87 episodes

This show is all about food history. I interview people who know a lot about different food history topics. I also cover recipes from the 1700s, 1800s, and early 1900s. I can't think of a better way to connect to the past than through food. Enjoy the show!

The Toasty Kettle Podcast The Toasty Kettle Podcast

    • Food

This show is all about food history. I interview people who know a lot about different food history topics. I also cover recipes from the 1700s, 1800s, and early 1900s. I can't think of a better way to connect to the past than through food. Enjoy the show!

    What is the Original Krispy Kreme Donut

    What is the Original Krispy Kreme Donut

    Today we are going to talk all about what is the original Krispy Kreme donut? Krispy Kreme always elicits a sort of nostalgia in my life. Growing up I was active in scouts. I participated in countless service projects that all had one thing in common, if the project took place in the evening, we were served Little Caesars. If we were scouting in the morning, then the reward was Krispy Kreme. They always seemed to overestimate the amount of donuts actually needed at these events, and there were always plenty of donuts to go around.

    Finally, as I pulled into the drive through, I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself as I remembered a particular activity where I was dared to eat a dozen Krispy Kremes on my own. I proudly downed 13. Now, I know that Krispy Kreme can be polarizing. People seem to love it or hate it. The beautiful thing about today’s episode is that you don’t have to love Krispy Kreme to enjoy its history.

    What is the Original Krispy Kreme Donut: Paducah Kentucky

    The story starts in 1933 in Paducah, Kentucky. Ishmael Rudolph owned a small general store that served a variety of goods. His nephews Vernon and Lewis Rudolph began working for him selling his ever popular donuts. The origin of the recipe is up for debate. However, the consensus seems to be that the recipe was purchased from a French chef in New Orleans. The recipe was a yeast raised donut recipe. The donuts were a big success. 

    During the Great Depression, the general store struggled. Ishmael and Vernon moved to Nashville to continue selling their donuts. They thought the larger city would bring more business their way. 

    Finally, in 1937 Vernon decided to strike out on his own. He moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina and began supplying donuts to local grocery stores. People passing by on the street could smell the donuts. However, it didn’t take long for people to start begging Vernon to sell them some donuts. Furthermore, Vernon didn’t want to pass up this opportunity. He literally cut a hole in the side of his building so that he would have a window to sell donuts to people on the sidewalk.

    40s and 50s: Expansion and the Need for Consistency

    People went crazy for these donuts and popularity soared. Furthermore, the 40s and 50s brought enough success to support a small chain of donut shops. However, like any restaurant that starts to expand, they struggled with consistency. Each shop followed the same recipe. However, they were made from scratch using different equipment from each other. They created a mix plant. This allowed them to mix massive batches of dry ingredients together. Furthermore, now each store could use the same dry mix. Just like that, consistency improved, and the magical donut conveyer belt was born.

    60s and 70s: Unified Stores

    Now that they fixed the consistency problems with their recipe, the company focused on a consistent look across their stores. During the 60s and 70s, each store began to sport the same iconic green tile roofs and the heritage road signs. However, 1973 brought another challenge for Krispy Kreme when their founder, Vernon Rudolph, died. The company was then sold to Beatrice Foods Company in 1976.

    Rapid Expansion

    Krispy Kreme began another chapter of their history. In the early 2000s, they rapidly expanded. The company went public on April 5, 2000. They quickly ballooned to over 400 stores. For a few years things couldn’t be better. However, by 2005 the stock had plummeted and the company began to close their less profitable locations. Furthermore, analysts felt that the chain had expanded too quickly and had too many stores in various markets.

    • 12 min
    History of Mustard: The Day Mustard Went to the Supreme Court

    History of Mustard: The Day Mustard Went to the Supreme Court

    Today’s episode is all about the History of Mustard. I have Barry Levenson on to talk all about the history of this humble condiment. Barry is the curator and owner of the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin. You won’t want to miss this one.

    Heartbreak and Inspiration

    Barry shared his story and the inspiration behind the museum. After the Boston Red Sox suffered a depressing loss in the World Series in 1986, Barry found himself wandering up and down the aisles of a local supermarket. As he passed the mustards, he heard a voice: if you collect us, they will come. Barry didn’t delay. In a search for purpose after another letdown, he began to enthusiastically collect mustard.

    The National Mustard Museum now boasts a collection of 6,050 different types of mustard. Barry also said they aren’t done. They are continuing to scour the globe looking for mustard. Their collection contains mustard from all 50 states and 70 countries.

    Mustard Goes to the Supreme Court

    The highlight of my conversation with Barry about the history of mustard, was when he shared his personal account of how mustard ended up in the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

    Before Barry threw himself into the Mustard Museum business full time, he was an Assistant Attorney General for the great state of Wisconsin. He had an opportunity to argue a case before the Supreme Court. When he left his room that morning to head to the courthouse, he saw a hotel room service tray. Someone had finished there meal, but left their tiny jar of mustard completely untouched.

    Barry had a dilemma. On one hand, he could leave the mustard on the tray and walk away. On the other hand, he could grab the condiment and high tail it out of there. He chose to grab the mustard and dash. He put the small jar in his pocket and went to argue his case, a case he ended up winning. The whole time the mustard remained in his pocket. It’s the first time to his knowledge that a jar of mustard made it to the Supreme Court while a case was being argued.

    Passion for Mustard

    It was difficult to not feel Barry’s passion for mustard. It is something I admired. If you find yourself in the great state of Wisconsin out near Madison, make sure you hop on over and give the National Mustard Museum a shot. You can learn more about the museum here. If Facebook is your jam, or mustard, you can find the museum’s page here. You can also support the museum and help them maintain free admission by checking out some of their merchandise. It the book, “Mustard on a Pickle,” here.

    Did You Like Learning About The National Mustard Museum?

    This is just one example of the type of show I put together each week. If you liked learning about food history, make sure you subscribe today! 

    You can use these links to subscribe to the show!

    * iTunes* Stitcher* Google Play

    Don’t see the podcast in your pod catcher? Email me at toastykettle@gmail.com. I will add it. Furthermore, leave a note in the comments or send a message to toastykettle@gmail.com.

    • 39 min
    Disgusting Food From Around The World: The Disgusting Food Museum

    Disgusting Food From Around The World: The Disgusting Food Museum

    Today is a disgusting episode just for you. We take a journey through disgusting food from around the world with Andreas Ahrens. He is the director of the Disgusting Food Museum. We have a great conversation about what constitutes a disgusting food. Some of the most disgusting foods in the museum may surprise you.

    What Makes Food Disgusting

    As humans we have a natural fear of the unfamiliar. We often spend a lot of time seeking comfort. One of the main areas where we seek comfort is through food. After all, we call it comfort food. Culture is everything when it comes to what determines if food is disgusting or not.

    A prime example of this is root beer. American’s love root beer. I think it is one of the most refreshing beverages on a hot summer day or mixed in with ice cream for a tasty float. However, the rest of the world has a very different opinion of root beer. They think it is disgusting. In fact, it is one of the items on the tasting menu when you visit the museum.

    In Sweden you have salted licorice. Andreas raved about how much he enjoys salted licorice. I ordered some after our conversation.

    When the package arrived, I eagerly tore into it. I placed a tiny morsel in my mouth and immediately regretted it. I couldn’t stand it. After a valiant effort, I had to spit it out.

    Culture and Sustainability

    Andreas brought up a very valid point on sustainability. As we look to the future, we will have to continue to feed an ever expanding global population. This will require us to look at food from the lens of sustainability. An example of this would be crickets. Crickets may sound disgusting. However, they are a fantastic source of protein and they are sustainable. Many cultures around the world have been eating crickets for thousands of years.

    A lot of disgusting food was born out of tough times and difficult circumstances. When you are starving, you don’t have the luxury of being picky. After embracing these less than desirable menu items, they become interwoven in the fabric of our cultures. It really makes me think differently when I hear about disgusting food from around the world. It is humbling to think of the origins of some of these dishes.

    Wrap up

    If you are interested in learning more about the Disgusting Food Museum, and disgusting food from around the world, you can find them on their Facebook here. You can also go directly to their website here. Make sure you check them out. Next time you are presented with something disgusting, give it a try. You never know when you might find your new favorite food.

    If you want to really get in the disgusting food spirit, you can buy some salted licorice here.

    Did You Like Learning About The Disgusting Food Museum?

    This is just one example of the type of show I put together each week. If you liked learning about food history, make sure you subscribe today! 

    You can use these links to subscribe to the show!

    * iTunes* Stitcher* Google Play

    Don’t see the podcast in your pod catcher?

    • 37 min
    Who Came Up With S’Mores: The Perfect Camping Snack

    Who Came Up With S’Mores: The Perfect Camping Snack

    Have you ever wondered who came up with S’Mores? Today we are going to do a dive into the history of this amazing treat. Last year we did a small remodel. Part of that process was to purchase new furniture for the space. The furniture store rewarded our spending with a S’Mores maker. It’s essentially a small heating element that you can plug in and toast a marshmallow to perfection. 

    Every Sunday night we have had a tradition of making S’Mores as a family. We laugh and have a good time while we get to work crafting the perfect S’More. This morning I was getting ready for my run and noticed I had a text from my wife. Apparently she couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night and had S’Mores on her mind. She thought this would make a great concept for an episode. I couldn’t agree more!

    Who Came Up With Marshmallows

    In order to understand the history of S’Mores as a whole, you have to understand the history of their components. Let’s do a deeper dive into the history behind the marshmallow. 

    The humble marshmallow has its roots in the ancient world. The mallow plant is found in Europe, West Asia, and Northern Africa. The root could be harvested and would produce a thick sap that could be whipped into a medicinal remedy that was perfect for soothing sore throats and coughs. The ancient Egyptians were the first to document this process. Various parts of the mallow plant were also consumed by the ancient greeks and romans. So the humble marshmallow has been around for ages.

    In the early 1800s, candy makers in France decided to get creative. They would whip the sap from the mallow plant with sugar and eggs to produce something very similar to the marshmallow we have today. Leave it to the French to perfect this culinary delight. 

    In the late 1800s the French began to substitute gelatin or corn starch for the mallow sap. This created a cheaper and less labor intensive way to create something that tasted virtually the same. 

    Marshmallow Roast

    It didn’t take long for people to begin toasting these treats over fire. In 1892 the Chicago Daily Tribune ran a letter all about marshmallow roasts:

    Marshmallow roasts’ are the newest thing in summer resort diversions. The simplicity of this form of amusement is particularly charming. One buys two or three pounds of marshmallows, invites half a dozen friends, and that is all the preparation required. However a small amount of kindling-wood must be taken along with which to build a small fire in an unfrequented spot on the beach, away from crowds unfamiliar with so refined a species of entertainment. When the fire is blazing merrily, or better still, when it has died down to red embers, each member of the party takes a sharpened stick and affixes upon the end of it a marshmallow.

    Simultaneously all those engaged hold their marshmallows over the embers, as close as possible to avoid burning and roast dexterously, so as to brown the marshmallows nicely on all sides. This requires some skill, because marshmallows are highly inflammable and will take fire if not very prudently handled. The…marshmallows…swell up to considerable more their normal size…They are a sort sublimated combination of candy and cake, all in one bite, though the proper fashion is to nibble the roasted marshmallow off the end of the stick. One set consumed, each person pokes the point of his wooden skewer through another marshmallow and the performance is repeated until everybody’s appetite is satisfied Marshmallow roasts are an excellent medium for flirtation…appropriately exhibited by nibbling the marshmallows of each other’s sticks.

    • 11 min
    How to Cook Like Your Grandmother With Darrell Johnson

    How to Cook Like Your Grandmother With Darrell Johnson

    Today is a special episode. I have Chef Darrell Johnson on to talk all about how to cook like your grandmother. Chef Darrell has 25 years of experience in the food industry. He has appeared on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen as well as The Great Food Truck Race. My time with Darrell oozed with his passion for the culinary world. Chef Darrell credits his great grandmother with his interest in food.

    Spending Time With Grandma Is Key

    Chef Darrel makes it clear that if you want to cook like your grandmother, you have to spend time with your grandmother. His grandmother pulled him in the kitchen at a young age. She taught him all of her tricks. The result was a love for cooking that changed his life for the better.

    Grandmas are like that. They tend to understand what we need before we realize that we need it. Teaching Darrell to cook helped keep him out of trouble growing up. He had friends who were killed on the streets or ended up in prison. He was grateful for her wisdom in helping him have something constructive in his life. It provided Chef Darrell with a creative outlet.

    What was the earliest recipe that Chef Darrell remembers cooking with his grandma? Without hesitation he responded gumbo. He went into great detail about how amazing and legendary this gumbo recipe is. He mentioned that Tyler Florence said it was some of the best gumbo that he’s ever had. Today Chef Darrell specializes in cajun/creole fusion. Those early days with grandma continue to be a source of motivation and inspiration for him.

    My favorite part of the interview was listening to Chef Darrell speak about finding his grandma’s recipes after hurricane Katrina. The storm wiped out nearly everything in her house. The water came up 6.5 feet in the house. Her recipes were on a shelf 7 feet high. Miraculously they survived. Coincidence? I think not!

    How to Find Out More

    If you want a killer gumbo recipe, you can find Chef Darrel’s cookbook here. You can find NOLA-Creations website here and their Facebook account here. Make sure you order a copy of the cookbook. I can’t wait for mine to arrive!

    Toasty Kettle is all about connecting with the past through food. As I listened to Chef Darrell talk about his own history I thought of my own grandma. Last year I took on a project of scanning and preserving all of the recipes that she has accumulated through her life. Most of them were handwritten on recipe cards or typed on her typewriter. It’s a wealth of culinary experience passing from one generation to the next. I have loved sifting through them and pulling out recipes that I remember grandma cooking. 

    That is why I love this show. As I research different topics and interview different businesses, it always takes me back to my own past and my own experiences. Hopefully it does the same for each of you.

    Did You Like Learning About How to Cook Like Your Grandmother?

    This is just one example of the type of show I put together each week. If you liked learning about food history, make sure you subscribe today! 

    You can use these links to subscribe to the show!

    * iTunes* Stitcher* Google Play...

    • 34 min
    How Much Domino's Pizza Can You Eat?

    How Much Domino's Pizza Can You Eat?

    How much Domino’s pizza can you eat? Today we are going to do a deep dive into the history of this iconic pizza chain. We are going to cover where they got their start and where they are at today.

    How Much Domino’s Pizza Can you Eat: Humble Beginnings

    Domino’s Pizza, Inc. got its start in 1960 when two brothers, Tom and James Monaghan, purchased a local pizza joint called, DomiNick’s. Back in 1960, all they needed was a $500 downpayment and they were in business. They borrowed $900 to complete payment for the store. 

    Tom threw himself into the business working long hours. James was very content to keep his job as a postal worker and sold his half of the business to Tom for their Volkswagen Beetle they were using to make deliveries. 

    By 1965 Tom had purchased two more pizza shops. Tom really wanted have all three of his locations have the same name and branding. However, the previous owner of DomiNick’s would not allow Tom to use the DomiNick’s name on these other locations. 

    One day an employee, Jim Kennedy, came back from a pizza delivery and pitched an idea to Tom. They should call the pizza business Domino’s. Tom loved the idea and in 1965 officially renamed his fledgling pizza empire, Domino’s Pizza, Inc. 

    DomiNick’s Is Out, Domino’s Is In

    Originally the company logo had three dots, one dot for each location. Tom wanted to add a dot to the logo for each location they would add. He quickly abandoned that idea because of the rapid growth they began to experience as a company.

    In 1967, they began franchising their pizza concept. By 1978 Tom had expanded to over 200 locations. 

    In 1975, the Amstar Corporation took Domino’s to court over a trademark dispute. Amstar was the maker of Domino sugar and they felt that Domino’s was infringing on their trademarked name. A judge disagreed and awarded Domino’s Pizza the victory. 

    Tom Monaghan decided to retire from the business in 1998 after 38 years of owning the business. He sold 93% of the company to Bain Capital, Inc. for 1 billion dollars. It’s incredible to me that he was able to turn that $500 downpayment into a billion dollars. 

    In 2012, Domino’s Pizza, Inc. changed their name to just Domino’s. They also changed up their logo by dropping the “Domino’s Pizza” from the name and logo. They wanted to make it clear to the world that Domino’s was more than just pizza. 

    All About The Food

    Growing up, Domino’s was my least favorite pizza of the popular chains. I felt it tasted a lot like cardboard that had sauce and cheese on top. I can’t blame Domino’s for sticking with what worked. 

    In the early years, Domino’s had a very simple menu compared to other pizza places. They had one style of crust that came in two sizes, a 12-inch and a 16-inch, as well as 11 toppings. 

    In 1989, Domino’s deviated from their simple menu by adding the deep dish pizza. This launch cost the company $25 million. $15 million of that was purchasing the new pans needed to bake the pizza. 

    The early 2000s Domino’s went on a roll with a variety of new menu items. January 2000 brought the Philly cheesesteak specialty pizza. In 2006, they launched one of my personal favorites, the Brooklyn style crust. It was a thinner crust with larger slices you can fold. 

    In 2008, Domino’s launched their first non-pizza item, the toasty oven-baked sandwich. Overnight they became one of the world’s largest sandwich delivery restaurants.

    • 16 min

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