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Burnt Toast by Food52

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Burnt Toast is a podcast from Food52 for people who never stop wondering about food. Join host Kenzi Wilbur, plus a rotating cast of guests, for controversial cooking topics, food culture, and occasional good-spirited debate. Part of the Panoply Network.






Leonardo Urena and the Giant Pumpkin

How, exactly, you grow a gourd larger than a living room, and more importantly—why.

Duration: 00:20:09

Food Swindle, or Absolute Genius? The Margarine Story

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.

Duration: 00:18:06

Where Did the Banana Peel Slipping Gag Come From?

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.

Duration: 00:17:32

Part II: Meet the Inventor of the Roto-Broil 400

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.

Duration: 00:16:53

Twin Peaks' Kyle MacLachlan Makes a Damn Fine Cherry Pie

(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.

Duration: 00:16:33

Chicken Boy

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.

Duration: 00:22:45

Myths and Magic of Milk

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.

Duration: 00:18:11

The Worst Food in White House History

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 Joshua Rule Dobson; All other music in this episode is...

Duration: 00:21:58

Can You *Really* Season Your Food with Sound?

We talk to Professor Charles Spence about the science behind how what you hear when you eat affects the whole multi-sensory experience.

Duration: 00:16:19

Meet the Roto-Broil 400

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,

Duration: 00:17:20

Why is There No Pie Emoji?

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.

Duration: 00:19:36

The Kit Kat Jingle That Almost Wasn't

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.

Duration: 00:17:21

Season 2....Coming Very Soon!

We'll be back on March 9th with a new season --and a whole new look. Here's a sneak peek.

Duration: 00:01:02

Jonathan Gold on L.A. Food, Anonymity, and Thousand-Year Eggs (Rebroadcast)

Getting 30 minutes in a room with L.A. restaurant critic and Pulitzer-winning food writer Jonathan Gold is a little like feeding the man himself a single taco. We do it anyway. Listen as we discuss City of Gold—the new documentary featuring him—plus the role of a critic, the insignificance of anonymity, and the great mosaic that is L.A. food. This episode was originally released on March 24, 2016.

Duration: 00:29:53

Simply Nigella Lawson (Rebroadcast)

Nigella Lawson, the domestic goddess herself, on cooking as necessity over therapy, how she doesn't entertain, and about making up her own words. This episode is a rebroadcast from November 5, 2015.

Duration: 00:32:09

Michael Pollan, Ten Years After the Omnivore’s Dilemma (Rebroadcast)

Does Michael Pollan always follow his own food rules? Does he *truly* believe sustainability is economically feasible? We talk to journalist and one of today's important voices in food about these things—and you tell us how his work has impacted your life. This episode was originally released on August 11, 2016.

Duration: 00:20:38

Fat Isn’t Bad, Stupid Is Bad (Rebroadcast)

Or so says food writer Michael Ruhlman, who wants to know if you know what’s in your food. He wants to restart the conversation around this—and change the way we talk about what we eat. Today, we hear why he thinks kale isn’t healthy, and what we can do to be better cooks, eaters, and shoppers. This episode was originally released on February 11, 2016.

Duration: 00:25:43

Someone Put A Diaper On The Turkey (Rebroadcast)

We asked you to share your holiday disasters—the biggest flubs, the most comically tragic things that inevitably happen when everyone comes together for the holidays. You delivered. Here are the best of the worst—and here’s to reminding ourselves that whatever happens this year, it could probably be worse. This episode was originally released on December 17, 2015.

Duration: 00:18:13

Man vs. Meatloaf (Rebroadcast)

Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats’ Food Lab fame just published a book, and it’s 900 pages of hard cooking science and strong opinions. We learn what makes him and his recipes tick, then decide to tackle his 8-page meatloaf recipe on our own. Is it all worth it? This episode was originally released on October 22, 2015.

Duration: 00:28:15

Calvin Trillin's Thanksgiving Campaign: Spaghetti Carbonara Day (Rebroadcast)

In honor of Trillin's campaign to change the national Thanksgiving dish from turkey to spaghetti carbonara, we ask him to read his 1981 essay. Listen to him tell the tale of the very first Thanksgiving dinner, and then maybe start a campaign of your own. Happy Thanksgiving, turkeys. This episode was originally broadcast on November 24, 2015.

Duration: 00:09:58

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