Burnt Toast

Burnt Toast

Food intersects with our lives in more ways than we think. Food52's Burnt Toast podcast chases those stories to give listeners the perfect pieces of snackable dinner-party fodder—all inside of a commute's time. In each episode, host Michael Harlan Turkell explores a different aspect of food culture and community, highlighting the often-surprising past informing what we eat every day, and meeting some of the people shaping food's present and future.... Show More

Episodes

June 15, 2018 25 min
Can you believe that Burnt Toast has been a podcast for three seasons, yet we’ve never done an episode on burnt toast? Well, that’s changing now. We’ll talk about the magical things that take place inside of our toasters, from today's toaster selfies to Finnish-style dunking toasts that trace their history back to the 15th century.
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June 1, 2018 27 min
Things are about to get hot in here—join us for an exploration of some of the world's spiciest foods. Why is that tingly combination of heat and flavor such a temptress? (Are we addicted to danger? Do we just love sweating while eating?) From spice-infused condiments to the many chilies of Mexico, we'll get to the bottom of that “hurts so good” thrill ride once and for all.
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May 17, 2018 28 min
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it means different things to different people. For some, it's a time for peaceful reflection; for others, a moment to bond with family, friends, or community. And, let’s get real–for a lot of us, it’s a frenzied affair that’s eaten in such a rush, more of it ends up on our shirts than in our stomachs! This episode of Burnt Toast explores breakfast trends and traditions around...
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May 3, 2018 27 min
In French, "jolie laide" means "pretty and ugly"; it's a way to describe something that is unconventionally beautiful. This homage to jolie laide foods will explore the idea that deliciousness can come where you least expect it, from misshapen fish meatballs to organ meat that only a zombie could love. Some consumers may fall for the illusion of perfection, but companies such as UglyRipe and Imperfect Produce ha...
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April 13, 2018 29 min
The history of effervescence has lots of wellness-related side notes, from the ground springs of Selzen, Germany (where the bubbly liquid naturally occurs, creating a sparkling mineral water) to the time when American speakeasies served “medicinal” fizzes flavored with homeopathic tinctures, directly influencing our soft drink and cocktail culture today. We'll explore the revival of soda fountains, like Brooklyn Farmacy, which ...
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March 29, 2018 27 min
Whether it’s a food fad or a table at the trendiest restaurant in town, there are certain foods that just inspire people to line up and wait. So what makes for a culty bite? Hear stories of triumph and despair, along with tactics to bide the time while you wait to get in the door for that prized morsel. We’ll also touch on the psychology and science behind waiting in line.
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March 15, 2018 29 min
Maple syrup is having a moment: in cooking, baking, and wellness culture. Michael Harlan Turkell talks to experts about the tapping process and learns more about the maple water trend, sugar shacks in Montreal, and Korean gorosoe. Plus: the joys of maple taffy and maple peeping in Japan.
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March 7, 2018 35 min
Food fights have long played a role in many cultures. Why do we love them so? This episode of Burnt Toast explores the psychology of the food fight and discusses several of the most interesting ones, past and present. Every year, in late August, 50,000 people descend on the Spanish city of Buñol to paint the town red for La Tomatina, throwing thousands of pounds of ripe tomatoes at one another. There's also the so-called Battle...
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August 9, 2017 17 min
How, exactly, you grow a gourd larger than a living room, and more importantly—why. 
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We speak with Bee Wilson to follow the curious, contentious history of margarine back to its first invention. Turns out, we have Napoleon III to thank. 
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The banana peel is so synonymous with slipperiness that we know how this joke ends right when it starts—why? And why a banana? We trace down the origins of the gag, and land in a surprising place.
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After our episode about the vintage rotisserie machine that still has a cult following, we received an email from the son-in-law of the inventor, Leon Klinghoffer. Today’s episode is his story.
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(It's true!) Kyle MacLachlan swings by the Food52 offices to make a cherry pie with us, and we sit down to ask him about Agent Dale Cooper's approach to food, his own, and how he got into winemaking.
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May 31, 2017 22 min
The story of a 22-foot tall fried chicken mascot that became the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles—and one artist’s decades-long quest to find him a new home.
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May 17, 2017 18 min
Throughout history, the same thing we eat with our morning cereal has inspired myth, magic, and superstition—like the fact that if you don't sit still after drinking a glass, it'll turn to cheese in your stomach. We speak with historian Deborah Valenze to dig into our complicated relationship with milk, sparing none of the strangest misconceptions.
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One presidential term goes down in history as serving borderline inedible food to the thousands of guests who dined there. What was on the menu, who was responsible, and the revenge theory behind it all. This episode of Burnt Toast was produced by Gabrielle Lewis and Kenzi Wilbur. Thanks also to Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, the founders of Food52— and to Laura Mayer and Andy Bowers at Panoply.  Our ad and theme music is by ...
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We talk to Professor Charles Spence about the science behind how what you hear when you eat affects the whole multi-sensory experience.
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April 5, 2017 15 min
This countertop rotisserie has a lively cult following for producing the juiciest, spit-roasted birds. Our reason to be suspicious? It was made in the 1950s. We put one to the test to find out if this machine *really* makes the best chicken,
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March 22, 2017 17 min
We ask—and then we try to change emoji history. Learn how an emoji gets made as we submit our pie emoji proposal to Unicode.
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We track down the composer of one of the catchiest jingles of all time—the jingle that opened new factories it was so popular—to learn its surprising origin story. 
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