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Arts
Food

The Food Programme

Updated 30 days ago

Arts
Food
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Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

Read more

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

iTunes Ratings

120 Ratings
Average Ratings
95
14
3
4
4

Interesting and Enjoyable

By yakgirl52 - Oct 25 2018
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Don't have to be British to enjoy this podcast! But where's Sheila Dillon lately? She's my favorite, and it feels like it's been ages since she's done one of these. Hope that's just a temporary thing......

Love it

By Suanknits - Apr 01 2011
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I love this podcast! Totally enjoyable

iTunes Ratings

120 Ratings
Average Ratings
95
14
3
4
4

Interesting and Enjoyable

By yakgirl52 - Oct 25 2018
Read more
Don't have to be British to enjoy this podcast! But where's Sheila Dillon lately? She's my favorite, and it feels like it's been ages since she's done one of these. Hope that's just a temporary thing......

Love it

By Suanknits - Apr 01 2011
Read more
I love this podcast! Totally enjoyable
Cover image of The Food Programme

The Food Programme

Updated 30 days ago

Read more

Investigating every aspect of the food we eat

Rank #1: Wild Boar

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In this series of four programmes broadcast over Christmas, Sheila Dillon explores the link between tradition and food.

For Christmas Day, Sheila celebrates The Wild Boar Feast - an ancient Viking tradition which still lingers on in Britain (think of 'pigs in blankets') and inspires our love of the Christmas Ham. Historian Eleanor Barraclough introduces Sheila to a stuffed boar's head in the cellars of Queen's College, Oxford, and explains about how the boar was at the centre of mid-winter pagan fertility rituals. In Cumbria, Sheila meets a field of wild boar and talks to farmer Peter Gott about the fearsome intelligence of his huge beasts. Scandinavian chef Trine Hahnemann reveals the huge importance of the Christmas boar in Sweden, and how to make a meatball sandwich for Boxing Day. And chef Giorgio Locatelli explores the passion for wild boar across Italy.

With music from The Boar's Head Carol, the oldest printed carol in English, and recipes from Trine Hahnemann and Giorgio Locatelli.

Producer: Elizabeth Burke.
Dec 25 2016
28 mins
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Rank #2: Mushrooms

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From the king oyster to the not-so-humble button, Dan Saladino discovers a world of mushrooms, grown for food - and follows the spores to reveal the secrets of mycelium, hunts for the perfect mushroom sandwich, and finds that there is one species in particular that dominates the supermarkets and our kitchens.

With more types of cultivated mushroom available in the UK now than there has ever been, Dan hears about Korean mushrooms grown in jars, visits Europe's biggest mushroom farm, and tracks down the biggest global company in the ultra-specialised world of spawn production.
Dan also encounters a photographer whose street-food mushroom project inspired him to create a new type of imagery - the 'fungi luminogram', gets insights from Eugenia Bone - author of 'Mycophilia' - and Paul Stamets, legendary mycologist and advocate of mycelium. There will also be plenty of butter and garlic.

Presenter: Dan Saladino
Producer: Rich Ward.
Nov 10 2014
28 mins
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Rank #3: Raw Milk

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With a Food Standards Agency consultation underway, Sheila Dillon and guests discuss the controversial subject of raw milk. Banned in Scotland in 1983, the current system in England allows raw unpasteurised milk to be sold directly from the farmer. Raw milk producers are subject to stringent and regular laboratory tests and their products have to carry a warning on the label that the milk may contain properties that are harmful. But there is a growing demand for raw milk in the UK and means of supply are testing the current rules ; The FSA recently threatened prosecution over the presence of a vending machine selling raw milk in Selfridges. Advocates argue that raw milk has many positive health benefits that are lost with pasteurisation. The debate for some is about the right of the individual to choose what risks they take. Balancing that demand with the need to protect public health is the challenge the Food Standards Agency faces. In America, the libertarian argument is even more polarised. With the prices paid for pasteurised milk being on a seemingly downward trajectory in the UK, and with internet shopping making a mockery of distribution rules, Sheila will get the views of all the interested parties. The passion this subject stirs, and the big questions it raises will make for a lively and engaging listen to everyone - raw milk and non raw milk drinkers alike.
Apr 06 2014
27 mins
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Rank #4: How We Eat: 1. Eating Alone

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How we eat says so much about us. Where we come from, our family background, our feelings about our bodies even - our appetite for all kinds of pleasure... There was a time when how we eat was mostly about class, but whether you called it "tea" or "dinner" or "supper", there were still fixed conventions about when and where we ate, and what we ate. These days the certainties, the boundaries, have been broken up. How do we eat now? Well, differently, as this series reveals.

This first programme of How We Eat explores the pleasures and pitfalls of eating alone. As one in three households in Britain is now a single-person household, increasing numbers of people ARE eating on their own. Do we eat differently when we eat unobserved? How do people of all ages, from students to widowers, adjust to suddenly having to cook for themselves?

Sheila Dillon investigates the booming business of ready-meals for one, and hears embarrassing confessions about secret snacks: such as people who shut themselves in the utility room to gorge on chocolate, pretending they're doing the laundry. She visits inspirational cookery writer Anna del Conte, who's in her 90s, to talk to her about the delicious meals she makes for herself now that she's a widow. She goes to a cookery class at a hospice. She talks to students who admit to living on alcohol and crisps. And she meets a man who cooks fresh meals to share with his dog.
Oct 02 2017
27 mins
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Rank #5: The World's Most Popular Cheese: The Story of Cheddar

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Dan Saladino reports on the past, present and future of what's thought to be the world's most widely produced and consumed cheese, Cheddar. Dan also meets producers who are trying to discover what cheddar might have tasted like more than a century ago, using some of the earliest known Cheddar recipes.

Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Dec 18 2017
28 mins
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Rank #6: The Pizza

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Dan Saladino charts the rise, fall and rise of traditional Neapolitan pizza. He's joined by Daniel Young whose "Where to Eat Pizza" lists 1700 great pizzerias around the world.

A common theme in the book, Daniel argues, is that after decades of competition from less authentic rivals, the Neapolitan style pizza is making an impact on restaurant scenes across Europe, Asia and north America.

Professor John Dickie, the author of Delizia: The epic history of the Italians and their food, explains the birth of the Neapolitan pizza in the 18th and 19th centuries on the streets of Naples, then one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

What emerged was a pizza that was quickly cooked at high tempertaures and was soft and moist enough to be folded and eaten on the streets.

The current renaiisance of the pizza can also be seen in the UK. Dan meets some of the pizzaioli (pizza chefs) who have taken a centuries old food and taken it to new heights.

Presented by Dan Saladino.
Mar 21 2016
27 mins
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Rank #7: A Fat Lot of Good

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The range of fats and oils available to us is growing but the advice has changed dramatically. Sheila Dillon looks to cut through the latest thinking to help gain clarity of which we should be using when.

She's joined in the studio by Dr Michael Mosley whose recent investigation looked into how the composition of saturated and polyunsaturated fats changed when heated with food and resulted in the production of dangerous aldehydes. Sheila finds out what response there has been since the programme and how he's changed his own cooking and buying habits but what questions should we be asking when we eat out?

Over the past decades animal fats have lost out in popularity and newer products like coconut oil have risen in prominence. Yet a butcher from Clonmel in Tipperary has seen his dripping crowned 'supreme champion' in the Great Taste awards - could this signify a change of thinking on what was once classed 'unhealthy fats'. Meanwhile in parts of Italy a new disease is threatening olive trees.
N.B. In this programme, mustard oil is used. Due to the high levels of the allergen erucic acid present in mustard oil, EU regulations state that the oil must be marked for 'external use only'. However, it continues to be widely used in Indian cooking and is often recommended by chefs to create authentic dishes.
Jul 29 2016
28 mins
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Rank #8: Fantastic Fiction and Fabulous Feasts

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Close your eyes and think for a moment about the books you read as a child and those that talked about food. A vivid description of a flavour can spark the imagination and the taste buds but a secret midnight feast at Malory Towers, the elaborate Hogwarts feasts in Harry Potter or picnics in Wind in the Willows can instil an air of excitement about food that lasts into adulthood.
Sheila Dillon asks why some scenes can be so powerful they remain with us for decades. She meets those who changed their careers due to the power of the stories they read, she travels to a secret restaurant fantasy land and meets the schoolchildren for whom taste is being brought alive through descriptions of food and flavour.
Presented by Sheila Dillon and Produced by Anne-Marie Bullock.
Jun 22 2015
28 mins
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Rank #9: Japanese Whisky: A Beginners Guide

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Dan Saladino goes on a journey through the history, culture and flavours of Japanese whisky. Why and how has this nation taken a drink so strongly associated with Scotland and made it their own?

In 2001, the drinks world started to pay attention to Japanese whisky after one if its distillers scored top marks in an international whisky completion. In the years that followed, the awards and the global attention for Japanese whiskies continued to grow. Critics have described some Japanese whiskies as the "work of genius" and, just last year, one whisky produced by a small, new-wave distillery in the north of the country was voted the world's "Best Single Cask Whisky".

With the help of whisky writer and author of the award-winning 'Way of Whisky: A Journey Round Japanese Whisky', Dave Broom, Dan asks: what lies behind the rise and rise of Japanese whisky and who are the people who helped make all this global recognition possible?

The story has its origins in the 1860s when a recently opened up Japan started to forge close trading links with Scotland, paving the way for whisky imports. Once the taste for the spirit developed, distillers and chemists within Japan started to work on ways of producing a home-grown version of the drink.

A breakthrough came in 1919 when a young student called Masataka Taketsuru travelled to Scotland, worked inside some renowned distilleries, married a Scottish woman and returned home with the secrets behind Scotch. Another pioneer, Shinjeero Torri, would put that know-how to good use and create the Suntory distilling empire and brands such as Yamasaki and Hakushu. Taketsuru would go on to found another respected and award winning whisky brand, Nikka.

After record whisky sales in Japan throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the industry fell into decline for the next quarter of a century, with drinkers switching to other spirits and beer.

A range of factors lie behind the recent whisky revival and boom, ranging from Japanese innovations in fermentation, distillation and barrel aging as well as the drink that brought whisky to the attention of a younger generation - the High Ball, a mix of whisky and soda.

As Dave Broom also explains, the resurgence has encouraged a new generation of distillers to enter the whisky world, including Chichibu, an operation run mostly by people in their twenties, now winning awards.

To explore the unique flavours on offer in Japanese whisky, Dan travels to the Highlander pub in Craigellachie, Scotland, where he meets landlord Tatsuya Minagawa and samples a "next to impossible" to find bottle of whisky.

Recommended reading:
Dave Broom: The Way of Whisky - A Journey Through Japanese Whisky.
Dominic Roskrow: Whisky Japan - The Essential Guide To The World's Most Exotic Whisky
Brian Ashcraft: Japanese Whisky - The Ultimate Guide to The World's Most Desirable Spirit
Stefan Van Eycken: Whisky Rising

Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
May 14 2018
31 mins
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Rank #10: Citrus

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Sheila Dillon goes on a citrus journey, discovering vivid flavour possibilities and hidden histories.

Joining Sheila are Catherine Phipps, food writer and creator of a new book 'Citrus - Recipes that Celebrate the Sour and the Sweet' out this week, Helena Attlee author of 'The Land Where Lemons Grow' and Michael Barker, Editor of Fresh Produce Journal.

Presenter: Sheila Dillon
Producer: Rich Ward.
Feb 12 2017
28 mins
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Rank #11: Dishing The Dirt on Clean Eating

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Grace Dent discovers what has made Anthony Warner into the Angry Chef and unpicks the role that social media plays in spurring people towards diet plans and 'healthy-eating' regimes

Anthony set up a blog last year to vent his fury at what he describes as bad science in his quest to reveal the truth behind so-called 'healthy eating'. He believes we're bombarded by false messages and claims about food.

In his quest to find out if Anthony's claims are justified, we meet Helen West, a registered dietician, and asks how damaging 'fad-diets' are. What happens if you cut out carbohydrates, dairy and gluten from your diet and we meet Eve Simmons. Eve became seriously ill with anorexia and blames the array of glossy websites featuring perfectly sculpted bodies, in part, for her illness.

We'll meet Dr Judy Swift who has been studying the link between social media and Orthorexia: eating disorders brought on by obsessing about eating certain foods.

But is Anthony's anger justified? James Duigan is the man behind 'Bodyism'. He's developed a plan of eating healthily whilst exercising regularly, but encourages detox plans. But what exactly is wrong with wanting to exercise and make yourself feel better?

We'll discover if Anthony has every right to be angry, or whether he should simply calm down.
Aug 13 2017
28 mins
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Rank #12: Salt, Pepper... and Seaweed?

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Highly regarded for its health benefits, people living by the shore have been eating seaweed for millennia. In Ireland, it was part of a prehistoric diet, and taken to ward off illness. In New Zealand, seaweed was a Maori delicacy. In Iceland, it was served daily, dried with fish, butter and bread. And seaweeds in many forms continue to be a major part of day to day cooking in China, Japan and Korea.

According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, the harvesting of seaweed for food is worth upwards of 5 billion US dollars every year.

Yet many of us still associate the greens with Asian food, or experiments in haute cuisine.

But now a new generation of wild food entrepreneurs, are asking us to change our habits, and to rethink seaweed as something that can be enjoyed in every meal, for every occasion.

Sheila Dillon hears stories of finding food from the sea. People harvesting and cooking with seaweed. And as seaweed enters the mainstream, she hears how age old harvesting traditions, could be under threat.

This programme includes the fifth instalment from the Ark of Taste series.

Presented by Sheila Dillon and produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
May 26 2015
28 mins
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Rank #13: Turmeric

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Sheila Dillon takes a journey into the culinary use, history and the latest medical findings about turmeric.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a member of the ginger family of plants - and its rhizome, the part mainly used in cooking, has a deep orange-golden colour that marks it out. Responsible for this distinctive hue is the bioactive compound, curcumin. Turmeric - and curcumin - have attracted a lot of attention in recent years, and much has been claimed about medicinal properties. In India, where most turmeric is still grown, turmeric - or haldi - has long been revered and widely used both as an essential savoury food ingredient and as a medicine, with the golden rhizome being particularly valued within the ancient medical system of Ayurveda.

Sheila investigates the health claims about turmeric and curcumin, talking to Dr Michael Mosley - former GP and presenter of BBC Two's Trust Me I'm A Doctor, about his team's recent research findings. Sheila also hears about an article published last month in British Medical Journal Case Reports, and speaks to its co-author Professor Jamie Cavenagh, a leading expert on blood cancer - and one of his patients Dieneke Ferguson, who turned to curcumin after all conventional treatment for her cancer was stopped. Also featuring in the programme are cook and food writer Monisha Bharadwaj - author of The Indian Cookery Course, Susie Emmett - radio producer who went to Andhra Pradesh, India, on the turmeric trail, as well as Dr Stephen Harris, Druce Curator of the Herbaria at Oxford University.

Presenter: Sheila Dillon
Producer: Rich Ward.
May 28 2017
28 mins
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Rank #14: The Joy of Eggs

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We were once told 'Go to work on an egg' but health warnings later saw us cut the number we eat. As the US Dietary Advisory Committee drops its advice on restricting egg consumption Sheila Dillon asks if we're falling back in love with the egg. Similar limits in the UK were lifted several years ago after evidence suggested their cholesterol did not have a significant effect on our blood cholesterol after all.

The amount we eat in the UK is now continuing to rise and the trend for keeping hens at home or in community projects has seen many people collecting their own too. Sheila Dillon asks if the humble egg is breaking free of a tarnished reputation and proving itself to be a versatile protein provider worth celebrating.

She hears reports from US where yolk-dodgers have demanded white-only 'heart healthy omelettes' and similar concoctions while in Silicon Valley a 'solution' to the egg has been created in a plant protein based alternative which they claim can mimic many of the egg's functions.

But back in the UK she finds a more celebratory atmosphere - a major retailer has begun supplying guaranteed double yolkers, Neil Rankin, founder of 'Bad Egg' Restaurant has kept his supplier in steady business while Genevieve Taylor found her hens laid so many she had to create new recipes to use them all.
Has the egg been given too much of a bad rap and is now breaking free and what does the future hold?

Presented by Sheila Dillon and Produced in Bristol by Anne-Marie Bullock.
Apr 05 2015
28 mins
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Rank #15: Tea: A Coffee Drinker's Guide

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Hardened coffee drinker Dan Saladino investigates tea's past, present and future and finds out how our preference for the leaf has changed over three centuries. He visits the location of Britain's first tea retailer, hears the adventures of legendary tea hunter John Fortune and visits the site of an auction house which oversaw 85 per cent of all global tea trade. In south west India we hear from a team of tea pluckers and get an insight into the skill and labour involved in producing tea. Do we pay enough for a cup of tea? It's a question Dan will develop in the second instalment of this tea story.

Presented by Dan Saladino and produced in Bristol.
Mar 06 2017
28 mins
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Rank #16: Ferment

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Fermentation is one of our oldest methods for preserving food. All around the world people have been transforming food with the help of microbes for thousands of years. The problem is, this simple method has had an identity crisis. We tend either see it as a fashionable fad, or a strange science. But there are people who want things to change. So in this programme Sheila Dillon meets 'The fermenters'. Ukranian food writer and chef Olia Hercules, who grew up with fermented foods; Roopa Gulati, using fermentation to explore her Indian heritage; entrepreneur Deborah Carr, whose fermentation business is going from strength to strength; and seasonal chef Tom Hunt who is putting seasonal ferments back on his restaurant menu. In 2016, It's time to rethink fermentation.
Mar 14 2016
28 mins
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Rank #17: Mexican cooking and the food adventures of Diana Kennedy

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Dan Saladino meets the world authority on the food of Mexico, the British born writer Diana Kennedy.

Diana Kennedy's life reads like an adventure story. Born in Loughton, Essex in 1923, after serving in the land army she set off on a journey that would take her to Canada, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. She stopped off in Haiti, met the New York Times correspondent Paul Kennedy, fell in love and they moved to Mexico.

Soon after arriving she became fascinated by Mexican food. A maid looking after the home was also a cook and the regional dishes made Diana Kennedy curious about the ingredients and recipes of other regions of Mexico.

After Paul Kennedy died in 1966 Diana found herself living in New York, with no income and an uncertain future. The Food Editor of The New York Times, Craig Claiborne encouraged her to use her knowledge of Mexican food and give cooking lessons.

To research recipes and find ingredients she'd travel to remote parts of Mexico, into villages, to markets and into kitchens with domestic cooks to learn more about traditional foods. That research has continued for five decades.

It has produced nine books, and a body of work that is now regarded as the most
authoritative account of Mexico's cuisines ever created. In the programme Diana Kennedy explains her life in food.

In the programme food writer and editor of Swallow magazine, James Casey visits Diana Kennedy in her home in Michoacan to see how she's also created a garden containing varieties of fruit and vegetables from all over Mexico.

Produced and presented by Dan Saladino.
Jun 30 2014
28 mins
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Rank #18: Sandor Katz and the Art of Fermentation

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Sandor Katz has been enchanted by fermentation, the mysterious process by which microbes transform food and drink, for some two decades. Since making his first crock of sauerkraut, his fascination with fermentation has broadened, deepened, and he now travels the world giving workshops. Based in Tennessee, his books including 'Wild Fermentation' and the encyclopaedic 'The Art of Fermentation' have helped many thousands of people to get started with making their own ferments, experimenting with flavours, fruits, vegetables, spices... and microorganisms.

Dan Saladino travels to Sandor's forest home in rural Tennessee to meet Sandor, hear his story, and discover for himself the transformative, delicious potential of these mostly simple culinary processes.
Coming up in a future edition of The Food Programme, a practical masterclass in fermentation with Sandor Katz.
Presenter: Dan Saladino
Producer: Rich Ward.

Photo: Jacqueline Schlossman.
Jul 16 2017
27 mins
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