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
Oh Snap: The Gingerbread Episode
Why do we shape gingerbread cookies into people and houses? Why is it generally considered a winter treat? Anney and Lauren tackle gingerbread (in all its formats) head first.
37 min
The Almighty Cod
For a simple fish, the cod played a huge role in Europe's colonization of North America. Anney & Lauren dive into the story of the fish that changed the course of history in this episode of FoodStuff.
32 min
Dispensing the Facts on Vending Machines
From their holy beginnings to massive modern success, we explore the twisting history of vending machines -- plus how they can tell real money from counterfeit (and why they're so darn stubborn sometimes).
43 min
Tea Time: Pinkies Out with Julia Skinner
Though it's a fairly recent invention, tea time is a meal with very specific etiquette and traditions. Historian Dr. Julia Skinner joins us to discuss how this came about, how it’s changed over the years, and why you should keep your pinkie in.
43 min
Phonominal Pho
This Vietnamese soup-and-noodle dish can (and does!) take on infinite forms and formats, but at its core, it's a hearty comfort food. Anney and Lauren dig into the rich history of phở.
26 min
FoodStuff Fairy Tales: 'Goblin Market'
Because food is so often featured in fairy tales and fantasy stories, Anney & Lauren offer up a dramatic reading of Christina Rossetti's 'Goblin Market', along with commentary and special guests Robert Lamb & Joe McCormick. Come buy, y'all, come buy.
48 min
A Bountiful Look at the Breadfruit
Sometimes called the tropical potato, is breadfruit the greatest thing since sliced bread? What's mutiny got to do with it? Join Anney and Lauren as they get a loaf of breadfruit.
27 min
Cocktail Hour: The Daiquiri
From a simple rum punch to a frozen neon monstrosity to a call for mindfulness, the daiquiri is a cocktail with as many definitions as it has drinkers. Anney and Lauren dive into the winding history of the daiquiri.
31 min
FoodStuff's Spin on Cotton Candy
Dentists originally created this fairground favorite, and the science behind it is fascinating. Anney and Lauren explore the history, chemistry, and physics of cotton candy.
31 min
FoodStuff Gets Frank About Hot Dogs
For better or wurst, the hot dog is an icon of American eating. Anney and Lauren dig into this sausage sandwich's history, explain how they're made, and discuss the many styles of hot doggery.
45 min
Basil: Herb Your Enthusiasm
One of the most popular and ancient herbs around, basil is associated with a strange range of myths and legends. From scorpions and basilisks to star-crossed lovers, join us as we explore the many stories of basil.
32 min
The Un-Chill Story of Quiescently Frozen Confec...
The Popsicle brand and other makers of ice pops have been cooling down our summers for over a century. Anney and Lauren explore the battle over the brand name, plus how these frozen treats are made.
30 min
A Fresh Look at the Cucumber
Although sometimes thin-skinned, cucumbers have only rarely lost their cool factor over the millennia. Anney & Lauren look into the history and science behind this popular summer addition to everything from salads to sour beers.
34 min
On the Road with FoodStuff
On our trip to Kentucky's bourbon trail, we visited a few other eateries along the way and chatted (a bunch) about food. Join Anney, Lauren, and Producer Dylan from the road to hear about the original KFC, local Lexington breweries, donuts and lots more.
64 min
The Fishy Tale of Worcestershire Sauce
As complex to make as it can be to pronounce, Worcestershire sauce is prized for its pungent flavor. Anney and Lauren examine the history and science that make Worcestershire sauce possible.
25 min
The Spread of Peanut Butter
Although peanuts have been feeding us for basically ever, peanut butter is a pretty new invention. Anney and Lauren explore how peanut butter came to be, plus the science of how it stays fresh for so long.
54 min
The Can-Do Story of the Can Opener
Canned food existed for almost 50 years before the can opener, and even then it took us centuries to come up with a really good one. Anney and Lauren explore the history and physics of this finger-saving device.
40 min
Bourbon: Talking (Wild) Turkey
We went behind the scenes at the Wild Turkey distillery to learn how bourbon is made, plus sat down with Master Distiller Eddie Russell to talk about the past, present, and future of American whiskey.
75 min
Bourbon: America's Spirit
The history and science of bourbon and the barrels it's aged in is fascinating, frisky, and overall neat. Just how we like our bourbon. The episode isn't this corny, we promise.
56 min
The Dish on Crayfish
Crayfish (aka crawfish or crawdads) are arguably the tastiest li'l Lovecraftian horrors around. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and seriously strange science behind these curious crustaceans.
38 min
Kentucky Derby Field Trip: Juleps, Hot Browns, ...
The longest-running sporting competition in the U.S., the Kentucky Derby is both a national and specifically local cultural event. Fresh back from a field trip, we discuss the foods & drinks of the Derby.
51 min
50 Shapes of Pasta
From acini di pepe to ziti, pasta comes in way more than 50 different shapes. But why? And how?? Anney and Lauren explore the saucy history and science of pasta in all its glorious forms.
45 min
Pomegranate: The Seediest Fruit
The pomegranate has been associated with fertility in everything from ancient myth to modern marketing campaigns. So how did it get this reputation? Is there any science behind the stories? Anney and Lauren explore in this episode of FoodStuff.
44 min
Interview: Finding Equity at the Table
When you cook, you're telling a story -- but in the food industry, some voices have typically gone unheard. We speak with two activists, Julia Turshen and Hawa Hassan, who are working to give those voices a platform and help connect us all through food.
41 min
The Four Humours: Humor Us Here
Ancient Greco-Islamic medicine and philosophy created the concept of the four humours: bodily fluids that must be kept in balance -- or else. Anney and Lauren explore how humoral theory codified food and healthy eating habits for millennia.
30 min
Mocktail Hour
No- or low-alcohol cocktails are getting some serious attention these days, and for pretty excellent reasons. We explore the science, history, and culture of mocktails with help from a special guest: podcaster and food writer Julia Bainbridge.
44 min
Fictional Foods: Willy Wonka
This episode is your (golden) ticket to 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and its films -- we explore both our favorite fictional foods and their weirder-than-fiction, real-life counterparts, from Everlasting Gobstoppers to flammable ice cream.
39 min
The Sappy Story of Maple Syrup
Maple syrup has been sweetening dishes for centuries -- and it may contain the key to some futuristic medicines. Anney and Lauren pour themselves into the history and science of maple syrup.
41 min
The Awesome-Sauce Sriracha Episode
This Thai-style condiment, popularized in the U.S. by a Vietnamese immigrant, inspires fan loyalty and frustrations alike. Anney and Lauren explore where sriracha comes from, its meteoric pop-culture rise, and the science of why hot sauce burns so good.
31 min
Why Do We Eat Three Meals a Day?
Many cultures, especially Western ones, eat three meals a day -- by why? Have we always done that? We explore the history (and etymology) of breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- plus some science behind whether breakfast is really the most important meal.
33 min
The Fully-Baked Episode on Cannabis Edibles
History: How people have infused cannabis into food and drink for millennia, but recent stigma rendered edibles illicit and illegal. Science: Why the edible high is different. Bonus: Beca Grimm joins us to talk about modern pot culture and dope girls.
62 min
Hot Tamales!
Tamales are an ancient food imbued with limitless possibilities, tastiness, and... chemistry-based nutritional benefits? Anney and Lauren get wrapped up in the long history and hot science of this Mesoamerican staple/comfort food.
30 min
James Beard: A Giant of the Kitchen
James Beard is called the dean of American cooking for good reason -- he was a prolific pioneer of local, sustainable food that's celebratory, indulgent, and approachably DIY. We explore the life of this sometimes troubled chef, writer, and bon vivant.
39 min
Tempting Tempeh
Tempting Tempeh
28 min
Bonus Episode: A Salty Interview
Bonus Episode: A Salty Interview
26 min
Salt: What's Shaking?
Salt: What's Shaking?
45 min
FoodStuff Brings Home the Bacon
FoodStuff Brings Home the Bacon
37 min
Cocktail Hour: The Martini
Cocktail Hour: The Martini
33 min
Don't Kale Us, We'll Kale You
Don't Kale Us, We'll Kale You
27 min
The Craft of American Cheese
The Craft of American Cheese
40 min
Lights. Camera. FoodStuff!
On film, many foods are made of non-food items and many non-food items are made of food. Movie magic! We speak with SFX technician Vii Kelly about inexpensive edible gore, plus go into the history of food effects in movies and television.
57 min
Corned Beef and Baggage
The Irish don't eat much corned beef, but it's a staple of American St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Anney and Lauren explore how this happened and why corned beef is commonly canned, plus the science behind how it's cooked.
33 min
A Prepper on Black Pepper
Black pepper is ubiquitous these days, but throughout history it was a prized commodity, traded like gold and responsible for family fortunes. Anney and Lauren explore where peppercorns come from, how they're processed, and why they became commonplace.
29 min
Getting Figgy With It
Figs aren't actually a fruit -- they're an inside-out cluster of flowers -- but they're one of humanity's oldest food sources. Anney and Lauren dig into the long history and bizarre reproduction cycle of the fig.
39 min
The Take-Away History of Food Delivery
The concept of having food delivered to your home is centuries old, but technology and culture are constantly changing what -- and how -- we order. Anney and Lauren explore the history and tech that drive delivery.
34 min
Spam Uncanned
The story of Spam is one of war and peace, nostalgia and necessity, all-American innovation and greed. Anney and Lauren explore the history and science behind Spam.
41 min
Cocktail Hour: The Margarita
Frozen, on the rocks, or straight up, there's science behind every sip of margarita -- and some seriously muddled history. Anney and Lauren explore in this episode of FoodStuff.
30 min
The Everything Bagel Episode
For what seems on the (toroid) surface to be a humble bread product, bagels can inspire a lot of nostalgia -- and strong opinions. We explore the history and baking science behind bagels.
43 min
Fictional Foods: 'Star Trek' Edition
This is an episode of the podcast FoodStuff. Its continuing mission: to explore strange (blue) beverages, to seek out new foods and new replications. To boldly go where -- well, where lots of fans have gone before: the food & drink of ‘Star Trek.’ Engage!
35 min
Mushrooms: Not to Be Truffled With
Mushrooms are a delicious, nutritious part of our diets, but they’ve more traditionally been a medicine -- and you definitely shouldn't eat wild mushrooms without an expert. We dig into the history and science of the fungus among us.
40 min
The Saucy History of Ketchup
That stuff you probably dip your fries in descended from Chinese fermented fish sauce, and it had a hand in creating the FDA. We explore the non-Newtonian science and surprisingly fascinating history of ketchup.
43 min
Artificial Flavors: Fake It Till You Make It
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.
39 min
The Edible Puns of Lunar New Year
The Lunar or Chinese New Year celebration, also known as the Spring Festival, is a 15-day marathon of family, friends, food -- and puns. We share some of the holiday's most popular traditions -- and welcome our friends Stuff to Blow Your Mind to come chat
40 min
Candy Hearts: Recipe for Love
Chalky candy hearts printed with sweet (or salty!) messages are apparently the most prolific candy of Valentine's Day. Anney and Lauren explore the past and present of the product, plus some of its strangest messages.
30 min
This Episode Is Bananas
B-A-N-A-N-A-S. The most popular fruit in the world has driven food technology and military coups alike. It's also in danger of being wiped out. We peel back the disturbing history and science surrounding bananas.
50 min
FoodStuff Takes the Cupcake
The cupcake caused quite a culinary kerfuffle in the early 2000s. Anney and Lauren explore how cupcakes (and their cousins, muffins) became what they were then, and what they are today.
36 min
Absinthe: The FoodStuff Green Hour
Banned for a century throughout the Western world, absinthe is officially back on the market. But was it ever dangerous in the first place? Come drink in the history and science behind the Green Fairy in this episode of FoodStuff.
40 min
Garlic: A Stinking Rose By Any Other Name
Garlic has millennia of history with cultures all over the world -- but mostly as a medicine and vampire deterrent, not a food. Anney and Lauren explore how we came to eat garlic, plus whether there's any hard evidence of its supposed health benefits.
44 min
The McDonald's McEpisode
McDonald's is the biggest fast food chain in the world, but this behemoth has humble beginnings. We explore the ambitions and intrigue that made the McEmpire what it is today.
55 min
Sweet Nothings: The Science of Artificial Sweet...
Sugar substitutes boast the ability to satisfy your sweet tooth with low or no calories. But how can such wonder-compounds exist? Are they hazardous? Can they really help you lose weight? We explore the history and science behind artificial sweeteners.
50 min
The Lasting Power of Fad Diets: Part Deux
In this, the second half of our conversation about fad diets, we head into the modern era of calorie counting and curious trends spreading at broadband speeds. If you missed Part 1, maybe listen to that one first!
47 min
The Lasting Power of Fad Diets: Part 1
Since before the word 'diet', there have been fad diets. And egad, some of them were bad ideas. Anney and Lauren unearth and demystify some of history's weirdest (and longest-running) fad diets.
34 min
The Jumbled Story of Jambalaya
Jambalaya really is a melting pot of a dish, influenced by all of the native populations, settlers, and enslaved peoples of the American South. Anney and Lauren dish on the history of jambalaya.
21 min
Licorice: Heard It Through the Red Vines
Is red licorice really licorice? Can you overdose on licorice?? Anney and Lauren answer these and other burning licorice questions.
36 min
New Year’s Food Traditions: Eating for Luck and...
All around the world, people ring in the New Year with foods said to bring good fortune. Anney and Lauren talk through traditions from their own homes and beyond.
40 min
Cheddar: Insert Cheesy Title Here
This quintessential British cheese has a history cut with myth, fraud, and war. Anney and Lauren dig in, plus explain the science and process behind making a wheel of cheddar.
26 min
The Not-So-Gratuitous Tipping Episode
Tipping at restaurants can be stressful for all parties involved. How much is enough? How much is based on actual quality of service? How did we start doing this, anyway? FoodStuff discusses the equally depressing and important answers.
39 min
A Hard Look at Soft Drinks
Soda, pop, coke, or plain ol' carbonated water: We dive into the sometimes explosive science and history of all agua that sparkles, from natural mineral springs to soda fountains to Big Gulps.
46 min
Stop and (Don't) Smell the Durian
The durian fruit is famous for its rich custardlike flavor and infamous for its staunch corpselike scent. Anney and Lauren dig into the history and science behind this stinky delicacy.
30 min
Raise a Glass to Toasting
Toasting can be an art, an honor, or an excuse to drink a lot. Anney and Lauren explore, from ancient toasting traditions to how people do it around the world today. Hear hear!
37 min
Chock Full of Chocolate
That chocolate bar you're craving contains some 5000 years of history and more than a couple psychoactive substances. Learn how a tropical seed changed the world, for the good and the bad, in this episode of FoodStuff.
49 min
Cocktail Hour: Mai Tai
For a rum punch designed with escapism in mind, the mai tai has a lot of controversy swirling around it. Anney and Lauren explore. (Plus, cocktail umbrellas!)
27 min
We Are All 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.
27 min
Popcorn: Insert Corny Episode Title
America's favorite movie theater snack involves at least 7,000 years of history and fascinating physics. We explore everything from how popcorn pops to how it basically got the theater industry through the Great Depression.
40 min
The Not-So-Vanilla Vanilla Episode
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 what lengths researchers go to to replicate the flavor.
34 min
Fictional Foods: Lembas
Lembas is the one bread to rule them all from J.R.R. Tolkien's world of 'The Lord of the Rings.' We delve into the real-world inspirations and Elvish science behind lembas and other foods of Middle Earth.
29 min
Stick a Fork in It
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).
27 min
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. We cover everything turkey, from cooking tips to snood science.
46 min
Flavor Tripping with the Miracle Berry
The miracle berry is a fruit that can make sour foods taste incredibly sweet. We explore the science behind flavor tripping, plus the strange, conspiracy-ridden history of the miracle berry's legality in the United States.
27 min
Ramen: Oodles of History
From a Chinese side dish to a Japanese staple to an international phenomenon, we slurp through the history and science of ramen.
40 min
Rice Rice Baby
It's just a staple food for over half the population of the planet, and has been for long enough that it shaped our languages, religions, and maybe even social psychology. This will probably be a short episode.
40 min
Vegemite: Fright or Delight?
A savory spread with a divisively strong flavor, Vegemite earned its place in Australian culture through decades of clever marketing. We explore the history and yeast-extract science -- plus talk Tim Tams.
36 min
The Quiche of Death
Quiche, the simple baked custard that took the '70s by storm, has a winding history involving some weird gender issues. We serve forth the ins and outs of quiche.
26 min
Space Food: Ground Control to Major Nom
We owe so many innovations in food safety and technology to the simple fact that astronauts need to eat. We dig into the history (and sometimes questionable menus) of space food.
41 min
The Julia Child Episode
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. We trace the biography behind this TV icon
34 min
Cocktail Hour: The Whiskey Sour
Despite (or perhaps due to) its simplicity, the whiskey sour is one of the most popular cocktails on the planet. We walk through the history and science behind the drink in this edition of cocktail (half-) hour.z
29 min
Cranberries from Bog to Table
This North American winter staple has sprouted crazes, battles, and bitter scares. Let's linger just a little on the cranberry.
34 min
Aspirational Aspics
The concept of savory, broth-based gelatin molds may sound strange to the modern palate, but they were posh for centuries. Tune in to learn about history's fanciest aspics, plus the science of gelatin.
36 min
Leggo Eleven's Eggo: A Tale of Frozen Waffles
Waffles have been around in more or less their modern form since the 1400s, but we have three 20th-century brothers to thank for the technology behind tasty, convenient frozen waffles. Here's their story.
25 min
Cinnamon: The Tastiest of Tree Barks
Cinnamon's heat drove hundreds of years of intrigue before becoming the kitchen staple it is today. We dig into spicy history and culture of this delicious bark.
32 min
Pumpkin: Jack-of-all-Foods
You knew we had to do a pumpkin episode. This squash and its pie spice blend have a rep for being basic, but we go behind the gourd to explore pumpkin's history as food, decor, and phenomenon.
46 min
Sour Beer: Don't Call it a Comeback
Humans may have invented agriculture to make beer, and for millennia that beer was kinda sour. We explore the science and history of sour beer, plus the chemistry of flavor.
41 min
Expiration Dates: Best If Listened By
Expiration dates cause confusion and food waste -- Lauren and Anney do some demystifying (and talk about how a notorious gangster may have been involved with their inception).
29 min
The World Is Your Oyster
Oysters were one of humanity's first foods, and they've remained ragingly popular ever since. We dive into the biology, culinary history, and bloody piracy behind oysters.
44 min
Chuck E. Cheese's: Pizza, Intrigue, and Enterta...
A pizza-loving rat, a live band of animatronic animals, and beer on tap: We explore how a scheme to make more money off of arcade games became an international cultural phenomenon.
39 min
You Butter Believe It’s a Two-Parter: Part 2
What the heck is margarine, and how does it play in butter's history? Is it healthier to eat one versus the other? We wrap up our butterganza with these questions, plus cultural notes and cooking tips.
30 min
You Butter Believe It’s a Two-Parter: Part 1
Since before written history, humans have been mad about butter. (Er, sometimes literally angry.) We explore the slippery physics and surprising strife behind butter.
30 min
You Say Tomato, I Say Wolfpeach
Once considered deadly, the tomato has a fascinating history as a tax evader, protest device, and potential hallucinogen! GASP. There's also a lot of great science and nicknames involved in the tomato's story.
33 min
Fictional Foods: Butterbeer, from Book to Mug
Once a mere fantasy from the pages of "Harry Potter," butterbeer is now very real, very popular, and very delicious. In this new segment, we discuss the real-world history of a fictional food and its transition into reality.
28 min
Tofu: The Cheese of the Bean World
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.
40 min