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Desiccated Grapes

This week, we’re changing it up with a book review! We review The Culinary Crescent: A History of Middle Eastern Cuisine by Peter Heine, which gives readers a lovely overview of the long and storied history of food in the Middle East and among Muslim societies stretching from Turkey to India. We discuss recipes, Faye … Continue reading Desiccated Grapes


Liberté, Egalité, Sucre

Get ready with your favorite Victor Hugo novel, because we’ve got Francophone revolutions on our mind this week. But we’re not talking about any revolutions in France. Instead, we dive into the complex history of the Haitian revolution and the ties between the French sugar trade and the first country for black folks in the … Continue reading Liberté, Egalité, Sucre


Transformers Take Over Europe: The Chocolate Saga Continues

This week, chocolate does a reverse Columbus by leaving the New World and landing in Europe. From the ships of unbathed merchants to the courts of royalty become the next big thing, and from there, the whirlwind romance between Europe and chocolate began. We discuss how the Industrial Revolution, H.H. Holmes, and condensed milk are … Continue reading Transformers Take Over Europe: The Chocolate Saga Continues


Praise the Corn Gods! Corn, Pt. 2

We’re wrapping up our corn mini-series by going back in time. We start by following the mystery around the domestication of corn in Mesoamerica. Then, we explore the importance of corn in pre-Columbian life, particularly in Mayan and Aztec religions. We discuss the Mayan Maize God and Centeotl, the role of corn in the creation … Continue reading Praise the Corn Gods! Corn, Pt. 2


They Got Lost Again: Corn in Africa

We’re kicking off a mini-series on corn this week with a return appearance from the world’s worst navigators. That’s right, Vasco Da Gama and crew are back on the podcast as we trace the path of corn from the New World to Africa. We discuss how corn followed European expansion into Africa and helped build … Continue reading They Got Lost Again: Corn in Africa


Chop Suey! An American Tale

This week, we’re rushing to California to find gold. We’re discussing how the 1949 Gold Rush created the San Francisco we know and love, and the Chester A. Arthur we know and hate. Plus, we discuss how the uniquely Chinese-American dish Chop Suey came to be, and the role New York Jewish Americans played in … Continue reading Chop Suey! An American Tale


Not your Heinz 57: A Minisode

This week, we have a amuse-bouche of an episode where Faye gives us an old-time ketchup recipe that tastes nothing like the red sauce you know and love. In fact, this ketchup isn’t even red. That’s right, this is a ketchup with absolutely no tomatoes. Learn more about how to make ketchup without tomatoes.


The Great French Lie: A Croissant Expose

Inspired by a discussion with our very favorite executive producer, Mary Vo, we decided to explore a great misconception about everyone’s favorite breakfast pastry. Turns out, croissants aren’t French at all. We trace the known history of croissants and speculate wildly about how medieval crescent rolls became the buttery, flaky rolls of heaven that we … Continue reading The Great French Lie: A Croissant Expose


Thomas Jefferson, the OG Hipster

The Thomas Jefferson Trilogy ends with an discussion of the third President’s very expensive tastes that eventually made him go into heavy debt. We explore Jefferson’s famed cattiness, including his snide comments about whiskey-drinkers. We also discuss how Jefferson, though a smart farmer, was pretty terrible at it, unlike George Washington. But, apparently, Jefferson was … Continue reading Thomas Jefferson, the OG Hipster


Hot Takes and Hot Cakes: The James Hemings Story

We continue our story of the Founding Fathers and food by taking a deep dive into America’s third President’s very expensive, very European food and drink habits. We discuss Thomas Jefferson’s crazy party-planning skills/booze-purchasing habits. More importantly, we trace the origin story of one of America’s first chefs, James Hemings (brother of Sally) and this … Continue reading Hot Takes and Hot Cakes: The James Hemings Story


2 Parts Rum, 1 Part Corn: A Recipe for Rebellion

We’re back with an all new episode to inaugurate our second season of Follow the Crumbs. We begin by destroying your Disney dreams and demystifying America’s two favorite mythical Native Americans – Pocahontas and Squanto. We explore Ben Franklin’s love affair with corn and how it connected to the South’s love affair with tobacco and … Continue reading 2 Parts Rum, 1 Part Corn: A Recipe for Rebellion


The Great Texas-Arkansas Queso Bowl

In the season 1 finale, Ria and Faye insult every politician you have and haven’t heard of as they trace the origins of the greatest dish to emerge this side of the Rio Grande: queso. We also discuss the regional variations of Tex-Mex food, from the very cheesy to the less cheesy. Finally, we uncover … Continue reading The Great Texas-Arkansas Queso Bowl


Feminist Yak Dowery

In the penultimate episode of Season 1, we’re continuing our bovine fascination, but this time we’re yakking about cows’ Tibetan cousins: yaks. We trace the roots of yaks and how they drove Chinese economics for centuries, pitch an amazing HBO mini-series about the Qin Dynasty, and discuss the monetary value of yak in dowries. Finally, … Continue reading Feminist Yak Dowery


The Cow Chronicles: A Bovine Bonanza

This week, we go deep into the four bellies of a cow to uncover the mystery of where cows are from. We discuss the mechanics of cow running, the best geographic strategy for cattle trading, and the legacy of cows in college rivalries. Finally, Faye laments a missed opportunity in American history to glorify another … Continue reading The Cow Chronicles: A Bovine Bonanza


Johnny Appleseed: The Man, The Myth, The Legend?

This week, we dive into the crazy and very much not-Disney-approved life of an American folk legend and learn how the bad apples he sold contributed to the United States’s budding hard apple cider industry. We also discover that good apples violated Johnny Appleseed’s religious beliefs, but we never find out why he used a … Continue reading Johnny Appleseed: The Man, The Myth, The Legend?


Food Crimes and How to Get Away With Them

In this episode, we try to unpack the mysteries of the crime-infested den of the Frankfurt suburbs, including two separate Nutella heists four years apart. We also talk about Canada’s syrup cartel and the exact price the Quebecois place on their freedom to make as much syrup as they want. Finally, Faye makes an impassioned … Continue reading Food Crimes and How to Get Away With Them


Galentine’s Day Special Waffle Spectacular

In honor of Parks and Recreation, and Leslie Knope, we turn back time to discuss when waffles were just pretty communion wafers, the many World Fairs (and their associated crimes), and the difficulty of French pronunciations. We also discuss the true meaning of Galentine’s Day. Finally, we give you a taste of the underbelly of … Continue reading Galentine’s Day Special Waffle Spectacular


Mary’s Back, Tell A Friend: An Ode to Gin

In this very special episode, Mary makes her prodigal return to discuss her favorite booze. Our Executive Producer joins us as we discuss why William of Orange banned brandy, the English’s 50-year drunken bender, and how gin and tonics kept the sun shining on the British Empire. Finally, we debate whether or not liking gin … Continue reading Mary’s Back, Tell A Friend: An Ode to Gin


Salty People, Salty Places, and Salty Things

Eat a grapefruit, because this episode should come with a high blood pressure warning. That’s right, we’re talking about #saltsowhite. In this episode, we discuss the Celts (the unsung heroes of European history), salt churches in Poland, and Julius’s Caesar’s appetite for salt-cured ham. Finally, we dig into the rich salting mining history of Central … Continue reading Salty People, Salty Places, and Salty Things


The Curry Powder Plot

In our final installment of the Follow the Crumbs Indian Starter Pack, we explore how British laziness (or stupidity) created the greatest lie ever told about Indian food: the existence of curry. We also uncover Faye’s American Arab identity and complete the circle of life through vindaloo and beer. Special note: Faye recorded this episode … Continue reading The Curry Powder Plot