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
Cocktail Hour: The Sazerac
This classic New Orleans cocktail is almost as storied as the city that created it. Anney and Lauren dip into the history of the Sazerac.
40 min
2
Fictional Foods: 'Downton Abbey'
This television series and its following films feature detailed depictions of Edwardian-era dining from the perspective of both the aristocratic class and those who served them – with a dose of snark from each. Anney and Lauren explore the semi-fictional foods of ‘Downton Abbey’.
41 min
3
The Crusty Baguette Episode
This long, skinny loaf of bread is deceptively simple and deeply loved. Anney and Lauren tear into the history and science behind the baguette.
32 min
4
Soaking in the Sunflowers
These large, lovely flowers each bear hundreds of seeds, prized for snacking and oil production alike. Anney and Lauren stick by ya -- and by the history and science of the sunflower.
38 min
5
Savor Chews on Toothpicks
These small utensils, most often made of disposable wood, bamboo, or plastic, find use across all kinds of hygienic and structural applications. Anney and Lauren take a stab at the history and science behind toothpicks.
45 min
6
A Layered Look at Biryani
This one-pot, rice-based main dish has infinite iterations that all come down to comfort. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and science behind biryani.
28 min
7
Listener Mail X: Rogue Mail
We return once again with mail from y’all -- a set of stories perhaps not in our main timeline, but distinctly from the Savor universe, including different uses for spinach and cloves, a deeper understanding of Dade, and a debunking of a debunking.
36 min
8
Savor Classics: Candy Hearts
Chalky candy hearts printed with sweet (or salty!) messages are apparently the most prolific candy of Valentine's Day. In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren explore the product's past and present, plus some of its strangest messages.
33 min
9
Fortune Favors the Kumquat
This small citrus(y) fruit can be eaten whole like a grape or cooked into sweet and savory dishes aplenty. Anney and Lauren dig into the science and history of kumquats.
26 min
10
The Vinous Barley Wine Episode
This style of beer ekes wine-level alcohol content (and big flavors) out of malted barley. Anney and Lauren barrel right into the history and science of barley wine.
30 min
11
Fictional Foods: 'Redwall'
This children’s fantasy franchise features food descriptions so lush that they’re one of the first things fans talk about. Anney and Lauren get caught up in the long tale of the food and drink in Brian Jacques’s ‘Redwall’ series.
51 min
12
Spinach: Isn't It Ironic?
This leafy green provides soft structure, bright color, and a punch of nutrients to some of the world’s favorite comfort foods. Anney and Lauren dig into the science and history of spinach.
39 min
13
The Towering Tupperware Episode
This brand of kitchenware began with a burping bowl – and a party planner – but became a cultural phenomenon. Anney and Lauren break the seal on the science and history of Tupperware.
50 min
14
Ricotta: This Is the Whey
This fresh, soft, cheese-adjacent product is made with milk’s whey instead of curds. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and science of ricotta.
30 min
15
A Searing Look at Ceviche
This seafood salad has complex layers of culture and chemistry behind its simple preparation. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and science of ceviche.
33 min
16
Savor Classics: The Miracle Berry
The miracle berry is a fruit that can make sour foods taste incredibly sweet. In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren explore the science behind flavor tripping, plus the strange, conspiracy-ridden history of the miracle berry's legality in the United States.
28 min
17
Quince: Charming
This fragrant fruit is color changing, makes excellent jam, and may have been the ‘golden apple’ of myth. Anney and Lauren gel up the history and science of quince.
33 min
18
Cocktail Hour: The Hot Toddy
This adaptable cocktail won't cure a cold, but it'll certainly make you feel warm and cozy. Anney and Lauren dip into the heated science and history behind the hot toddy.
27 min
19
The Marzipan Episode Is Shaping Up
These simple ground-almond candies are molded into fantastic shapes for the winter holidays and beyond. Anney and Lauren explore the history and culture of marzipan.
37 min
20
The Fully Reconstituted Condensed Milk Episode
This canned, concentrated milk product features in lots of sweet holiday recipes today, but it was invented for survival and safety. Anney and Lauren spread it on thick with the history and science of sweetened condensed milk (plus its unsweet cousin, evaporated milk).
45 min
21
Listener Mail IX: The Rise of Inbox
The listeners speak! From delicious crêpes and breakfast poutine to divisive durian and baby corn, Anney and Lauren share your stories, recipes, memories, and reckonings.
45 min
22
Case Cloves
This warm and strongly aromatic spice, made from the flower buds of a tropical tree, has long been a prized part of food and medicine everywhere that people could get it. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and science of cloves.
39 min
23
Savor Classics: Artificial Flavors
Added flavors feature in as much as 90% of our groceries, so the science of creating them is a serious business. We unpack the difference between natural and artificial flavors and explore how some of the most famous (blue raspberry! MSG!) came to be.
42 min
24
The Fully Baked Betty Crocker Story
This brand of recipes and food products that help out home cooks is based around a woman who never existed. Anney and Lauren explore the fictional history and very real science behind Betty Crocker.
37 min
25
Crêpes: Rolling in Dough
These flat, delicate pancakes can be sweet or savory, simple or a spectacle. Anney and Lauren dig into the science and history of crêpes.
40 min
26
Baby Corn: The Real Children of the Corn
These diminutive ears of corn, eaten whole as a vegetable, actually are young corn cobs. Anney and Lauren hope you’ll be all ears for the history and science of baby corn.
39 min
27
Fictional Foods: Adventure Time
This fantastical cartoon series frequently features characters (many of whom are anthropomorphic foods) eating -- or avoiding being eaten. Anney and Lauren explore the distant lands, foods, and drinks of Adventure Time.
51 min
28
A Granular Look at Wild Rice
This North American grain is technically neither rice nor truly wild, but has been cared for and harvested by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. Anney and Lauren dip into the history and science behind wild rice.
31 min
29
A Whole New Beaujolais Nouveau
This fruit-forward wine is released just two months after the grapes’ harvest (thanks to some specific fermentation and dissemination practices). Anney and Lauren get fresh with the history and science of Beaujolais Nouveau.
36 min
30
Savor Classics: Turkey Talk
The turkey is a study in contradictions: majestic yet ridiculous, ridiculous yet aggressive, prized for feasts yet often poorly cooked, and definitely NOT from Turkey. In this classic episode, we cover everything turkey, from cooking tips to snood science.
48 min
31
Scallops: A Feast for the Eyes
These mollusks are prized for their delicate meat and divine shells alike. Anney and Lauren dip into the history, aquaculture, and biology of scallops.
47 min
32
A Cumin Interest Story
This warm, earthy spice has made its place in comforting cuisine around the world. Anney and Lauren explore the science and history of cumin.
31 min
33
Poutine: Good Gravy
This hearty dish of fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy, though once looked down upon, has earned its place as a global trend. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and culture behind poutine.
40 min
34
Liquid Smoke and Mirrors
This product, made of real smoke from smoldering wood, is used as a seasoning and safety measure alike. Anney and Lauren blow through the science and history of liquid smoke. (p.s. mirrors aren't liquid; glass is an amorphous solid)
39 min
35
Food Fairy Tales: The Mad Tea Party
'Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ focuses on a Victorian girl’s curiosity about (and frustration with) the absurdities of adulthood and society, often exemplified with food. Anney and Lauren discuss Lewis Carroll’s novels, and are joined by Ben Bowlin, Miranda Hawkins, and Dylan Fagan for a dramatic reading of the chapter ‘A Mad Tea-Party’.
50 min
36
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
37
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
38
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
39
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
40
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
41
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
42
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
43
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
44
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
45
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
46
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
47
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
48
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
49
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
50
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
51
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
52
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
53
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
54
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
55
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
56
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
57
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
58
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
59
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
60
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
61
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
62
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
63
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
64
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
65
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
66
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
67
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
68
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
69
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
70
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
71
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
72
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
73
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
74
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
75
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
76
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
77
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
78
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
79
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
80
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
81
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
82
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
83
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
84
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
85
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
86
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
87
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
88
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
89
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
90
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
91
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
92
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
93
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
94
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
95
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
96
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
97
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
98
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
99
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
100
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