Sunday, 5 September 2010

Listen with Your Tummy

This is firstly an apology of being rather absent of late. Work coupled with a beer/laptop accident (which still means that I need to copy and paste my d's and q's in) has meant that I have been neglecting you all. I am now on a wee holiday, getting to do lovely things like eat and talk about eating.

Today I want to talk about listening about eating; a new concept to those who are used to devouring celebrity chefs on television, and one that reverts us to our past radio-listening selves. I love the radio, my kitchen digital radio is one of my most treasured possessions. I love the randomness of it all, you can be delighted (or annoyed, or tickled) by the most unexpected topics of conversation. But most of all I love the element of belonging to a group of people, both heard and unheard - the talkers and the listeners. Tune in to a show long enough and they become your extended friends and family, people to learn and laugh with.

I have recently joined the modern world and got myself a new fancy phone, this phone is now my best friend. Fact. Its ok, Bo has one too so he's not lonely. My lovely new phone was a little on the pricey side so anything that I can download for free is fair game. This is how I joined the new revolution of podcasts; a revolution that I am happy to wave a flag for because they are ace. Miniature radio shows without the interruption of rubbish songs and depressing news stories, shows that you can store and save up for when there is no-one to interrupt. Perfect. I also love how you can use them as a catch up service - miss your favorite radio show, no worries just download the podcast and listen at your leisure.

And what better to listen to than programs about food...

Spilled Milk

Those who know me know that Molly Wizenburg is a bit of a hero. Her Orangette blog has greatly influenced my writing and blogging style so when I stumbled across her food podcasts I knew I had struck gold. Molly teams up with her friend, and fellow food writer, Matthew Amster-Burton who is equally hilarious and knowledgeable about the wonderful world of gastronomy.

Spilled Milk is recorded every 2 weeks, they pick a subject to talk about (Rhubarb for example) and the shows tag line is 'The show where we make something delicious and you can't have any'. The podcast is recorded in their home city of Seattle so it is a brilliant insight into American eating trends, habits and ingredients. It does mean that some shows can leave you bemused about certain topics - the show on their love of 'Milkshakes' is hilarious but what in God's name is a Chocolate Malt? But be warned Spilled Milk can also make you want to move to Seattle.

My favorite thing to do with Spilled Milk is to listen to it when I am food shopping, everyone around must think I mad chuckling away to myself while picking out tomatoes. iTunes are not being overly sensitive when they labelled the Pea episode 'explicit' but its good natured (brilliantly immature) humour. And the best thing - its all free baby! So what are you waiting for...

BBC 4 Food Program

This is the daddy of all food podcasts, obviously because it is produced by the BBC it is one class act. They don't skimp on this show - if the subject is Kebabs they travel to Istanbul and Bursa to explore the ancient techniques used in authentic Turkish Doners. They mix interviews with producers, historians and the public along with great presenters. The subjects themselves are incredibly varied too, from Chips to Amateur Food Photography, all of which are handled total professionalism by Sheila Dillion and her team. They are also brilliant at covering British food events, the latest show recorded at WOMAD festival takes you right there. Basically this award winning and intelligent radio show (turned podcast) is not one to be missed.
This is the podcast that I treat myself with, the one that I leave until last because I know that even though I might not love the subject matter (pork scratchings anyone?) I will love listening to every single minute because I always learn something. I might even listen to it twice so it sinks in.

So do you agree with my choices and are there any good food podcasts that I am missing out on? Please let me know, I'm hungry for more...


  1. I'm totally with you on the Food Programme. I even time our Sunday Lunch to ensure that I am in teh kitchen (but noone else is) while it's on. Despite listening to a few podcasts I've never thought about seeking out food ones (how stupid am i?) but I will be listening out to the one you suggest.

  2. Chuffed that you are just as dictator-ish as I am when it comes to listening alone time! Hope you like Spilled Milk, pretty much a given if you have a sense of humour and like food. Let me know what you think.

  3. Anonymous5:35:00 pm

    You got a link on their webpage for this post!

  4. Lordy! Have just checked this out! How blooming exciting. Thanks for letting me know, am now slightly dancing around my flat being chuffed.

  5. Anonymous3:22:00 pm

    Keep it up - it does of course mean that everyone in the Radio 4 office read the blog... always nice to know we're getting it right.

    Thanks for the great post.