play

#34 How Bacon Became Breakfast

Podcast cover
Read more

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we reveal how bacon became a breakfast food. In 1925, the Beech-Nut Packing Company asked Edward Bernays to help increase bacon sales. Why did they ask Edward Bernays? Because Bernays was a master of influencing public opinions. His campaigns increased smoking amongst women, the use of disposable Dixie cups instead of washable glass cups, and more. Back then, breakfasts were very light meals. For example, a breakfast could be a cup of orange juice, some coffee and a roll. So Bernays asked his physician whether a heavier breakfast would be better for the body, given the logic that the body needs to replenish energy lost during sleep. After his physician concurred with the idea, Bernays asked the physician to write to 5000 other doctors to get their opinion. Bernays then published the findings in magazines and articles, concluding that bacon and eggs would make a great healthy breakfast. He succeeded in increasing bacon sales.

References:

The American Table

Baltimore Post-Examiner

Bloomberg Business

Burpy

Daily Dawdle

Music Thanks to Looperman Artists:

Big Room Lead by djpuzzle EDM Trap 808 by 7venth12 pop drums acoustic drumset 1 by martingunnarson progressive house melodic synth for intro by capostipite Lookin For This by FLmoney

Nov 19 2015

7mins

Play

#62 - The Palace Kitchen

Podcast cover
Read more

In this Food Non-Fiction episode, we talk to Peter Brears about what it was like to work in King Henry VIII's kitchen. 

Thank you to our interviewee:

Peter Brears - author of "Cooking & Dining in Tudor & Early Stuart England"

Thank you to Looperman artists:

Bright Absurdity - Hip-hop Piano by JulietStarling xxiii Sampled Medieval Italian Acoustic Guitar by Julietstarling Artisticstrings HD Part 1 by Jawadalblooshi Dusted Jazz Loop by LeuNatic Brass - 10 - 130 Bpm by SoleilxLune AV Melody Loop 4 by Angelicvibes

Mar 06 2017

18mins

Play

#52 The Price of Vanilla

Podcast cover
Read more

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is about vanilla! We explain the causes behind the rise and fall of the price of vanilla. It is a product that has very erratic cycles of prices skyrocketing then crashing, skyrocketing then crashing. The supply never seems to match the demands. We discuss a possible solution to this - fair trade.

Special Thanks to Our Interviewees:

Felix Buccellato of Custom Essence

Richard J. Brownell

We highly recommend this book about vanilla:

"Vanilla Orchids: Natural History and Cultivation" by Ken Cameron

Thank You to Truekey for the Music, as well as Looperman Artists:

Memories Acoustic 1 by BradoSanz

chillwave bass and synth by Djpuzzle 

Going Up by LarsM

May 20 2016

12mins

Play

#60 The Carrot Myth

Podcast cover
Read more

Did your parents ever tell you that carrots improve your night vision? Have you ever heard that this is a myth? So what is the real story?

Thank You to Our Interviewee:

Maya Hirschman from The Secrets of Radar Museum

Thank You to This Looperman Artist for the Music:

Piano Loop Will-Power 94 by designedimpression

Special Thanks to Public Service Broadcasting for the Music:

Visit their site!

Dec 01 2016

13mins

Play

#65 And This Led to Corn Flakes

Podcast cover
Read more

Lots of people know the story of how cornflakes were created - this is the story of why.

Thank You To Our Interviewee:

Dr. Brian Wilson

Thank You To Looperman Artists:

Melody 126 Beats by Purge Ambellient by Danke Edm pluck for intro by capostipite Edm synth for verse by capostipite

Jul 31 2017

17mins

Play

#24 Ancient Egyptian Honey

Podcast cover
Read more

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell you about ancient Egyptian honey. Did you know that honey that archaeologists have uncovered from tombs that are thousands of years old remain edible? We tell you all about beekeeping from ancient Egypt.

References:

Smithsonian

Eurasianet

Reshafim

Ancient Origins

Book: The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting

Book: Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind

Music from Looperman thank you to:

40A

Jensmuse

Sep 16 2015

9mins

Play

#17 Designing the Milk Carton

Podcast cover
Read more

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode talks about milk cartons. We speak to patent attorney, Matt Buchanan, about the inventor of the milk carton and his patent, which was granted in 1915 in Toledo, Ohio. We then talk to Dr. Joel Best, author of "Threatened Children: Rhetoric and Concern about Child-Victims", about the history of missing children milk carton campaigns.

Special Thanks to Guests: Matt Buchanan (partner at Buchanan Nipper) Dr. Joel Best (University of Delaware Professor of sociology and criminal justice)

References: Patent Blog Dairy Antiques Website Google Patent 1157462A Google Patent 1123628A

Jul 29 2015

20mins

Play

#29 Sailing with Scurvy and Lemons

Podcast cover
Read more

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about scurvy and its Vitamin C cure. Although the cure for scurvy was discovered a long time ago, changes in the understanding of science, medicine and the human body, caused people time turn away from the tried and true cure of fresh fruits and vegetables time and time again.

We discuss the various events that brought the fresh produce cure in and out of favor.

Thanks to Looperman artists for the music:

Nerves Drums Part 1 & 2 by Lodderup

Nerves Part 1 & 2 by Lodderup

Never Again by Jawadalblooshi

Thought of You by Jawadalblooshi

Sad Piano by Danke 

References:

Mental Floss

Jason Allen Mayberry

About.com

Article: Advancements, challenges, and prospects in the paleopathology of scurvy: Current perspectives on vitamin C deficiency in human skeletal remains

Article: Lind, Scott, Amundsen and scurvy (Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine)

Article: Scott and Scurvy (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Article: Scurvy: Historical Review and Current Diagnostic Approach

Article: Scurvy in the Antarctic (The Lancet Vol 300, Issue 7787)

Article: Sailor's scurvy before and after James Lind - a reassessment

Article: Scurvy: Forgotten but definitely not gone

Article: Scurvy on sea and land: political economy and natural history, c. 1780 - c. 1850

Article: Scurvy: Past, present and future (European Journal of Internal Medicine)

Oct 15 2015

13mins

Play

#64 How Fondue Became Popular

Podcast cover
Read more

This is the origin story of fondue and how it became a popular dish.

Thank You To Our Interviewee:

Belinda Hulin

Thank You To Looperman Artists:

Poppy Acoustic (parts 1, 2, and 3) by BradoSanz Edm pluck_for_intro by capostipite EDM Trap Perc Melody by 7venth12

Jul 02 2017

16mins

Play

#71 Pass the Tofurky

Podcast cover
Read more

This is an in-depth interview with the wonderful person who created Tofurky. Seth Tibbott founded Turtle Island Foods which is still a family owned company today. 

May 20 2019

38mins

Play

#70 Craft Beer Beginnings

Podcast cover
Read more

This is the story of the beginnings of craft beer. We tell you how this "craft beer" concept emerged. In this episode, we interviewed John Holl - a beer expert and journalist, Renee DeLuca - the daughter of the craft beer pioneer Jack McAuliffe, and professor Michael Lewis who has taught brewing for decades. 

Dec 24 2018

17mins

Play

#69 The Oreo Story

Podcast cover
Read more

This is the story of where Oreo came from, how it got its name, and who designed the cookie.

Aug 24 2018

28mins

Play

#68 Kombucha: The Tea of Immortality

Podcast cover
Read more

Kombucha has been referred to as the tea of immortality. So where did it come from and what are the actual health benefits? In this episode, we talk to the experts to learn about the history and the process of brewing kombucha.

Jun 18 2018

21mins

Play

#67 Nutella Since Napoleon

Podcast cover
Read more

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about the origins of Nutella - starting from when cocoa met hazelnut!

Dec 31 2017

13mins

Play

#66 The Monastery Breweries

Podcast cover
Read more

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk to one of the authors of Trappist Beer Travels. Caroline Wallace and her two co-authors visited the 11 Trappist monastery breweries, learning the stories and history behind each of these breweries. 

Here is a link to the book website for Trappist Beer Travels

Nov 01 2017

21mins

Play

#65 And This Led to Corn Flakes

Podcast cover
Read more

Lots of people know the story of how cornflakes were created - this is the story of why.

Thank You To Our Interviewee:

Dr. Brian Wilson

Thank You To Looperman Artists:

Melody 126 Beats by Purge Ambellient by Danke Edm pluck for intro by capostipite Edm synth for verse by capostipite

Jul 31 2017

17mins

Play

#64 How Fondue Became Popular

Podcast cover
Read more

This is the origin story of fondue and how it became a popular dish.

Thank You To Our Interviewee:

Belinda Hulin

Thank You To Looperman Artists:

Poppy Acoustic (parts 1, 2, and 3) by BradoSanz Edm pluck_for_intro by capostipite EDM Trap Perc Melody by 7venth12

Jul 02 2017

16mins

Play

#63 Tony the Tiger

Podcast cover
Read more

This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is about the famous cereal mascot - Tony the Tiger.

Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music:

Apollo by SANTIAGOO

May 22 2017

5mins

Play

#62 - The Palace Kitchen

Podcast cover
Read more

In this Food Non-Fiction episode, we talk to Peter Brears about what it was like to work in King Henry VIII's kitchen. 

Thank you to our interviewee:

Peter Brears - author of "Cooking & Dining in Tudor & Early Stuart England"

Thank you to Looperman artists:

Bright Absurdity - Hip-hop Piano by JulietStarling xxiii Sampled Medieval Italian Acoustic Guitar by Julietstarling Artisticstrings HD Part 1 by Jawadalblooshi Dusted Jazz Loop by LeuNatic Brass - 10 - 130 Bpm by SoleilxLune AV Melody Loop 4 by Angelicvibes

Mar 06 2017

18mins

Play

#61 - Turnspit Dogs

Podcast cover
Read more

This is the incredible true story of Turnspit Dogs. 

The turnspit dog is an extinct breed of dog. This breed was used in kitchens to turn roasting spits back when roasting was done over an open fire, rather than in an oven. The earliest known reference to to this breed is in a book called "De Canibus Britannicis" by Dr. Caius. In this book, which was published in 1570, turnspit dogs were described as a kitchen service dog. 

Turnspit dogs were put into wooden wheels (that looked like giant hamster wheels), and made to run inside the wheel, which turned a chain, which turned the spit. 

Thank You to Our Interviewee:

Ciara Farrell from The Kennel Club

Thank You to this Looperman Artist for the Music:

Melody by Slice0fCake

Jan 29 2017

17mins

Play

#60 The Carrot Myth

Podcast cover
Read more

Did your parents ever tell you that carrots improve your night vision? Have you ever heard that this is a myth? So what is the real story?

Thank You to Our Interviewee:

Maya Hirschman from The Secrets of Radar Museum

Thank You to This Looperman Artist for the Music:

Piano Loop Will-Power 94 by designedimpression

Special Thanks to Public Service Broadcasting for the Music:

Visit their site!

Dec 01 2016

13mins

Play

#59 Trick Or Treat!

Podcast cover
Read more

This episode explores the history of Halloween and the vague beginnings of trick or treating!

Thank You To Our Interviewee:

Professor Nick Rogers

Thank You To Looperman Artists for the Music:

Melody by Slice0fCake Father Grimlin - Temperament Strings by JulietStarling Dark Creepy Piano by Zaqsi

Oct 31 2016

12mins

Play

#58 All Your Favorite Chocolates

Podcast cover
Read more

Inspired by the book, "Chocolate Wars", by Deborah Cadbury, today we're telling you the incredible true story of how how the biggest chocolate companies in the world fought for our tummies and tastebuds through innovation after innovation that eventually turned cocoa products from a drink, to an edible chocolate, to a milk chocolate powder, and finally, to our beloved milk chocolate bar.

In the 1860s/70s cadbury experimented with and successfully created the first mass-manufactured chocolate bar. Milk chocolate bars did not yet exist at this time, so it would have been a plain dark chocolate bar.

This was a big breakthrough. The fact that these bars could be mass-produced meant that they could be cheaper...more affordable, so more people could buy it and try it.

By the 1890s, everyone in Britain was buying cocoa products - it was no longer just an exotic treat for the rich. In the decade from 1890 to 1900, the amount of cocoa consumed in Britain was doubled.

Over in Switzerland, around the same time that Cadbury had managed to mass-produce their plain chocolate bar, Daniel Peter was working on making the world’s first milk chocolate powder.

We know that Daniel Peter happened to be neighbors with Henri Nestlé of Nestle fame. And according to one story, Daniel had a baby daughter, named Rose, who wouldn’t take breast milk. So he asked his neighbor Henri for help, because he had just started selling a powdered milk developed for babies.

So baby Rose was saved, because she could drink Nestlé’s powdered milk. At the same time her father, Daniel, got the idea to use the powdered milk to create a milk chocolate powder, which of course did not exist at the time. Although, people were already drinking cocoa powder with milk, so they would have been familiar with the flavor.

In 1875, Daniel su cceeded in making the world’s first milk chocolate powder - it was called “Chocolats au Lait Gala Peter”. It was a success.

He thought about making his drink into a chocolate bar...a milk chocolate bar. After years of working to create a milk chocolate bar, Daniel finally created one he could sell - he called it “Gala Peter”. The year was 1886.

Elsewhere in Switzerland, at around the same time, another important chocolate innovation was happening.

Rodolphe Lindt, of Lindt chocolate fame, created a much smoother chocolate after pressing the beans for longer than the norm. He experimented with different temperatures and timings to get as much cocoa butter folded into his mix as possible. This created a delicious melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. (Even today Lindt chocolates are known to be silky smooth.)

He invented a machine called “a conch” because it looked like a conch shell. Chocolate bars used to be hard and gritty, but now they could be softer and smoother.

So what we’re seeing at this time is more and more people getting into the business of cocoa, and working hard and innovating to get ahead.

Now, back in Britain, Cadbury’s innovations made them very successful. As Quakers, George and Richard Cadbury wanted to use their money to create an ideal place for their employees to work.

In 1878, they bought the idyllic land for their model factory that would be surrounded by nature. The factory was a manufacturing marvel. It was built to be one-storey tall, so that goods would not have to go up and down stairs.

And they built cottages and gardens around it with spaces to play sports or relax. They called the model Town Bournville, and Bournville would be the inspiration for model towns to come. Including, the town of Hershey, which we’ve done an episode on.

At around this time in the 1870s, young Milton Hershey was still in Philadelphia trying to make his candy shop successful.

In England at that time the Quaker-led chocolate companies dominated. The 3 Quaker companies, Fry, Cadbury and Rowntree were all powerhouses. But they were all being threatened by European competition. You can imagine it must have been hard to compete with Lindt’s smooth chocolate and Peter’s milk chocolate coming out of Switzerland. So the Quaker firms discussed pricing and advertising with one another, essentially working together not to destroy each other.

Cadbury had to figure out how to make a product that could compete with Swiss chocolate. After a trip to Switzerland and much experimentation, George Jr. created a chocolate bar you may have heard of - it was Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, and it launched way back in 1905. That means Dairy Milk has been around for over one hundred years.

The first world war really leveled out the chocolate playing field. The big British Quaker companies, including Cadbury, had to withdraw their best products.

The Swiss, including Nestle, were very impacted because their home market was small and they had relied on selling across Europe and abroad, but exporting became dangerous. The solution was to borrow a ton of money and invest in companies overseas.

In America, Hershey was not affected by the first world war. And soon after the war, another chocolate contender surfaced in America alongside Hershey. It was Mars, which used to be called the Mar-O-Bar Company.

The countline that was created was the Milky Way which launched in 1924 and made Frank Mars’s Mar-O-Bar Company a success. Frank Mars and his son Forrest Mars built a new factory and went on to launch Snickers and 3 Musketeers bars. In 1933, the father and son had a fight over how to run the business.

After WWI, cadbury had to worry about competition from foreign companies like Nestle again. They had become more efficient after experiencing war-time rationing, and they knew they needed to use their efficiency to make and sell products more cheaply.

They also knew that they needed to make fewer types of chocolate and focus on mass producing key products.

Soon after WWI they launched Flake (1920), Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut bar (1926) which I love, and the original cream-filled chocolate egg (1923) which would eventually become today’s iconic Cadbury Creme Egg (1963).

Like Cadbury, the other chocolate companies rolled out fantastic new chocolate bars in the post-WW1 period. In the 1930s Forrest Mars came out with Maltesers. Then Rowntree came out with tons of innovations like - Chocolate Crisp (which was eventually named Kit Kat), and also Aero, and Smarties.

Eventually, Cadbury went public

And then Cadbury was taken over by Kraft, which I just learned is now called Mondelez International

Thank You to Our Interviewee:

Deborah Cadbury

Thank You to Looperman Artists:

Guitars Unlimited - Reaching Home 1 by MINOR2GO Melody 126 Beats by Purge

Oct 12 2016

15mins

Play

#57 What Came First - the Cadbury or the Egg

Podcast cover
Read more

In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about the beginning of Cadbury. We go right back to a time before Cadbury even existed.

Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music:

happily ever after strings perfect for movie score by nbeats26 oboe 65 70 bpm by soleilxlune Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems

For more information on the topic, we recommend this book:

"Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers" by Deborah Cadbury

Sep 01 2016

14mins

Play

#56 Waffle Frolic

Podcast cover
Read more

This Food Non-Fiction episode is about waffles! We talk about the beginning of waffles and the rise of waffles.

Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music:

Guitars Unlimited - Reaching Home 1 by MINOR2GO

Guitars Unlimited - Reaching Home 2 by MINOR2GO

happily ever after strings perfect for movie score by nbeats26

Aug 10 2016

10mins

Play

#55 The Sriracha Story

Podcast cover
Read more

This is the story of the extremely popular and iconic Huy Fong Foods hot sauce - Sriracha. The company, Huy Fong Foods, is an American success story. The founder, David Tran, left Vietnam in 1979 and ended up in the U.S., along with many of his fellow refugees. He had been part of the Chinese minority in Vietnam, and because of his Chinese heritage, he had been pressured to leave after the Vietnam War. 

David Tran missed the taste of the hot sauces from Vietnam, and also needed to make money, so he started the company, Huy Fong Foods, in 1980 in California. The company was named after the freighter that he took to leave Vietnam. It was named "Huey Fong". Huy Fong Foods has never spent money on advertising, but it continues to grow year after year. They make Sriracha from fresh red Jalapeno peppers, which comes from Underwood Ranches - their sole supplier. The peppers are delivered within hours of harvesting.

It's believed that the original Sriracha sauce was created by a woman named Thanom Chakkapak from a coastal town in Thailand called Si Racha. The original sauce is still being produced, and it is called "Sriraja Panich". It is sweeter and runnier than the Huy Fong Foods brand Sriracha that we know so well.

Thank You to Our Interviewees:

Griffin Hammond

Ernesto Hernandez-Lopez

Craig Underwood

Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music:

relaxed chillout strings by rasputin1963

within reach piano by designedimpression

DNB EXPLOSION Piano by frogdude34

Jul 26 2016

17mins

Play

BONUS Ep - Interview with Kyleena

Podcast cover
Read more

Hey Food Buffs - This one is a bonus episode. Fakhri has a pizza place she loves - it's called Secret Stash - and she collected an interview with the owner, Kyleena Falzone.

Thank You To Our Interviewee:

Kyleena Falzone of Secret Stash

Jul 15 2016

24mins

Play

#54 Vending Machines - Past to Present

Podcast cover
Read more

This episode is about vending machines. The first reference to a vending machine is from the 1st century AD in Egypt. The reference is in a book called “Pneumatika”, written by Hero of Alexandria. In it, there is a detailed description and a picture of a device, which dispensed water when you put in a five-drachma coin.

This was invented for dispensing equal amounts of sacrificial water at Egyptian temples. This was a source of money for the Egyptian temples, and it also made sure everyone got the same amount of holy water.

Here is how it worked: Imagine a teeter totter. When a coin was dropped into the holy water dispenser, it fell on one end of the teeter totter, causing the other end to lift up, also opening a little exit which let the holy water out. As the teeter totter moved down on the side with the coin, the coin eventually fell off. Once the coin fell, the teeter totter reset and the water exit closed.

Unfortunately, one of these devices has never been found, so we don’t know if this was just a design concept or if it was actually used. In fact, we’re not even sure who invented it.

It’s possible that the author of the book, Hero of Alexandria, invented it. It’s also possible that one of his predecessors, Ctesibius, invented it.

After that, it wasn’t until the 1600s that more vending machines were introduced to the world. Around 1615, you could get tobacco from coin operated devices in English taverns and inns.

Here’s how the tobacco device worked: When you put your coin in, it pressed a trigger that popped open the lid.

These were very crude vending machines. After each use, you had to manually close it again. And you also had to watch to make sure people didn’t take everything in the box, because when the lid was open, you could just take all the tobacco.

The next version of vending machines also appeared in England. Richard Carlile was a publisher and a bookseller who believed in freedom of the press. He had been arrested for selling political texts, so in 1822 he created a book vending machine, hoping to avoid more legal charges that way - because it would be the machine selling the books, not him. Anyhow, the courts did not agree with that logic, and he was still held responsible for selling the books.

Moving on to 1857, we get the first patent for a fully automatic vending machine. It was called “A Self Acting Machine for the Delivery of Postage and Receipt Stamps”. That didn’t take off either.

Finally, in England, 1883, we get a more successful vending machine. That year, Percival Everitt got his patent for a vending machine which dispensed postcards. With that vending machine, people could finally buy postcards when shops were closed.

In 1888, the Adams Gum Company installed vending machines on the platforms of rail stations in New York. These vending machines were designed to sell Tutti-Frutti gum, and inspired the creation of more vending machines that sold small snacks like candy and peanuts.

Gum was a great product to sell because it was cheap, it lasted a long time, and they came with no health concerns. Gum can also take a good amount of abuse. You can drop it without it breaking it, and it doesn’t melt when it gets hot out - the way chocolate bars do - so quality control was not an issue.

In 1911, many of the big players in the vending machine business started to merge together to become the Autosales Gum and Chocolate Company. This company combined the major players in the chewing gum business, together holding 250 names and brands, and the major players in the vending machine making business, together controlling many patents and wide distribution.

The idea behind the Autosales Gum and Chocolate Company was that their vending machines would sell small versions of the goods they wanted people to buy over the counter. The vending machines were a way to market the goods.

But vending machines still had a long way to go before becoming the $43 billion industry it is today. The vending machine industry has been plagued with bad behaviour since the start.

People abuse the machines. People hit vending machines when they don’t get their purchased item, they plug the coin slots with random objects for fun, drunk people pour beer into the coin slot, and people also use other objects to mimic coins - these mimics are called “slugs”.

Slugs were a really big problem, especially in the early 1900s when vending machines were not great at identifying fake coins. In the 1940s vending machines improved their system for checking for slugs. Coins went through multiple tests before they were accepted by the machines. First, the vending machines would test the size of the coin. Then they tested for iron and steel with a magnet - if the coin was magnetic, it would be returned. Then the coin was tested for the proper weight. Then the coin was tested with metallurgy to check for the right composition (for example foreign currency was sometimes used and this test would uncover that). Real coins passed these 4 tests within a fraction of a second.

Vending machines really took off in the post-WWII period. They were a convenient way to feed the workers in the factories. Factories also earned commission from vending machine sales.

Over time, the technology became more sophisticated. Today, machines are great at detecting fake money, operators can monitor the machines remotely, sensors and machine-learning reduce the energy usage by turning off things like the lighting when there are no customers, and machines can take credit cards.

The next step for the vending machine industry is to make vending machines a destination, rather than a last resort. Touch screen video displays and other interactive features are being added that are making vending machines much more fun.

Thank you to our Interviewees:

Tim Sanford - Editor-in-Chief of Vending Times

Dr. Michael Kasavana - National Automatic Merchandising Association Endowed Professor

Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music: 

happily ever after strings perfect for movie score by nbeats26

Whats Goin Down by rasputin1963

Strings Universal - RIP Old Friend by MINOR2GO

Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems

Jun 23 2016

21mins

Play

#53 How Jell-O Became Popular

Podcast cover
Read more

This episode tells the story of Jell-O from when it was first introduced in 1897. Because gelatin desserts like Jell-O used to be a food that only wealthy families could afford to eat, (it took a long time to prepare) people were unfamiliar with the product and it was hard to sell. It took some great marketing to get this product off the ground.

Special Thanks to Interviewee:

Lynne Belluscio and the Jell-O Gallery Museum

Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music:

relaxed chillout strings by rasputin1963

happily ever after strings perfect for movie score by nbeats26

Jun 09 2016

17mins

Play