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?

Places & Travel
Society & Culture
Yerba Mate: Steeped in History
This plant is used to make highly popular (and highly caffeinated) drinks around South America and the world. Anney and Lauren dip into the history and science of yerba mate.
34 min
Savor Classics: Sourdough
In your own kitchen, you can tame wild microbes and use them to bake tasty, slightly tart sourdough bread. In this classic (yet timely) episode, Anney and Lauren explore the twisting history and practical science of making sourdough.
46 min
Fictional Foods: 'The Simpsons'
From donuts to Duff beer, this long-running television show spends a lot of time focusing on food. Anney and Lauren explore the silly, the satirical, and the strangely delicious-sounding foods of ‘The Simpsons’.
54 min
That Risotto, Though
This saucy rice dish seems deceptively simple for the potency of the opinions it can inspire. Anney and Lauren dig into the history (fascism??) and science (no stirring necessary?!?) of risotto.
33 min
Relishing the Radish
These spicy, crunchy root vegetables can grow to amazing sizes and give a kick to all kinds of dishes. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and science behind radishes.
32 min
The Popular Poppy Seed
These crunchy, oily seeds compliment many baked goods and other dishes – but they have a dangerous reputation. Anney and Lauren explore the history and science of poppy seeds and opium poppies.
43 min
Savor Knows the Muffin, Man
These (supposedly) single-serving quickbreads – and their yeast-risen cousins, English muffins – are relatively new inventions. Anney and Lauren explore the nooks and crannies of muffins.
41 min
Interview: Food Is a Universal Language
Hawaiian foodways have intersected with immigrants’ and colonists’ influences to create delicious local dishes. On Oahu, we spoke with Highway Inn restaurant owner Monica Toguchi Ryan about history, generosity, making do, and cooking with aloha.
47 min
Cocktail Hour: The Collins
This classic cocktail of spiked sparkling lemonade may have been born from a popular 19th-century hoax. Anney and Lauren explore the strange history of the Collins – including Tom, John, and other varieties.
29 min
Savor Classics: Julia Child
Although she didn't even start cooking until her late 30s, Julia Child is known for bringing the art of French cuisine into American home kitchens. Anney and Lauren trace the life of the TV icon in this classic episode.
37 min
Unboxing Girl Scout Cookies
The cookies that Girl Scouts sell as a fundraiser each year have gained a mythic quality and epic following. Anney and Lauren dig into the sweet history (and psychology) behind Girl Scout Cookies.
41 min
The Power of Sauerkraut
This simple dish of fermented cabbage adds depth of flavor to meals as an ingredient, side dish, or condiment. Anney and Lauren explore the bacterial science and bubbling history behind sauerkraut.
30 min
A Peep at Easter Eggs
Decorating eggshells predates written history and has been linked to Easter celebrations for a thousand years. Anney and Lauren explore how Easter eggs became a tradition, how they became chocolate, and why a rabbit is said to bring them.
50 min
Springing for Asparagus
This vegetable has long been prized for its flavor, appearance, and effect on our urine. Yep. Anney and Lauren explore the spirited history and science of asparagus.
41 min
Food Banks, Pantries and Soup Kitchens from Sou...
Organizations that help fight food insecurity are more important than ever in times of crisis. Anney and Lauren explore the history and modern workings of food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens.
27 min
Banh Mi: More Than the Crumb of Its Parts
This Vietnamese sandwich combines multiple textures, flavors, and cultural influences to create a universally delicious experience. We dig into the history and culture of banh mi.”
34 min
Savor Drinks Your Milkshake
This hypothetically drinkable dessert has been the impetus for great inventions and the means of (attempted) assassination. Anney and Lauren dip into the history and science of milkshakes.
50 min
The Royal Eggplant Episode
This fruit is used as a vegetable and was once believed to cause insanity. Anney and Lauren dig into the odd history and science of the eggplant.
36 min
Savor Classics: Aspics
The concept of savory, broth-based gelatin molds may sound strange to the modern palate, but they were posh for centuries. Anney and Lauren dip into the history of humanity's most aspirational aspics, plus the science of gelatin.
36 min
Interview: Oahu’s Changing Agriculture
Hawaii State Senator Donovan Dela Cruz built a significant part of his platform on helping Oahu’s agriculture adjust to its citizens’ changing needs. We chat with Senator Dela Cruz about his personal history with and sustainable hopes for Oahu’s farms.
26 min
Getting to the Meat of Meat Pies
Every culture that eats both pastry and meat has figured out a tasty way to combine them. In honor of Pi Day, Anney and Lauren explore the long history (and bizarre revenge-cannibalism trope) of meat pies.
51 min
Savor Classics: Vanilla
The history and science behind vanilla is anything but bland. Anney and Lauren explore how the fruit of a rare orchid captured the world's fancy, and to what lengths researchers go to replicate the flavor.
34 min
The Hidden Surprises of Purim
This Jewish festival holiday celebrates the story of Queen Esther with thematic food and drink -- and lots of it. Anney and Lauren dip into the history and traditions of Purim.
29 min
The Trouble with Truffles
This macrofungus is so expensive because it only grows underground, and only under particular conditions. Anney and Lauren dig into the long history and uncertain science of truffles.
38 min
Medieval Times: A Most Noble Episode
Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, a medieval-themed dinner theater chain, has been hosting feasts and tournaments since the 1980s. Anney and Lauren dig into how it works – and how medieval it really is.
41 min
How the Pancake Stacks Up
As an American breakfast food, pancakes are a specifically fluffy, sweet dish that wasn’t possible until the Industrial Revolution. Anney and Lauren explore the predecessors to and science behind the breakfast pancake.
44 min
Interview: Celebrating Life and Community in Ne...
New Orleans isn’t just a collection of influences – it’s a community in ways that many places aren’t. On our first night there, we interviewed SOFAB Museum founder Liz Williams, Chef Isaac Toups, and Beverage Manager Bryson Downham to get a foundational concept of the city – but in the true spirit of that community, they gave us a lot more.
74 min
Red Alert: The Strawberry Episode
As strawberries have gotten sturdier, they’ve lost some of the fragrant qualities they were originally prized for. Anney and Lauren explore the (hopefully not tasteless) history and science of the strawberry.
37 min
Interview: 'Authentic' New Orleans
New Orleans’ cuisines developed over centuries as new peoples made the city their home. We chat with Louisianan chef Amy Sins about growing up with Cajun and Creole foods, preserving the traditions of the past, and creating new traditions for the future.
35 min
Holy Pierogi!
These Polish dumplings are often filled with mashed potatoes and cheese, but there are as many varieties of pierogi as there are people who love them. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and culture of the pierogi.
23 min
The Thing About Porters and Stouts
The porter/stout family of beers has risen, and fallen, and risen again. Anney and Lauren dive into the winding history of stouts and porters – and the roasty, toasty science behind them.
45 min
Savor Classics: What the Fork?
This everyday utensil is a relative newcomer to the table -- eating with a fork was considered scandalous and even sinful for centuries. Anney and Lauren trace the history and potential future of the fork (aka the dinglehopper).
33 min
A Nacho, Nacho Pod
The allure of the nacho cannot be argued, but everything else about this dish has been debated. Anney and Lauren dip into the history of the phenomenon that is nachos, from the melty-cheese-and-crispy-corn-chips varieties to the wildest nacho dreams.
33 min
Waxing Poetic About Sticky Rice
Glutinous rice’s super stickiness has given it a starring role in dishes across Southeastern Asia and beyond. Anney and Lauren dig into the science behind sticky rice – and dish on some of those dishes.
29 min
Lots to Make of Salisbury Steak
This classic 20th-century American dish exists thanks to a 19th-century fad diet and Germany’s aggression during the World Wars. Yep. Anney and Lauren explore the strange history of Salisbury steak (and its cousin, the Hamburg steak).
30 min
Just the Flax, Ma'am
Flaxseeds and their oil (along with the plant’s inedible fibers) are considered one of the eight products that led early humans to create agriculture as we know it. Anney and Lauren weave together the history and science of flaxseed/linseed.
30 min
Interview: A Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner Who...
Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners help revive traditions – including foods – that were almost lost during colonization. We speak with Kealoha Domingo about imu cooking, community, and how the best food is what’s on the table in front of you.
41 min
Savor Classics: Graham Crackers
Graham crackers today are sweet, airy, and often a component in desserts, but they originated as a bland health food peddled by a temperance preacher. In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren explore the long, weird journey of graham crackers.
29 min
Caviar: Every Roe Has Its Thorns
Sure, it’s just salt-cured fish eggs, but caviar’s status as a luxury good has made it into something mythic. Anney and Lauren dive into the conflicting history and uncertain future of caviar.”
40 min
Savor Does Time with Food Heists
Forget fine art, gold, or jewels – food and drink make up over a quarter of all cargo heists worldwide. (It’s the largest single category!) Anney and Lauren explore the strange, sad, thrilling, and sometimes sorta hilarious world of food heists.
37 min
Turning a New Leaf with Collards
These leafy greens -- another traditional New Year’s food in the American South – have been sustaining humans pretty much ever since humans existed. Anney and Lauren explore the history and culture of collard greens.
30 min
Like Black-Eyed Peas in a Podcast
Black-eyed peas, a traditional New Year’s food in the American South, are an important staple all year long around the world. We dig into the history of this hardy legume – plus the science of minimizing beans’ musical properties.
30 min
Savor Redux: Pineapple
Throughout its history, the much-sought-after pineapple has symbolized friendship, luxury, and royalty. Anney and Lauren take another look into the pineapple's history and future with help from some of the people they met on Oahu.
48 min
That Old Chestnut Episode
This tree nut helped make civilizations in North America possible — and is now practically extinct in the region. Anney and Lauren explore why the chestnut is so useful, why it was nearly lost here, and what's being done to bring it back.
24 min
Staying Abreast with the Butterball Turkey Talk...
Since 1981, confounded cooks have been able to call a free holiday hotline for answers to their burning turkey questions – sometimes literally. We chat with Turkey Talk-Line Director Nicole Johnson about the science & psychology that goes into the gig.
49 min
Savor Classics: Popcorn
America's favorite movie theater snack involves 7,000 years of history and fascinating physics. In this corny but classic episode, Anney and Lauren explore how popcorn pops -- and how it basically got the theater industry through the Great Depression.
38 min
Interview: We Drink and We Learn Things
The forces that made New Orleans’ drinking culture unique in the U.S. also made the city what it is today. We sit down with a historian who explores and explains New Orleans through its cocktails, Elizabeth Pearce of Drink and Learn.
57 min
The Noble Bay Leaf
This aromatic leaf has been a symbol of victory and compared to dryer sheets. Anney and Lauren explore the ancient (and modern) myths surrounding bay leaves.
36 min
A Crooked Look at the Candy Cane
Why are hard candy sticks that are red-and-white striped, peppermint flavored, and bent at one end a Christmas Thing? Anney and Lauren separate fact from fiction and explore the sugary science behind candy canes.
32 min
Noodling About Pad Thai
This stir-fried noodle dish is famous not just because it’s delicious – it’s also the product of an intense marketing campaign from Thailand’s government. Anney and Lauren dig in to the slippery history of pad Thai.
39 min
Savor Classics: Cranberries, from Bog to Table
This North American winter staple has sprouted crazes, battles, and bitter scares. In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren linger just a little on the cranberry.
35 min
Goodbye, HI
We’ve talked a lot about the food and drinks around Oahu, but what’s it really like being part of the food & beverage industry there? We close out our Hawaii miniseries and say so long, Oahu, and thanks for all the fish.
37 min
The Ballad of Ambrosia Salad
This divine fruit salad(/soup?) comes in near-infinite varieties these days, but they all stem back to a simple layering of orange slices, shredded coconut, and sugar. Anney and Lauren explore the semi-gelled history of ambrosia salad.
33 min
Savoring Sustainability (and Chocolate)
Sustainability is a buzzword, but we should all be taking it seriously – and Hawaii has even more reasons to than most. We talk through the history of the movement towards greater environmental and social responsibility, using chocolate as an example.
40 min
Escargot: The Original Slow Food
Humans have been cooking and eating snails as sustenance for at least 30,000 years, but it’s often considered a delicacy today. Anney and Lauren explore the history and slimy science of escargot.
36 min
Savor: Big Fish Industry
The system by which fish get from the water to your plate is... complex. (Like, we’re-gonna-need-a-bigger-episode complex.) We untangle the trials and triumphs of the fishing industry with special guest Brooks Takenaka of the Honolulu Fish Auction.
50 min
Cinnamon Rolls: Snailed It
However you eat them and whatever you call them, these sweet & spiced pastries warm hearts the world over. Anney and Lauren attempt to untangle the swirling history of the cinnamon roll.
38 min
Savor Spills the Beans on Coffee
Globally, we humans consume around 2.25 billion cups of coffee every day. Anney and Lauren explore the turbulent history of coffee, plus what it takes to bring each bean from a farm to your cup, with special guest Shawn Steiman – aka Dr. Coffee.
73 min
Interview: Food Is Inherently Political
We’re passionate about understanding the origins of what we eat and drink -- so we leapt at the chance to chat with Stephen Satterfield, host of the new food podcast Point of Origin, about our own origin stories, orange wine, and the politics of food.
47 min
Cocktail Hour: Oahu
The cocktail scene in Honolulu has a reputation for pandering to tourism's lowest common denominator, but bartenders there are doing beautiful things with the local ingredients and influences. We dip into the cocktail culture of Oahu.
50 min
Rhum Agricole: Grass to Glass
Agricole-style rum (spelled ‘rhum’ in French) is made from fresh sugarcane juice, which lends it grassy flavors. We learn how it’s made with Hawaii’s Kō Hana Distillers and some of the bartenders who use it around Oahu.
36 min
Savor Classics: Pumpkin
This winter squash and its pie spice blend have a rep for being basic, but in our classic episode, Anney and Lauren go behind the gourd to explore pumpkin's history as food, decor, and phenomenon.
45 min
Cider: How About Them Apples?
Both unfiltered apple juice and the bubbly alcoholic beverage made from it are fall favorites in places that grow apples. Anney and Lauren explore the history and science of cider.
42 min
Poi Oh Poi!
This Hawaiian staple starch made from pounded, fermented taro root is delicious, nutritious, and sometimes misunderstood. We dip into the history and science of poi, along with a restauranteur and a cultural practitioner who both grew up with it on Oahu.
24 min
Turn Up for Turnips
This root vegetable and its greens have been both reviled and celebrated for their bitter, pungent flavors. Anney and Lauren explore the storied history and spicy science of the turnip.
43 min
A Passion for Lilikoi
Lilikoi, aka passion fruit, didn’t originate in Hawaii – but its bright flowers and tangy flavor have found a home there. We explore the storied history and tasty science of lilikoi.
24 min
Animal Crackers Uncaged
These lightly sweetened cookies played off the popularity of turn-of-the-20th-century traveling circuses – but as circuses have changed, so have animal crackers. Anney and Lauren unpack the history of animal crackers.
35 min
Everything Is Poke
Poke is a Hawaiian dish of chopped and seasoned fish – but culturally, it’s a lot more than that (and pop-culturally, it’s been a lot of other things). We delve into the long history and modern explosion of poke.
29 min
The Academia of the Macadamia
Macadamia nuts are often associated with Hawaii, but they didn’t originate there. Anney and Lauren delve into the genetic and cultural history of the trees that produce this sweet, buttery seed.
30 min
Welcome to Oahu
Hawaii is a small, remote chain of islands, but its culinary culture has a lot of influence – and a lot of influences. To kick off this travel miniseries, we explore Hawaii’s history & foodways with people who helped shape what the food scene is today.
58 min
The Call of Couscous
This grain-based staple is the basis of both sweet and savory dishes throughout Northern Africa and the cultures they've touched around the world. Anney and Lauren explore the many uses and conflicting histories of couscous.
28 min
The Poppin' Jalapeño Episode
These peppers are a staple fresh, pickled, dried, and fried -- and their heat can sneak up on you. Anney and Lauren dig in to the history and spicy science of jalapeños and chipotles.
33 min
Cocktail Hour: The Caipirinha
This simple Brazilian cocktail – just lime, sugar, cachaça (a sugarcane juice liquor), and ice – has a complex history. Anney and Lauren dip into the stories behind the caipirinha.
23 min
Cephalopods: They Ink, Therefore We Eat
The rich inks that squid and cuttlefish produce for self-defense make striking food colorings and flavorings. Anney and Lauren dive into the deep, slightly obscured history and science of cephalopod ink.
30 min
Reducing Food Waste at Home
Food waste is a global problem, but most of it happens locally — in our homes. Anney and Lauren chat with food historian Dr. Julia Skinner about fun and tasty ways to prevent waste and preserve abundance.
49 min
Arugula: It's Not Rocket Science
This leafy green has a peppery bite – that ‘hot’ nature is likely responsible for its long history of being regarded as an aphrodisiac. Anney and Lauren explore the history and science of arugula (also known as rocket).
19 min
Fictional Foods: Star Wars Edition
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (or now, in a kitchen or theme park near you) the foods and drinks portrayed in Star Wars help bring the story to life. Anney and Lauren explore the sustenance of Star Wars. May the foods be with you!
41 min
Savor’s Takeaway on Fish and Chips
Although it’s now considered one of the national dishes of the U.K., fish and chips as we know it is less than two centuries old. Anney and Lauren dive into how fried fish and fried potatoes became such good companions.
34 min
The Bleeding Edge of Meat Alternatives
A new class of burgers is aiming to save the planet by converting beef eaters to plant-based alternatives that look, feel, and even bleed like meat. Anney and Lauren explore the history and science behind Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, and other brands.
44 min
Stop and Smell the Lavender
This powerfully aromatic herb has been a medicinal staple for millennia and graces sweet and savory dishes alike today. Anney and Lauren delve into the long history and calming science of lavender.
24 min
Interview: Cookin' With Jazz
Regional cuisine is trendy, but it’s been the focus of New Orleans' restaurants for decades. We talk with restauranteur Richard 'Dickie' Brennan about growing up in Prudhomme and Emeril’s kitchens, how education empowers, and how New Orleanians live life.
55 min
Savor Classics: Sour Beer
Sour beers are the new big thing, but humanity‘s first brews had tart, funky flavors. In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren explore the long history and microbial science behind sour beers.
45 min
Say Kimchi!
This versatile category of Korean pickled vegetables is gaining a global presence. Anney and Lauren dive into the long history and delicious fermentation science behind kimchi.
26 min
This Episode Is a Picnic
Picnics haven’t always been casual affairs – they haven’t even always been held outdoors. Anney and Lauren explore the twisting history of picnicking and picnic baskets (aka hampers).
34 min
Interview: Where Barbecue Meets Rocket Science
Some serious engineering is required to bring us to space -- and to bring us really good barbecue. We chat with Dr. Howard Conyers about how he applies his knowledge of each to the other as a rocket scientist and barbecue pitmaster.
37 min
Savor Classics: Butterbeer
Once a mere fantasy from the pages of 'Harry Potter,' butterbeer is now very real and very popular. Anney and Lauren delve into butterbeer's transition into reality -- and explore the history of a similar real-world beverage.
31 min
The Saga of Salad
How did salads with a base of raw leafy greens go from being a mere course to a full meal to an aspirational lifestyle? Anney and Lauren explore the nutritional science and long sexist history of salad.
42 min
Savor Chews on the History of Salt Water Taffy
This soft, chewy candy has only a little bit of salt but a lot of history in the American Northeast. Anney and Lauren dive into how it’s made and how it became such a pull at summer tourist spots.
38 min
The Stimulating Cocktail Bitters Episode
Bitter preparations of plant extracts in alcohol have been used medicinally for thousands of years – and they happen to make many cocktails the concoctions we know and love today. Anney and Lauren explore the history and potential benefits of bitters.
31 min
Unshelling the Boiled Peanut
This salty snack is a specialty of the American South and other peanut-growing regions around the world. Anney and Lauren crack open the boiled peanut’s history, including how it got tied into the Civil Rights movement.
37 min
This Episode is Your Lobster
These crustaceans haven’t always been a luxury food, but they have always reminded people of bugs. Anney and Lauren explore the lobster’s economic (and entomologic) history plus some of the weirdest points of their amazing biology.
55 min
Getting to the Heart of Moonshine
Many governments restrict alcohol distillation for safety/tax reasons, but Appalachian moonshiners are undeterred – and that’s putting it mildly. Anney and Lauren explore the history and science of moonshine, plus what bears that label in stores today.
43 min
In the Hall of the Mall Food Court
The idea of selling snacks and meals in shopping centers is far from new, but mall food courts keep reinventing themselves. Anney and Lauren explore how the food court as we know it was born -- and what's replacing it.
37 min
The Merits of the Carrot
The path of this vegetable from its use as a medicinal green to a sweet root isn’t entirely clear. Anney and Lauren dig into the twisting history of the carrot – including where radar technology and Bugs Bunny come in.
42 min
The Pizza Episode (with Extra Cheese)
This dish has inspired strong emotions and opposing opinions for hundreds of years. Anney and Lauren present a slice of pizza’s history, plus the science behind baking a good pie at home.
56 min
Rhubarb: The Humble Pie Plant
This tart, fruity vegetable often baked into pies today was once worth more than gold, opium, or saffron. Anney and Lauren get to the roots of rhubarb’s popularity.
31 min
Airline Food: More than Peanuts
Flight staff have been serving in-air meals and snacks almost since the beginning of commercial flight. Anney and Lauren explore the best and worst of what airlines have offered, plus the science behind why food & drink tastes different in the air.
49 min
Interview: Cheesemaking (and Eating) in Asheville
How does any given cheese get from an udder to your plate? The creators at Looking Glass Creamery give us a tour and talk about the science and culture of crafting wildly different cheeses from just three base ingredients: milk, salt, and bacteria.
48 min
Savor Classics: Tofu
Tofu's multi-millennia history may or may not include an attempt at making an immortality elixir. Anney and Lauren take on the history, science, health, and environmental impact of tofu (the cheese of the bean world).
45 min
Gazpacho: Straight Chilling
This soup is made and served so fresh that it's sometimes called a salad. Anney and Lauren dip into the many varieties (and histories) of gazpacho, plus the science of making a perfect bowl.
29 min