If you think food and cooking podcasts are only for people who know how to perfectly poach an egg and expertly render pork fat, think again.
"Everyone eats but not everyone cooks, and eating is that language we can all relate to,” says Sally Swift, cocreator of The Splendid Table, one of the original food-centric radio programs that was around long before podcasting became a thing.
We've rounded up a few more of our favorite podcasts to whet your appetite. They're available on Spotify, your Apple podcast app and other popular podcast platforms.
The Splendid Table
This weekly public radio podcast beloved by foodies launched back in 1995 (Julia Child was one of the show's earliest guests). In its younger days, the hour-long episodes tended to focus more on hands-on cooking tips; it later focused on chef interviews and cultural dives. Lately it's pivoted back to a mix of both.
"We've always been a show about the culture of food. It's the great unifier,” says Swift, cocreator of the show. And the host, Francis Lam — a food journalist with deft listening skills — has a way of bringing out the most fascinating culinary stories. Recent shows have focused on Persian cooking and great breads from around the world, with guests such as chefs Samin Nosrat and Jacques Pepin, as well as the show's beloved founding host, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, returning for a visit to reminisce.
Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Radio
Cook's Illustrated Magazine founder Christopher Kimball signs in from Boston every week to host this roughly hour-long podcast and public radio show, Milk Street Radio. A quality production that brims with lessons about foods from around the world, it attracts everyone from kitchen intelligentsia to intrepid travelers in search of armchair escapism (who may or may not know how to make their own omelet).
You never know if you'll be tuning in to learn about how to make authentic migas (old bread soaked in milk and fried in garlic and pork fat) from an esteemed Portuguese chef or hear from someone like Adam Gopnik about why the bagels in Montreal are the world's best.
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"I've come to believe you can learn a lot about a person just by asking them what they like to eat and how they like to eat it,” says Dan Pashman, host of the Stitcher podcast The Sporkful. “When you start off talking about food, you can end up anywhere.”
And “anywhere” for this James Beard Award-winning podcast has recently been everywhere from a deep dive into the food-stained but impeccably penned recipe cards in Georgia O'Keefe's recipe box (Chicken flautas! Tomato aspic!) to the story of how Cambodia's genocide reshaped Southern California's decadent doughnut industry.
The podcast, whose episodes range from about 30 to 50 minutes, lives up to its mantra that “it's not for foodies, it's for eaters.”
Samin Nosrat — the author of the best-selling cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat — and her friend the musician and podcaster Hrishikesh Hirway launched Home Cooking during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to “help you figure out what to do with all that quarantine pasta (or whatever else you're hoarding or wondering about),” as Nosrat has described it on Instagram.
And while it looks like the series is capping off at just four episodes of about an hour each, it's worth tuning in to the current bunch for fuss-free tips and tricks that will come in plenty handy in non-pandemic cooking times, too.
On Episode 3, called “Cod Save America,” Nosrat helps out a caller befuddled by what to do with canned sardines. She steers the caller to a classic Sardinian pasta dish rich with toasted pine nuts, currants or raisins, olive oil and saffron — thus “taking [sardines] from cartoon status to something good to eat,” Nosrat quips.
Listening to the weekly 30-minute episodes of Local Mouthful (there are more than 300 so far) is like sitting in a sunny kitchen with chatty pals who love to cook with zero pretensions.
"Talk shop with obsessed home cooks everywhere” is the mantra of this show hosted by the relatable Joy Manning and Marisa McClellan, longtime friends and food writers who talk about their own eating adventures (Joy has been trying a plant-based diet for her heart health) and encourage listeners to try new things like chickpea dumplings and parsnip cake. But many recipes feature comfort foods such as cabbage-and-rice soup, date squares and baked beans — simple and satisfying.