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
Savor Classics: Chuck E. Cheese's
A pizza-loving rat, a live band of animatronic animals, and beer on tap: In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren explore how a scheme to make more money off of arcade games became an international cultural phenomenon.
44 min
How the Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumbles
This perhaps quintessential American cookie has a deceptively straightforward ingredient list and backstory. Anney and Lauren explore the history and baking science of the chocolate chip cookie.
44 min
Interview: Forging Food and Water Solutions
Though New Orleans has an amazing food scene, it also struggles with access for all to healthy foods and clean water. We talk with attorney Pepper Bowen about food deserts and swamps, lead pipes, and how people are working to make things better.
63 min
A Tour of MREs
Technologies developed to make military food rations dependable and acceptable have changed how everyone eats – civilians included. We explore the history & science behind feeding literal armies – plus what’s on the menus of the past, present, and future.
35 min
Kiss from a Rosé
Pink wines have risen and crashed in popularity again and again over the past few millennia. Anney and Lauren dive into the tumultuous history and colorful science of rosés. Plus: Travel announcements!
31 min
The Not-So-Seedy Story of Watermelon
Although watermelons have been part of our diets basically forever, they’re getting better all the time thanks to clever farming techniques. Anney and Lauren explore how we got to the sweet, sturdy (and sometimes seedless or square) watermelons of today.
37 min
Gruyère, You Make Us Melt
Gruyère’s excellent meltability is undisputed, but ownership of its name has been a matter of controversy. Anney and Lauren explore the contention behind gruyère, plus the science of how cheeses melt.
25 min
Let’s Talk About Tacos
People have been wrapping food in tortillas for millennia – since way before the wrappers were called ‘tortillas’ or the food ‘tacos’. Anney and Lauren explore the ancient and modern history of this Mexican mainstay.
40 min
The Glorious Sweet Potato Episode
The sweet potato is a member of the morning glory family – the tuberous root we eat also stores food for its curling vines and flowers. Anney and Lauren dig up its history and the science of how to unlock its sweetness.
31 min
The Sweet History of Nutella
This chocolate-hazelnut spread has inspired a serious fandom around the world. Anney and Lauren dip into how wars spurred its creation and how popular it’s become.
30 min
Complimentary Bar Snacks: This One’s On Us
From pretzels to peanuts to pickled eggs, bars the world over serve complimentary snacks to their patrons. Anney & Lauren explore the history of the hardboiled bar egg in particular, plus the science of why these salty, fatty snacks go so well with booze.
33 min
Game of Thrones: A Song of Food and Drink
The creators of the world of ‘Game of Thrones’ help make their fantasy immersive through rich depictions of foods and drinks. Anney and Lauren explore the often-opulent cuisine of the TV series and books (with no spoilers from the recent seasons).
41 min
Shawarma and Gyros: Assemble!
These two flatbread wraps – and their cousin, donair – feature slices of meat shaved from a vertical spit. Anney and Lauren explore the history of these superhero-worthy wraps and their common root, the döner kebab.
33 min
Food-Shaped Vehicles: Fuel for Puns
For about as long as humans have been making motor vehicles, we’ve been shaping them like foods for promotional purposes. We chat with CarStuff’s Scott Benjamin about the history of these vehicles – and interview two drivers of the iconic Wienermobile.
72 min
Jackfruit of All Trades
This tropical fruit can grow up to 100 pounds (about 45 kilos) and is often served as a meat substitute. Anney and Lauren explore the jackfruit’s history, science, and potential future as a crop to prevent hunger despite climate change.
26 min
The Croissant: Who You Calling Flakey?
This quintessentially French pastry doesn’t technically come from France and can consist of more butter than dough. Anney and Lauren unroll the history and science behind croissants.
31 min
The Sublime Lime Episode
These zesty citrus fruits are integral to cuisines all over the world – juice, skin, and leaves included. Anney and Lauren explore the genetic roots and long history of limes.
32 min
Pavlova Whisks Us Off Our Feet
This fluffy meringue dessert often comes with whipped cream, cut fruit, and contention. Anney and Lauren explore where pavlova really comes from and why meringue is so persnickety, scientifically speaking.
33 min
Cocktail Hour: The Grasshopper
This creamy mint-chocolate cocktail is a classic dessert drink that’s making a comeback – and, in some places, never went away. Anney and Lauren offer a fresh look at the history and culture of the grasshopper.
34 min
The Cool Mint Episode
This wide category of herbs shares a cooling effect that’s made it prized in cuisine and medicine alike around the world. Anney and Lauren explore the refreshing history and freshest science behind mint.
31 min
The Hardboiled Deviled Eggs Episode
People have been stuffing hardboiled eggs with mixtures of their own yolks plus various flavorings for millennia. Anney and Lauren explore the long history and exacting science behind deviled eggs.
38 min
A Peppering of Paprika
This spice, made from ground red peppers and ranging in flavor from sweet to pungent to spicy, is the stuff of culinary, legal, and puppet legend. Yes. Anney and Lauren explore the rich, colorful history of paprika.
33 min
The Knotty Pretzel Episode
Pretzels have morphed from a religious symbol to a bar snack to a metaphor for principles of quantum physics. Anney and Lauren explore the twists of pretzel history, culture, and science.
33 min
The Bloomin’ Story of the Onion
This vegetable hibernates for the winter and has tear-inducing defense mechanisms. Anney and Lauren peel back layers of the long history and smelly science of onions.
34 min
Food TV: For Your Consumption
Food and cooking television shows have changed the way we approach food – both at home and in the restaurant industry. Anney and Lauren surf the history of food TV, from its radio roots through YouTube.
48 min
Farewell, New Orleans
To finish out our miniseries on New Orleans, we share a few more stories from our guests about what it’s really like to live there – of course the food scene, but also the music, the tourists, the unexpected inspirations – and the ghosts.
37 min
The Extra-Saucy Louisiana-Style Hot Sauce Episode
This wide category of hot sauces spices up dishes all over the South – and beyond. Anney and Lauren explore the history and culture of these cayenne- and tabasco-based condiments.
38 min
Law and Order: Food and Water Unit
Fresh food and clean water are necessary for human health and productivity, but many people lack access due to systemic problems with infrastructure, education, and opportunity. We skim the surface of food and water policy in New Orleans and beyond.
43 min
Bonus Interview: Raekwon The Chef
Rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon got his nickname from the flavor he brings to his music, but it could just as easily refer to his passion for food. In this bonus interview, listen in as the Savor team catches up with Raekwon at A3C 2018.
17 min
Savor the Gator
Alligator seems like an unlikely food source, but it’s been enjoyed for millennia. Anney and Lauren play investigators (not sorry) into the history, habits, and amazing (U.S.) ecological recovery of alligators.
33 min
King (Cake) for a Day
Variations on this festive Mardi Gras cake are served during Carnival season around the world, so how did the New Orleans version come to be? Anney and Lauren dig into the history and traditions surrounding king cake and Mardi Gras.
29 min
This Episode Is Anything But Medi-Okra
Okra is both prized and demonized for its goo – the vegetable thickens stews beautifully, but some find it slimy. Learn the history and slime science behind okra (including how to cut back on the goo when you cook it).
27 min
New Orleans: The Sandwiching
The po’boy and muffuletta are integral stops on any New Orleans food tour, and their histories help tell the story of the city. Anney and Lauren explore the origins of these iconic sandwiches.
30 min
You Want Fries With That?
Fried potatoes in their many forms are one of the world’s most popular side dishes. (Or main dishes, we’re not judging.) Anney and Lauren explore the uncertain history and intense science of French fries.
36 min
Cocktail Hour: New Orleans
This city invented (or, at least, popularized) a legion of cocktails. Anney and Lauren dip into the history that made New Orleans’ drinking culture possible, and explore the Sazerac, the Ramos gin fizz, and the French 75 in particular.
45 min
Kit Kats: Give Us a Break
This iconic, sharable British candy bar is consumed at a rate of billions per year in hundreds of flavors around the world. Anney and Lauren chat about Kit Kat’s history, psychology, and structural science.
39 min
Stewing Over Gumbo
This classic dish contains contributions from the many cultures that created New Orleans, and everyone’s recipe is a little bit different. Anney and Lauren explore the many forms and fans of gumbo (plus, how roux works).
35 min
Boudin: The Cajun Link
This type of fresh sausage made throughout Europe is also a regional specialty in Cajun country. Anney and Lauren explore the history, etymology, and making of Cajun boudin.
35 min
New Orleans: The South Is North From Here
You can trace the whole history of New Orleans through the creation of its signature drinks and dishes. Anney and Lauren (along with a host of expert guests) explore the city’s roots -- and how Cajun and Creole cuisines came to be.
50 min
The Inexhaustible Energy Drink Episode
Energy drinks toe the line between recreational beverage and nutritional supplement. Anney & Lauren explore their history, plus the science of why those jolts/surges of pep that can make you feel like a rock star can also come with monstrous side effects.
31 min
The Blow-Out Birthday Cake Episode
Why do we eat cake on people's birthdays? Why do we blow out candles? What on earth is "birthday cake" flavor?? Anney and Lauren explore the answers to these and other layers within birthday cakes.
34 min
Bonus Interview: ASW Distillery
In preparation for our scotch episode, we visited the local ASW Distillery in late 2018 to learn how they make their peated single-malt whiskey. This bonus episode is that interview -- a deep dive into the art and science of creating a scotch-style whiskey in the American South.
47 min
Savor Wings It
Chicken wings, deep fried and coated in a sauce, are eaten by the billions in the U.S. during the weekend of NFL's Super Bowl. Guest Ramsey Yount joins Anney and Lauren to explore the dish’s history, plus the science of how to make wings extra delicious.
52 min
Ranch, Dude
Ranch, America's favorite salad dressing, originated on an actual dude ranch. Guest Ben Bowlin joins Anney and Lauren to wrangle the cool American history of ranch as a condiment and flavor -- plus the science behind why it's often served with hot wings.
62 min
Profiles in Deliciousness: Isabella Beeton
Isabella Beeton wrote the book on how to run a Victorian kitchen – "Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management" – and her brand survives today. But Beeton wasn't a stodgy matron. We explore the fashionable, savvy woman behind this seminal cookbook.
30 min
Cocktail Hour: The Mimosa
The combination of orange juice and sparkling wine is an American brunch classic, but its arrival on the scene is pretty recent. Anney and Lauren dive into the history of the mimosa -- and the economics of the bottomless mimosa brunch.
35 min
Nutritional Yeast: Rising to the Occasion
Nutritional yeast is a recent-ish edible innovation that provides a vegan source of protein and cheesy/savory flavors, but it's far from the first yeast humans have consumed. Anney and Lauren delve into the weird history and science of nutritional yeast.
35 min
Savor on Ice!
Frozen water not only chills our tea and cocktails -- for centuries, it was one of the only ways to keep fresh food from spoiling. Anney and Lauren dig into the sometimes rocky history and extremely cool science of ice.
43 min
The Concentrated Orange Episode
Sweet oranges have been prized for their bright, fragrant skin and juice for at least 4,000 years, but our modern concepts of them are mostly due to marketing campaigns. Anney and Lauren get juiced up about the history and culture of oranges.
38 min
Dishing On Tetrazzini
Tetrazzini is a dish with as many possible ingredients as it has possible origin stories. Anney and Lauren swing into the tetrazzini-verse to explore this comforting, all-American casserole.
21 min
The Neat Scotch Episode
This liquor originated in Scotland as the 'water of life', but scotch-style whisk(e)ys are now made the world over. Anney and Lauren dip into the history and science behind scotch, with help from local Atlanta distillers American Spirit Works.
35 min
We Like You A Latke
Latkes are the crispy potato pancakes associated with Hanukkah celebrations -- but they weren't always made of potato. Anney and Lauren get to the root of latke history (and the science behind making them the tastiest).
25 min
Bonus: A Whole Milk Science Episode
There are many different types of milk on the market -- even considering dairy alone, a lot of technologies go into processing more stable, reliable products. In this sponsored bonus episode, Anney and Lauren dive into the history and science behind milk.
33 min
To Brie, Or Not To Brie
That is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the caves to age to the firmness and funk of outrageous Roquefort, or to take weeks to form a rind of yeast poops, and, post-ripening, eat them. (Sorry I borked the meter. We’re talking about brie, y’all. /LV)
36 min
Wasabi: Not Horsin' Around
This spicy-hot Japanese plant is known as a condiment for sushi around the world, but most humans have never had the real thing. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and science of wasabi -- both the original and imitations.
26 min
Scratchin' Our Noggins About Eggnog
How did this drinkable (and usually alcoholic) custard become a winter holiday standard? Anney and Lauren dip into the history of eggnog -- plus the science of how raw eggs and dairy can be not just safe to drink, but safe to keep for months.
29 min
Big Gum Questions
While it's not strictly a food, humans have been chewing gum-type stuff for 9,000 years. Anney and Lauren blow up the history, science, and sticky menace of chewing gum.
40 min
The Doorstopping Story of Fruitcake
This oft-mocked holiday dessert wasn't always so maligned. Anney and Lauren explore the well-preserved history and rich science behind fruitcakes. (And plum puddings, a little bit.)
31 min
Yes Pecan
This nut is a Southern U.S. staple — and has been since way before such a thing existed. Anney and Lauren break open the history and culture behind pecans.
38 min
Food Fairy Tales: The Almond Tree
Because fairy tales so often feature food (er, and cannibalism), we’re offering up a dramatic reading of the Grimms' 'The Almond Tree', along with commentary and special guests Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know, Julie Douglas, and Alexander Williams.
48 min
The Over-Stuffed Thanksgiving Episode
This one's got all the fixings: the competing histories of the 'first' Thanksgiving, how one 19th-century woman dictated the main traditions, how subcultures are making Thanksgiving their own, why some protest the holiday, and Anney’s many mishaps.
42 min
Bonus Interview: Changing How We Farm
Our tastes and considerations as eaters are changing, and small farms have to stay ahead of those curves to ensure success. We talk with fourth-generation farmer Jamie Ager about how being sustainable, humane, and open can actually be a boon to business.
42 min
Hail Seitan
This vegetarian protein is made from wheat (and it's pronounced say-TAHN, but we couldn't resist the joke). Anney and Lauren dig into the debated history and gooey, chewy science of seitan.
19 min
My Island for Some Nutmeg
Spices like nutmeg drove European exploration and globalization -- and meant genocide for the native producers. We explore this history (and the psychedelic science) of nutmeg.
34 min
Consider the Red Lobster
The Red Lobster restaurant chain made seafood accessibly aspirational to inland, middle class Americans. Anney and Lauren dive into the stories behind its successes and scandals -- and those cheddar biscuits.
43 min
Farewell, Asheville
As we finish out our miniseries on Asheville, NC, we wanted to share a few more stories about the flavor of the city -- and what challenges it faces in the future.
30 min
Bonus Interview: French Broad Chocolates
Chocolate's main ingredients, cacao & sugar, have a long history as crops that can be harmful to their farmers and environments. So what does it take to make chocolate responsibly? We talk with Asheville chocolate makers about their journey to bean-to-bar.
41 min
The Scorn of Candy Corn
Candy corn is the second most popular Halloween candy in the U.S. -- and probably the most divisive. Anney and Lauren dig into the history of how candy corn rose to fame (or infamy), plus explore the science of how it's made.
30 min
An Amaro Never Reveals Its Secrets
Amari, bitter liquors long loved in Europe, are catching on and even being made here in the States. Anney & Lauren delve into the weird history of amaro with help from an Asheville producer – and present the ghost story that inspired their name.
35 min
Bonus Episode: Street Food Moves Us
Chef Meherwan Irani brought Indian street food to the mountains of Appalachia and the heart of the South. In this interview, we talk with him about how these foods remix and resonate through the cultures they touch, and how food has shaped humanity.
39 min
Mayonnaise and Mayo-Nays
Mayonnaise may be the spread that binds sandwiches together, but it seriously divides opinion: Which brand is best? Does it deserve to be there at all? Anney & Lauren get into the thick of the history and science behind mayo.
48 min
The Health of the Food Industry
Food unites humanity, but the food industry can be a divisive place to work. We look at Asheville as a microcosm of the issues plaguing U.S. food and restaurant workers -- and of how we can come together to help solve those issues.
35 min
Bonus Episode: Taking Cues from a Pitmaster
Chef Elliott Moss brought whole-hog, wood-coal, Eastern Carolina barbecue to Asheville. In this interview, we cover the comfort of ‘cue (and other classic Carolina dishes), his inspirations, and how a BBQ restaurant wound up being his artistic outlet.
24 min
Mind Your Own Biscuits
Southern biscuits are the fluffy, flaky stuff of dreams, but they're a fairly new invention. Anney and Lauren explore how these biscuits came to be, how to make them at home, and why ‘biscuit’ in British English is a different baked good entirely.
39 min
Nostalgia, Comfort Food, and Carolina BBQ
Why do we form such strong emotional attachments to certain foods? Anney & Lauren explore the science and history of nostalgia and comfort food -- plus, we take a dip into the hotly debated, heavily nostalgic notion of what Carolina barbecue really is.
33 min
Bonus Episode: Foraging for Fun and (Personal) ...
Mushroom expert Alan Muskat, a self-described mycomedian, is a professional forager (and likes puns at least as much as we do). In this bonus interview, he takes us out foraging in Western North Carolina to share his experience and philosophy.
96 min
Stay Golden, Chanterelles
These trumpet-shaped mushrooms, long prized for their delicate flavor and seafood-esque texture, resist being farmed. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and science of foraging for this fungus.
26 min
The Once-in-a-Lifetime Meal
A truly unique meal doesn't have to be fancy -- it might just be made from ingredients that you can only get in a particular time and place. Anney & Lauren talk to chefs and foragers about the artistic science of using terroir to make a meal.
30 min
Bonus Episode: The Story of Asheville's First (...
Post-Prohibition, Asheville had zero legal breweries until Highland Brewing opened in 1994. We interviewed Leah Wong Ashburn, the second-generation family owner, about how the brewery has changed -- and how beer changed the city for the better.
35 min
The Hoppin' History of IPAs
India Pale Ales rule the American craft beer market and don't seem in danger of being usurped by another style anytime soon. But why? Anney and Lauren explore the colonial history and bitter science behind IPAs.
34 min
The Craft Behind Asheville's Beer Scene
Asheville's breweries are integral to its community -- and a microcosm of craft beer in America. Anney and Lauren dive into the history of how this came to be, plus the science of sour and funky beers, with help from the brewers themselves.
42 min
Bonus Episode: The History of Asheville
Historian and Asheville native Kevan Frazier has seen a lot of the city's changes -- and he’s studied the rest. Here's our more-or-less full interview with Kevan, covering how Asheville went from railroad stop to health resort to Beer City, USA.
55 min
Hummus: Where the Heart Is
Several cultures claim hummus as their own invention, but all agree that the dish (although seen as a hippie/health food in the West) soothes the soul. Anney and Lauren explore the contentious history of hummus.
33 min
Welcome to Savor (and Asheville)
Beer and food pulled this Southern/Appalachian city out of 70 years of economic depression. Anney and Lauren, along with a bevy of guides, explore the edible history and science of keeping Asheville weird.
32 min
Cocktail Hour: The Manhattan
This seemingly simple mix of whiskey, vermouth, and bitters with a cherry garnish has been interpreted infinite ways over its 140-year lifetime. Anney and Lauren take on the history & science of the Manhattan. Plus: a PSA (podcast service announcement).
31 min
FoodStuff Goes for (Edible) Gold
Even though gold has no flavor and no nutritional benefits, people have been eating gold pretty much forever. Anney and Lauren mine the AUdacious ancient and modern practice of consuming gold.
35 min
Trailer: Savor Is Coming
FoodStuff has big news: We're relaunching as Savor! Hosts Anney and Lauren are going on the road with Producer Dylan to interview culinary creators and consumers about how they eat – and why – starting 9/26. (Our RSS feed isn't changing, just our name!)
1 min
The Split on Sundaes
Even though it's a cold case, the origin story of the ice cream sundae is hotly debated. Anney and Lauren have the scoop on the competing tales behind ice cream sundaes.
35 min
Pickles: Kind of a Big Dill
Pickled cucumbers were Cleopatra's favorite beauty food and the main business of the guy who named the Americas. Anney and Lauren explore the long history and bacteria-laden science of pickles.
36 min
A Plum Episode
Plums have played a major role in cultures' arts and diets for millennia, all around the world. Anney and Lauren plumb the science and history of this seriously multipurpose fruit.
34 min
The Gamble of All-You-Can-Eat Buffets
Putting lots of food on a long table isn't new, but the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant is a very 20th-century, very American concept. Anney and Lauren explore the history and science of going your own way with the buffet.
43 min
On FoodStuff, Celery Stalks You
Celery stalks, leaves, roots, and seeds are part of countless cuisines today, but the ribs were once considered such a fancy treat that folks displayed them in vases. Anney & Lauren dig into the history and science of celery.
27 min
Cheese Curls: What the Puff?!
Cheetos and other cheesy puffed-corn snacks are miracles of modern science and marketing. Anney and Lauren dig into the fortuitously fab history (and making of) cheese puffs.
39 min
Pepperoni: Live Free and Pie Hard
Pepperoni is a sausage that's difficult to divorce from its primary partner, American pizza. Anney & Lauren explore the history of this Italian-American invention, plus explain how the sausage is made.
40 min
Maraschinos: The Cherry on Top
The neon-red cherries of our childhood bear little resemblance to the original maraschino cherries. Anney and Lauren take a pitiless look at the science and history, including how the classic type is making a comeback.
32 min
Fictional Foods: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ...
Should you find yourself in an unfamiliar star system without your copy of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy', this episode will help fill you in on the local fare, from perfectly normal beast sandwiches to pan galactic gargle blasters.
32 min
Tea: A Real Brouhaha
After water, tea is the second most popular drink in the world -- and every cup is steeped in history. Anney and Lauren explore the health, production, and origins of tea.
58 min
FoodStuff Side Dish: Fettuccine Alfredo
Fettuccine Alfredo may seem like an Americanized dish, but it was created by a real Italian chef -- it even bears his name. Christopher Hassiotis joins us for this bonus episode about the origins of Alfredo.
17 min
The Pea Pod(cast)
The seemingly humble garden pea has soil superpowers, caused a medieval craze, and drove Orson Welles to distraction. Come along with Anney and Lauren as they give world peas a chance.
35 min
Oh Ship: The Cruise Food Episode
Cruise ships are something between floating hotels and luxury battleships, but the food served on them doesn't have the best reputation. Anney and Lauren go overboard exploring how cruise food works and how cruise lines are working to change that rep.
40 min