Saturday, 20 March 2010

My Favourite Food Podcasts

I am slightly addicted to podcasts. I subscribe to 24 different podcasts and I will probably never ever catch up with them all, but still I subscribe and still I go in search of new ones. I listen to podcasts on the way to and from work and most nights I fall asleep listening to podcasts. (Quite often I fall asleep listening to Woman's Hour, which my fiancé is convinced conveys subliminal messages while I'm sleeping, making me cook nice dinners for him!)

Anyway, a few of the podcasts I listen to are food-related. Here are my top 4.

4) Cooking with Paula McIntyre
This is a podcast of a radio show from BBC Radio Ulster. I like it because it's interesting and it's only 10 minutes long (the internet killed my attention span a long time ago), but I could never cook the recipes from it because I can't deal with audio instructions. It's something to do with the way I learn and the way I take in information: for example, if someone gives me verbal directions to a specific destination, I will find it very difficult to follow them; however, I can read a map just fine. You may well find this method of instruction suits you though, in which case, why not give it a go?

3) Food Philosophy
Food Philosophy do a mixture of video and audio podcasts at varying lengths. They're very American (for some reason Americans sound even more American in a purely auditory medium) - my favourite episode was when they were in Scotland marvelling at their "Scottish" breakfast of sausage, tomato, eggs, beans and black pudding. Only amusing if you're British, I suppose. 

2) Spilled Milk
This is the podcast from Molly Wizenberg of and Matthew Amster-Burton of It is truly hilarious and no episode so far has failed to make me Laugh Out Loud. Matthew and Molly have a great sense of humour and a great on-air chemistry. I recommend all foodies should listen to this because it is about food and laughter, and what could be more endearing than that? I also love learning about the weird American food I've never heard of: I spent most of the 'Milkshakes' episode wondering what the hell a 'malt shake' was. I'm still not entirely sure, but I definitely want to try one.

1) The Food Programme
I was so excited when BBC Radio 4 began doing a podcast of The Food Programme, because I was very rarely able to listen to it when it was broadcast, and inevitably forgot to 'Listen Again' online. Now all the hassle of remembering stuff is taken away, as it automatically downloads to my Zune software. Obviously this does not have the amusement factor of some of the other podcasts on this list, but for me it is must-listen radio for its informative and fascinating items, tackling subjects as diverse as school dinners, breadmaking, tea and cheese (the programme on cheese was particularly fantastic - there was a story about a guy who risked going to jail for importing French cheese into Australia!).

If anyone has any other food-related podcasts to recommend, I'd love to hear your suggestions; not that that will make it any easier for me to catch up on my podcasts! Still, I am never short of things to listen to.


  1. Interesting. I have never really listened to any podcasts. When do you listen, other than at bedtimes? I imagine that if I had a standard commute I would enjoy some audio entertainment. (But I'm a commuting cyclist, so that is definitely out!)

  2. I usually sit in bed listening for half an hour - an hour most nights. Other than that while I'm commuting (on the bus), sometimes at lunchtimes at work and whenever I take a trip on the train etc. I sometimes listen to them on my laptop while surfing the internet too.

  3. Now that is interesting. I have just got a new phone for work which is all singing and dancing. I quite fancy podcasts for when I am out and about, thanks for the recommendations.

  4. I love the American-British-isms. MALT! My husband just asked where malt comes from. It's MALT! It comes from no where. You just get it. Malt! A nutritious additive to foods. I think that makes malt milkshakes healthful.

    I also love podcasts but, with a child, don't have enough time to just listen. I guess I could listen and read nap-time stories?

  5. Thank you Charlene. I'm the creator of Food Philosophy, but what you're actually referring to is a "Quick Bites" video we put out on the Culinary Media Network (the umbrella organization with all our shows). We weren't marveling over the ingredients themselves (we aren't rubes -- we've eaten in restaurants all over the world) - we were celebrating a good Scottish breakfast with my mother because it's pretty difficult to get good ingredients in many places in the US, whereas in the UK it's pervasive. You'd be amazed how easy it is to get excited over a good sausage. ;)

    I'm not sure what being "very American" means, but given that I'm a first-generation one, I'll take it. My own show, Food Philosophy, celebrates the sensual pleasures of good, so I hope you'll keep listening!

    Warm regards,

  6. Jennifer, ok, they all get downloaded under the same heading so I didn't realise that! I do enjoy listening too, it's just that video stuck in my mind! I love a good fried breakfast too (and a good sausage!) so I do understand and wasn't trying to suggest you are "rubes" (I had to look that up, by the way!) - I just love seeing Americans get excited over British food (I don't think many people do get excited over British food) and it makes me smile. (I put Scottish in inverted commas because we have the same kind of Breakfast in England too.)

    Americans sound more American to me when I'm listening to them in a purely audio form rather than watching on TV - I don't know why.

    I will definitely keep listening, so do keep up the good work! :)

  7. Janice, happy listening!

    Jen S, malt is like Ovaltine, right? I used to drink gallons of Ovaltine as a kid!

  8. Ooh, I never thought of listening to a food podcast. I think I'll give Spilled Milk a go, since I already read and enjoy Orangette.

    I'm currently waiting for Julia Child's My Life in France to arrive. I've been meaning to get it ever since I heard you talk about it. :)

    No haggis in a Scottish breakfast? D:

  9. Great idea Charlene. I'm not sure I'd be organised enough to sort out podcasts, but I like the sound of Spilled Milk. I only know the food programme - I never miss this or at least if I do, I listen again.

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  11. I am rather embarrassingly new to the world of podcasts and very grateful for this post - had managed to snag the food programme so far and will check out the others :)