My current, non-food related job can be repetitive and dull at times. But the upside to this is it allows me to put on my headphones and listen to music, news, and audio books while working. NPR has a huge selection of stories and features to choose from. On their website, you can either listen to 24 hour streaming news, or create a playlist of the stories and programs that interest you. I prefer to do the latter.
Last week was Fresh Food week on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, which consisted of previously aired, food related interviews. I’d heard most of them already, but they were worth a second listen.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Bananas: The Uncertain Future of a Favorite Fruit
This is is an interview with Dan Koeppel about his book Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World. I’m always amazed at how little we know about what we eat. This interview is definitely an example of that. Who knew that the natural and political histories of this fruit were so rife with disease, drama and corruption?
Unlocking the Mysteries of Good Cooking
Terry interviews Harold McGee, the author of the indispensable culinary reference book “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen”. This book was around way before that silly Alton Brown came along to cute-ify culinary science. (Just kidding, I love Alton!) While my cooking is based mostly on intuition gained from years of experience, I turn to Harold McGee’s books when I want to know the science behind what I’m doing. It’s made me a better cook.
And of course, Julia Child is the subject of another favorite interview. Typically, I don’t give a rats-ass about famous people, but I surprised myself by shedding a few tears when Jules passed away in 2004. And one of the highlights of my life (really!) was seeing her Cambridge kitchen reconstructed at the Smithsonian. Besides being a great chef who changed America’s palate for the better, she was a strong woman who followed her energy and her instincts, and I admire her for that.
There’s many other segments on “the science, politics and culture of what we eat”. And I promise you they are worth a listen, even if you’re not a culinary weirdo like me.
Wishing you more food, less pain.