Food & Culture: November 2021 podcast playlist
Food has a unique power. At its most fundamental, it nourishes the body. But, the true power of food is its link to culture. Food can spark a memory, comfort, and cure. A meal has the power to bring people together and tear them apart. It can be a source of joy or a source of shame. This playlist explores food and culture from the perspective of place, heritage, identity, language, and history.
Podcast Listening List on FOOD & CULTURE
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|This Month’s Podcast Playlist||Running List of PBC Podcast Playlists|
|Podchaser | Listen Notes | Podyssey | Spotify||Podchaser | Listen Notes | Podyssey | Spotify|
Meat and Three: “Far from Home” (November 2019, 28 min)
Scattered people carry the seeds of their culture, spreading the ingredients, flavors, and techniques of their homeland across the globe. Whether it’s a salted street pretzel or a heaping plate of fried okra, the so-called American dish that you are digging into was probably brought over from a far-away place. We’re tracing these foods from their native country all the way to our plates in the States to find out how cuisines transform when they travel.
The Food Chain: “A year in the life of a Chinese restaurant” (March 2021, 27 min)
Anti-Asian hate has surged since the coronavirus outbreak, and some of the most common targets have been Chinese food businesses. Tamasin Ford speaks to three people who’ve witnessed the rise of Sinophobia first hand and seen it damage not only their livelihoods, but also their families. They explain why they’re not prepared to stay silent, as was often the case for previous generations, and how they plan to use food in the fight against racism and ignorance.
The Food Programme: “Tastefully Worded: Exploring food in language” (August 2021, 40 min)
Can you have your cake and eat it? Do you have bigger fish to fry? Are you seduced by food imagery in literature, and lured into rash purchases by the purple prose of food packaging? This episode discusses the origins and impacts of food language: from the everyday idioms that hark back to ancient dietary habits, to the seductive language of advertising.
AnthroDish: “11: Shailee Koranne on Racial Food Stereotypes, Cultural Identity, and David Chang’s ‘Ugly Delicious'” (September 2018, 38 min)
A discussion of how food stereotypes inform and maintain historically racist attitudes and biases, particularly for Asians in North America, as well as the role that food plays in everyday racial microaggressions. The host and guest also talk about how cultural foods are sterilized and removed from their contexts in order to present them to white and Western diners, and the implications of “trend” culture (i.e. charcoal ice cream, superfoods, and any restaurant with a line up around the corner in Toronto) on cultural foods.
Gastropod: “Why Thai?” (March 2021, 43 min)
According to the Thai Embassy, more than 50 percent of all Thai restaurants abroad are located in the United States and Canada. So why did the U.S.—and Los Angeles in particular—become the epicenter of Thai food’s global rise? How did Cold War politics and a shortage of ingredients lead to the creation of shrimp curry recipes made with anchovy paste and sour cream—as well as the jackfruit industry in Mexico? What does this all have to do with one street kid from Bangkok?
Bonus podcast episodes:
- The Food Chain: “Untold food stories: Rohingya and Uighur cuisine” (February 2019, 26 min)
- Homemade: “Reclaiming Your Roots with Padma Lakshmi and Uzo Orimalade” (September 2021, 59 min)
- Gravy: “Kimchi and Cornbread” (September 2017, 34 min)
- The Sporkful: “What McDonald’s Can Tell Us About Black America” (June 2021, 33 min)
- Life Kit: “How You Can Honor Your Heritage — And Improve Your Health — Through Food” (October 2021, 23 min)
- Item 13: An African Food Podcast: “On African Cultural Identity, Within & Beyond Food with Tapiwa Guzha (Part 1)” (October 2020, 55 min)
- The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos: “Feed Yourself Like You’d Feed a Loved One” (January 2021, 38 min)
- The FRONTLINE Dispatch : “Essential and Unprotected” (July 2020, 29 min)
Conversation Starter Questions
- What are some of your favorite foodways/traditions from your culture or from others you’ve explored?
- What’s one of your favorite food words or idioms? Any you have learned from other cultures that you found interesting or different?
- What do you think of cultural appropriation when it comes to food versus honoring and learning from other cultures?
- Can food help bring conflicting groups together or build better understanding? On the other side, how have you seen people carry out their prejudices when it comes to food and perceived “strangeness” of another culture or reinforce stereotypes?
- Did you know the history of Thai food in the US (or other similar stories)? How have you seen certain cuisines evolve in how they’re appreciated or the availability in your country/area?
- What’s comfort food to you?