Savor

Savor digs into how people live and how they eat – and why. Hosts Anney Reese and Lauren Vogelbaum interview the culinary creators and consumers of the world, exploring the science, history, and culture of food and drink, all with a key question in mind: Why do we like what we like, and how can we find more of those things?

Food
Places & Travel
Society & Culture
1
White Chocolate: Wouldst Thou Like the Taste of...
This sometimes maligned candy is made from the fats of cacao seeds, not the solids, resulting in a subtle and smooth form of chocolate. Anney and Lauren dip into the buttery science and backwards history of white chocolate.
40 min
2
Beets by Savor
This versatile vegetable is used for its tasty taproot, leafy greens, and sugar production capacity. Anney and Lauren dig into the earthy history and sweet science of beets.
45 min
3
A Tall Drink of Horchata
This category of beverages encompasses a continuum of often creamy, spiced, and slightly sweet nondairy drinks – and beyond. Anney and Lauren dip into the science and history of horchata.
26 min
4
Savor Classics: Food in SFX
On film, many foods are made of non-food items and many non-food items are made of food. Movie magic! In this classic episode, we speak with special effects artist Vii Kelly about inexpensive edible gore, plus go into the history of food effects in movies and television.
56 min
5
Gouda Lord Help
This long-beloved cheese starts sweet and simple, but can be aged and smoked into a number of specific styles. Anney and Lauren explore the science and history of Gouda.
30 min
6
Listener Mail VIII: The Last Inbox
We return once again to stories from you, dear listeners! From pierogis and prosciutto to blueberries and burgers (both Bob’s and beyond), Anney and Lauren dive into the inbox -- and it will not be the last.
38 min
7
Pining for Rosemary
This herb has been used in foods, drinks, medicines, and religious practices since time immemorial. Anney and Lauren explore the science and history of rosemary.
41 min
8
The Candy-Coated M&M’s Episode
These chocolate candies in a sugar shell have inspired colorful debate and serious science. Anney and Lauren get the history and culture of M&M’s in the bag.
45 min
9
The Odd Duck Episode
This waterfowl is raised for its eggs, and the whole animal is used in different ways in cuisines around the world. Anney and Lauren flock to the science and history behind ducks.
41 min
10
Borscht: You’re Hot and You’re Cold
This soup comes in many styles and variations, incorporating broth with beets and beyond to create a satisfying (and often slightly sour) dish. Anney and Lauren dip into the history and cultures behind borscht.
35 min
11
Getting a Grip on Chopsticks
These utensils come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials specialized to the type of eating, cooking, and serving they’re intended for. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and cultures behind chopsticks.
43 min
12
Fictional Foods: 'Bob's Burgers'
This animated sitcom relays the (mis)adventures of the Belchers as they live and work around the titular family restaurant. Anney and Lauren explore the history, culture, and many puns of ‘Bob’s Burgers’.
41 min
13
The Downlow on Merlot
Winemakers use this grape to produce soft, fruity red wines and balanced blends. Anney and Lauren dip into the science and only slightly sideways history of merlot.
35 min
14
Savor Classics: Cheddar Cheese
This quintessential English cheese has a history cut with myth, fraud, and war. In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren dig into the science and history of cheddar cheese.
28 min
15
Quinoa: Going Against the Grain
This Andean seed has seen a global boom in use as a grain substitute over the past couple of decades. Anney and Lauren sort through the science and history of quinoa.
39 min
16
All Around the Mulberry Episode
This tree (or bush, if you like) provides fruit for summery jams and pies – and food for the silkworm, thus placing it at the center of a lucrative global industry. Anney and Lauren smooth out the science and history of the mulberry.
36 min
17
The Scoop on Dippin' Dots
This brand uses cryogenic technology to create treats containing tiny, tingling-cold pellets of ice cream. Anney and Lauren connect the science and history of Dippin’ Dots.”
37 min
18
Nutrition Labels: What’s in the Box?
These disclosures of packaged foods’ nutritional content exist at the strange intersection of science, corporate interests, public health, and lawmaking. Anney and Lauren do a number on the convoluted history of nutrition labels in the United States.
56 min
19
Anise: Keeping It Fresh
This sweet, herbaceous spice features in everything from cookies and breads to sausages and liquors. Anney and Lauren dig into the science and history of anise.
25 min
20
The Corndog Days of Summer
This deep-fried fairground food has an impressive number of contending origin stories. Anney and Lauren dip into the history and culture behind corndogs.
51 min
21
The Fabulous Aquafaba Episode
This egg white substitute whips up like the real thing, and we’ve been pouring it down our drains for years -- it’s just the cooking liquid from legumes like chickpeas. Anney and Lauren explore the science and history of aquafaba.
30 min
22
Savor Classics: The Fictional Foods of Middle E...
Lembas is the one bread to rule them all in J.R.R. Tolkien's world of 'The Lord of the Rings.' In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren delve into the real-world inspirations and Elvish science behind lembas and other food and drink from Middle Earth.
30 min
23
The Punchy Sangria Episode
This summery cocktail of wine and fruit (or fruit flavorings) is adapted ad infinitum, from light handmade draughts to sweet bottled drinks. Anney and Lauren dip into the history and culture of sangria.
33 min
24
Zucchini: Hot Squash Summer
This prolific summer squash turns up as everything from a side dish staple to a baked good booster to a noodle substitute. Anney and Lauren dig into the science and history of the zucchini (and its blossoms).
28 min
25
The Chaotic Tater Tot Episode
These beloved, nostalgic shredded potato nuggets started simply as a way to save french fry scraps from going to waste. Anney and Lauren explore the science, history, and culture of tots.
36 min
26
Nada but the Empanada
These tasty stuffed pastries come in near-infinite iterations around the world. Anney and Lauren get wrapped up in the history and culture of empanadas.
30 min
27
Za'atar: A Wild Thyme?
This herb (or herb group) and the eponymous spice blends made from it are ubiquitous in cuisines around the Eastern Mediterranean. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and culture of za’atar.
33 min
28
Savor Classics: Soft Drinks
Call it soda, pop, coke, or plain ol' carbonated water: In this classic episode, we dive into the sometimes explosive science and history of all agua that sparkles, from mineral springs to soda fountains to Big Gulps.
50 min
29
Savor's Got the Blueberries
These berries are beloved as a pie filling and a health food alike. Anney and Lauren dig into the science, history, and health marketing of blueberries.
42 min
30
The Tubular Bundt Episode
These fluted tube pans can be used to create dense, beautiful cakes with a minimum of fuss. Anney and Lauren explore the science and history of Nordic Ware's Bundt pans.
32 min
31
The Basics of Bouillabaisse
This fish/seafood soup/stew, made famous by Marseille, sees a lot of iterations throughout the city and beyond. Anney and Lauren dip into the history and culture behind bouillabaisse (and rouille).
31 min
32
Cocktail Hour: The Negroni
This simple cocktail – composed of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari (or another bright amaro) – has a complicated backstory. Anney and Lauren dip into the culture and history of the negroni.
45 min
33
Cilantro: A Soap Opera
This herb, which tastes fresh and lemony to some but bitter and soapy to others, has been gracing tables for thousands of years along with its spice counterpart, coriander. Anney and Lauren dig into the science and history of cilantro.
30 min
34
Baked Beans: Yer Darn Tootin'
This hearty dish of beans in tangy sauce conjures nostalgia whether served as a cookout side or a breakfast staple, from a can or made fresh. Anney and Lauren spill the science and history behind baked beans (and their, er, musical properties).
43 min
35
A Soft Spot for Gelato
This silky frozen treat that started out as a status symbol has become a ubiquitous Italian street food. Anney and Lauren dip into the science and history of gelato.
36 min
36
Savor Classics: Sweetbreads
Not exactly sweet and definitely not a bread, sweetbreads are a type of offal with a pedigree among gastronomes. In this classic episode, we explore how people treated this odd, tasty gland in the past, and how it made a comeback.
38 min
37
The Seedy Chia Episode
This plant and its nutritious, gel-producing seeds have been used as a staple crop, in nanotech, and as an indoor pet. Anney and Lauren dig into the science and history of chia.
32 min
38
Tootsie Roll: The World May Never Know
This chocolatey, chewy candy is at the center of more than just lollipops – there’s a lot of mystery surrounding it, too. Anney and Lauren bite into the history of the Tootsie Roll.
38 min
39
The Masterful Pimento Cheese Episode
This cheese spread/dip is so popular in the American South that its recipe – and Northern origins – garner controversy. Anney and Lauren explore the history and culture of pimento cheese.
42 min
40
We Are Gruit
These ancient botanical blends gave beers a depth of flavor and antimicrobial punch (plus other properties, maybe) before hops came to dominate the scene. Anney and Lauren get mixed up in the history and pronunciation of gruit.
32 min
41
Fictional Foods: Fallout
This post-apocalyptic game franchise features an array of food and drink items for players to interact with – at their own risk. Anney and Lauren explore the questionable cuisine of ‘Fallout’.
43 min
42
Muscadines: No Sour Grapes
These sweet grapes, native to the American South, are known for their large size, thick skins, and aromatic wines. Anney and Lauren explore the botany and history of muscadines and scuppernongs.
30 min
43
Savor Classics: Vegemite
This savory spread with a divisively strong flavor earned its place in Australian culture through decades of clever marketing. In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren explore the history and yeast-extract science of Vegemite -- plus talk Tim Tams.
38 min
44
Do You Fondue?
These warming, communal, simple-yet-sophisticated dishes gained popularity thanks to a Swiss dairy cartel. Anney and Lauren dip into the history and science of fondue.
43 min
45
The Open Sesame Seed Episode
This small seed (and its large oil content) grace sweet and savory dishes around the world. Anney and Lauren dig into the botany and history behind sesame seeds.
32 min
46
Listener Mail VII: The Inbox Awakens
With our hearts and inboxes full, we turn again to the stories y'all have sent us, including but not limited to Old Bay and root beer controversies, tyrannical milk tea, squid poems, crab massacres, and geese. Geese!
44 min
47
Mad About Madeleines
These small, simple, shell-shaped cakes are the result (and subject) of a lot of complex work. Anney and Lauren explore the science and history behind the madeleine and its perfect hump.
37 min
48
The Tale of Skipjack Tuna
This small, prolific type of tuna is common in two very different preparations: canned, and raw in poke. Anney and Lauren reel in the biology and history of skipjack tuna.
47 min
49
Cocktail Hour: The Moscow Mule
This cocktail of vodka, ginger beer, and lime gets its kick from the way it sets off our heat sensors. Anney and Lauren burn through the spicy science and scattered history of the Moscow Mule.
35 min
50
Filipino Adobo: Choose Your Own Adventure
This method of cooking is endlessly adaptable, and the various dishes it creates represent the history of the Philippines on a plate. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and culture of Filipino adobo.
31 min
51
Habaneros: Over 9000
These small but fiery chili peppers became so widely popular that they’ve caused historical confusion. Anney and Lauren give some hot takes on the history and science of habaneros.
42 min
52
The Face-Hugging Blue Crab Episode
These crustaceans are the most-consumed type of crab in the U.S., which is the top crab-consuming country in the world. Anney and Lauren explore the history and, honestly, just very strange science of blue crabs.
64 min
53
Savor Classics: Expiration Dates
Expiration dates cause confusion and food waste. In this classic episode, Lauren and Anney do some demystifying (and talk about how a notorious gangster may have been involved with their inception).
32 min
54
Our Cup of Bubble Tea
This highly customizable treat is part drink, part snack, and a complete sensation. Anney and Lauren spill the history and culture of bubble tea.
40 min
55
The Souped Up Bouillon Episode
This shelf-stable concentrate of broth or stock is a mainstay of modern home cooking, but similarly portable soups go back hundreds of years. Anney and Lauren take stock of the science and history of bouillon.
39 min
56
Cracking Open the Pistachio
This lime-green culinary nut partially deshells itself when it’s ready for us to eat. Anney and Lauren shake down the history and science behind pistachios.
39 min
57
Old Bay on the Block
This brand of seasonings has made itself synonymous with Maryland seafood. Anney and Lauren boil down the history and culture of Old Bay products.
41 min
58
Root Beer: Bark AND Bite
This sweet beverage doesn’t necessarily contain either roots or beer, but it certainly can. Anney and Lauren dip into the history and culture of root beer.
41 min
59
Savor Classics: Space Food
We owe so many innovations in food safety and technology to the simple fact that astronauts need to eat. In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren launch into the history (and sometimes questionable menus) of space food.
43 min
60
Foods of 'Pokémon': Gotta Eat ‘Em All
This sweeping media franchise has featured plenty of foods and drinks in its 25 years – including some made from Pokémon themselves. (Our courage will pull us through.) Y’all teach us, and we’ll teach you about the fictional foods of the 'Pokémon' universe.
57 min
61
Listener Mail VI: Return of the Inbox
It’s not a trap! We again reach into the mailbag (digital and physical) to share listeners’ stories -- including mac & cheese disasters, Guinness lyrics, and literal snail mail.
40 min
62
The Dandelion Episode Blows
This prolific yellow flower has tender, nutritious leaves and a somewhat weedy reputation. Anney and Lauren explore the bittersweet science and history of the dandelion.
30 min
63
Dishing on General Tso's Chicken
This Chinese-American comfort food was inspired by Hunan, originated in Taipei, and developed in New York City. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and culture(s) behind General Tso’s chicken.
32 min
64
The Cardamom Pod(cast)
This complex spice, both warming and cooling, brings zing to foods from baked goods and curries to caffeinated drinks and beyond. Anney and Lauren dig into the science and history of cardamom.
31 min
65
The Smooth Guinness Episode
This brewing company, famous for its Irish stouts, is one of the most recognizable beer brands in the world. Anney and Lauren tap into the history and science of Guinness.
51 min
66
Say Mac 'n' Cheese!
This creamy comfort food is a classic, whether it’s crafted or Krafted. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and industrial evolution of macaroni and cheese.
61 min
67
The Morel Mushroom of the Story
These prized mushrooms have been around for a long time, but they’ve managed to remain mysterious. Anney and Lauren explore the science and history behind morel mushrooms.
40 min
68
The Plucky Haggis Episode
This Scottish sausage may be made with humble ingredients, but it’s the stuff(ing?) of legend. Anney and Lauren explore the biology, sportsmanship, and poetry of haggis.
51 min
69
The Sweet-and-Sour Tamarind Episode
This tropical fruit lends a bright punch of flavor to both sweet and savory dishes in cuisines around the world. Anney and Lauren dig into the science and history of tamarind.
27 min
70
The Sublime Freeze Drying Episode
This process creates lightweight, flavorful preserved foods that keep for years and can be easily reconstituted – just add water. Anney and Lauren explore the cool science and history of freeze drying.
38 min
71
The Grueling Oatmeal Episode
Bowls of this cereal grain have been sustaining humans for tens of thousands of years. Anney and Lauren explore the sweet/savory science and history of oatmeal.
54 min
72
Winner, Winner, Chicken Nugget
These crisp-coated, bite-sized bits of processed chicken changed the way the chicken industry works. Anney and Lauren dip into the history and culture of the chicken nugget.
46 min
73
On Air with Whipped Cream
Turning liquid cream into this delicate foam requires only a little work – but a lot of science. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and structure of whipped cream, including how it came to be sold in pressurized cans.
46 min
74
Savor Classics: Brunch
Brunch has always been a meal of excess and leisure, and it's therefore associated with some ugly classist, racist, and sexist ideals. But waffles are nice! In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren break down the problematic yet delicious history of brunch.
42 min
75
The Power of the Praline
In the New Orleans tradition, these melt-in-your-mouth pecan confections welcome tourists to the French Quarter – and related treats delight in other corners of the world. Anney and Lauren stir up the history and culture of pralines.
37 min
76
Persimmons of Interest
These sweet fruits can be shockingly astringent before they’re ripe – and they owe all kinds of amazing properties to that astringency. Anney and Lauren dig into the not at all cut-and-dried science and history of persimmons.
49 min
77
Dipping into Queso
This melty, seasoned cheese dip is best known for having physical properties that do not belong to cheese. Anney and Lauren flow with the science and history of chile con queso.
46 min
78
Saffron: As Good As Gold
This spice is the most expensive in the world because it’s made from one small part of flowers that bloom only once a year. Anney and Lauren follow the threads of the science and history of saffron.
49 min
79
The Paella Episode Panned Out
This comforting dish is a lot more than just rice with stuff – it’s been called the history of Spain in a pan. Anney and Lauren dig into the rich story behind paella.
38 min
80
The Maligned Lima Bean
These half-moon legumes go by many names and spark many strong opinions. Anney and Lauren explore the science and history of the lima bean/butterbean.
38 min
81
Savor Classics: Jelly Doughnuts
Sufganiyot, pączki, Berliners, bismarcks, or jambusters: Whatever you call 'em, we love jelly doughnuts. Anney and Lauren explore how this treat became a part of holidays around the world.
30 min
82
The Scrapple of Our Eye
This breakfast protein isn’t well known outside of the Mid-Atlantic, but not for a lack of enthusiastic press. Anney and Lauren dig into the history, culture, and poetry of scrapple.
36 min
83
Poppin' Off About Pringles
These potato-based snack chips are wonders of structural science. Anney and Lauren explore the history and mathematics behind Pringles.
48 min
84
The Icewine Cometh
This sweet wine is made from grapes frozen on the vine to produce concentrated flavors. Anney and Lauren explore the decidedly cool science and history of ice wine.
27 min
85
Cracking Wise with Sage
This warm-flavored herb has been highly regarded as a seasoning and a medicine throughout the ages. Anney and Lauren explore the history, culture, and science of sage.
33 min
86
Our Daily Cornbread
This bread is definitely made from cornmeal, but what else goes in (or definitely doesn’t go in) is a matter of some opinion. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and culture of cornbread.
43 min
87
Bowled Over by Miso
This seasoning paste (and soup ingredient) owes its complex flavors to a double fermentation of grains and legumes. Anney and Lauren dip into the history and science of miso.
37 min
88
Fictional Foods: The Chronicles of Narnia
This series of fantasy stories is about adventure, friendship, loyalty, faith – and food. Anney and Lauren go further up and further into the fantastical fruits and humble feasts of C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’.
53 min
89
Savor Classics: Toasting
Toasting can be an art, an honor, or an excuse to drink a lot. In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren explore the culture of clinking glasses (or not!), from ancient toasting traditions to how people do it around the world today. Hear hear!
38 min
90
Savor Classics: Quiche
"Quiche, the simple baked custard that took the '70s by storm, has a winding history -- involving some weird gender issues. In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren serve forth the ins and outs of quiche."
27 min
91
Making Peace with Olives
These fruits prove that being bitter and oily doesn’t mean you can’t be popular. Anney and Lauren pit their wits against the science and history of olives.
40 min
92
Listener Mail V: The Inbox Strikes Back
The adventure continues! We turn again to our inboxes to share your stories, from a persevering pineapple and a beef with Ginger Beef to sweet maple syrup memories and one spicy Princess Stew.
43 min
93
The Smokin' Pastrami Episode
A treatment including curing, smoking, and seasoning turns tough beef brisket into this delectable deli meat. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and science behind pastrami.
36 min
94
The Souped Up Campbell's Episode
This brand of shelf-stable soups (and other foods) is an American staple, replete with nostalgia, sodium, and labor disputes. Anney and Lauren tap into the history and culture behind the Campbell Soup Company and their products.
58 min
95
Grapefruit: One Strange Mother Pucker
This large citrus fruit features tasty tart and bitter flavors – but watch out, because it doesn’t mix with some medications. Anney and Lauren explore the history and science of grapefruit.
42 min
96
Savor Classics: Gingerbread
Why do we shape gingerbread cookies into people and houses? Why is it generally considered a winter treat? In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren tackle gingerbread (in all its formats) head first.
42 min
97
Ginger Snaps Back
This warming spice is an ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes the world over. Anney and Lauren dig up the history and science of ginger.
32 min
98
The Interesting Intrigue of Margarine
This nondairy butter substitute has been embroiled in legal and nutritional controversy since its invention. Anney and Lauren explore the history and science of margarine.
42 min
99
Get Schooled on the Anchovy
This small, silvery fish may have a bad reputation in the U.S., but it’s a tasty (and integral!) part of cuisines all over the world. Anney and Lauren dive into the history and science of anchovies.
33 min
100
The Flippin' Burger Episode
These highly customizable sandwiches are an American classic with a highly debated history. Anney and Lauren explore the origins and permutations of the hamburger.
60 min