122 episodes

Food with a side of science and history. Every other week, co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up a brand new episode exploring the hidden history and surprising science behind a different food- or farming-related topic, from aquaculture to ancient feasts, from cutlery to chile peppers, and from microbes to Malbec. We interview experts, visit labs, fields, and archaeological digs, and generally have lots of fun while discovering new ways to think about and understand the world through food.



Find us online at gastropod.com, follow us on Twitter @gastropodcast, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/gastropodcast.

Gastropod Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley

    • Food

Food with a side of science and history. Every other week, co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up a brand new episode exploring the hidden history and surprising science behind a different food- or farming-related topic, from aquaculture to ancient feasts, from cutlery to chile peppers, and from microbes to Malbec. We interview experts, visit labs, fields, and archaeological digs, and generally have lots of fun while discovering new ways to think about and understand the world through food.



Find us online at gastropod.com, follow us on Twitter @gastropodcast, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/gastropodcast.

    Dinner Plate Invasion: Lionfish, Tiger Shrimp, and Feral Pigs, Oh My!

    Dinner Plate Invasion: Lionfish, Tiger Shrimp, and Feral Pigs, Oh My!

    Across America, feral pigs are on the rampage, wrecking fields of crops, hunting local wildlife to extinction, and even attacking humans. In the United Kingdom, Japanese knotweed is taking over the landscape: banks deny mortgages to infested properties, and the government regulates its disposal with the same precautions it takes for low-level nuclear waste. Humans …More →

    • 43 min
    Meet the Queen of Kiwi: The 96-Year-Old Woman Who Transformed America’s Produce Aisle

    Meet the Queen of Kiwi: The 96-Year-Old Woman Who Transformed America’s Produce Aisle

    The produce section of most American supermarkets in the 1950s was minimal to a fault, with only a few dozen fruits and vegetables to choose from: perhaps one kind of apple, one kind of lettuce, a yellow onion, a pile of bananas. Today, grocery stores routinely offer hundreds of different fruits and vegetables, many of …More →

    • 44 min
    Are Insect Guts the Secret to the Most Delicious Kimchi?

    Are Insect Guts the Secret to the Most Delicious Kimchi?

    This side dish of spicy, bubbly, funky pickled vegetables is such a staple in Korea that no meal is considered complete without it—but, recently, kimchi has found its way into burgers, pasta, grilled cheese, and even tacos. This episode, we trace the behind-the-scenes story of the “kimchi diplomacy” that turned Korea’s favorite fermented cabbage into …More →

    • 41 min
    Menu Mind Control

    Menu Mind Control

    At its most basic, a menu is simply a way for a restaurant to communicate its offerings and their prices to its customers. But, perhaps even more importantly, says Alison Pearlman, author of a new book on menus called May We Suggest, a menu has to persuade diners that they want what the restaurant is …More →

    • 51 min
    Of Ghost Foods and Culinary Extinction

    Of Ghost Foods and Culinary Extinction

    The earliest humans favored juicy, meaty mammoth at mealtimes. Ancient Romans loved their favorite herb, silphium, so much that they sprinkled it on everything from lamb to melon. In the 19th century United States, passenger pigeon pie was a cherished comfort food, long before chicken pot pie became commonplace. And, for dessert, Americans a century …More →

    • 52 min
    Tiki Time!

    Tiki Time!

    Tiki bars are hot these days: you can enjoy a fruity tropical drink while surrounded by faux-Polynesian décor in most major cities around the U.S. and elsewhere, with new tiki spots opening every month. The trend is a revival of a nearly century-old American tradition—but the knowledge of how to make these classic tiki cocktails …More →

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

saint-vip ,

Neat, nerdy, need-to-listen!

A scientist, a foodie, a historian, a reader, and a chef would all love this show.

Old TAL G ,

Fascinating podcast

I like the way the hosts go into food subjects that are different. Loved the peanut and the honey episode. Lots of fun and the hosts seem like they are having fun. One of my favorites. I do wish Nicola didn’t try so hard to say everything like a tanker Brit. Listen to Omega 123 where everyone but her says it correctly while she say O-Ma-Ga. As a Brit I’m baffled.

Pedaccentic ,

Great podcast but the affectation...

I watched a Nicola Twilley ted talk (maybe an off-brand TED-style talk) and she pronounced a word with standard American accent and then corrected herself to a vaguely Home Counties sounding accent. She’s clearly been in the US a long time. I’m wondering how old she was when she moved her. Her Englishness is a huge part of her identity and character on the show but it doesn’t come off as entirely genuine given the changing strength of accent, the complete absence at times, and then the focus on it. It mostly just sounds like a pedantic American. It’s a major distraction and makes me want to not listen to what is in every other way a good podcast.

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