Food and status | Eat This Podcast

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  1. Eat This Podcast: Bread as it ought to be

    Jonathan Bethony is one of the leading artisanal bakers in America, but he goes further than most, milling his own flour and baking everything with a hundred percent of the whole grain. He's also going beyond wheat, incorporating other cereals such as millet and sorghum in the goodies Seylou is producing.

    —Huffduffed by chrisaldrich

  2. A deep dive into cucurbit names | Eat This Podcast

    One of the most fascinating things about pumpkins and squashes is what people call them. The whole summer squash, squash, pumpkin thing is confusing enough, and that’s to say nothing of courgettes and zucchini, which I explored in a podcast a few weeks ago. One of the people I talked to for that was Harry Paris, an Israeli researcher who has done more than anyone to disentangle the rampant thickets of cucurbit history. While not strictly anything to do with zucchini, while I had him on the line, I asked him to shed a little light on one of the great mysteries of Italian fruit names.

    The scientific, Latin name for watermelon is Citrullus, but depending on where you are in Italy, the Italian for watermelon is either anguria or cocomero which, to me, sounds way too much like cucumber. But the Italian for cucumber is cetriolo, and that sounds like citrullus, for watermelon. As for anguria, you better just listen.


    Illustrations from a 14th century manuscript, Liber de herbis et plantis by Manfredi de Monte Imperiali.

    —Huffduffed by chrisaldrich

  3. Office Hours #108

    Michaela DeSoucey on Food and Cultural Authenticity

    Professor Michaela DeSoucey drops in to chat about consumer culture and the many political projects that shape our tastes for cuisine ranging from foie gras to craft beer. She discusses some of the challenges facing ethnographers who study taste, and we also consider how the industrial scale of modern food production may have leveled cultural practices once reserved for the wealthy.

    Huffduffed from

    —Huffduffed by JeremyCherfas

  4. A computer learns about ingredients and recipes | Eat This Podcast

    Recommendation engines are everywhere. They let Netflix suggest shows you might want to watch. They let Spotify build you a personalised playlist of music you will probably like. They turn your smartphone into a source of endless hilarity and mirth. And, of course, there’s IBM’s Watson, recommending all sorts of “interesting” new recipes. As part of his PhD project on machine learning, Jaan Altosaar decided to use a new mathematical technique to build his own recipe recommendation engine.

    The technique is similar to the kind of natural language processing that powers predictive text on a phone, and one of the attractions of using food instead of English is that there are only 2000–3000 ingredients to worry about, instead of more than 150,000 words.

    The results so far are fun and intriguing, and can only get better.


    Jaan Altosaar published an article about his work that gives an explanation of how it all works. It also allows you to investigate the food map and use some of the other tools he built.

    A scientific report that may have inspired Jaan (and possibly Watson) to take up the challenge is Flavor network and the principles of food pairing.

    That paper offers great explanations for why some novel food pairings work, including Heston Blumenthal’s iconic white chocolate and caviar, published in 2002.

    The madcap adventures of Chef Watson are everywhere on the internet. The recommendatiuon engine that is me suggests a report from Caitlin Dewey which includes a recipe for the ubiquitous Austrian chocolate burritos (but no explanation of what makes them Austrian. Just the apricot purée?).

    The banner shows a small part of the food map, with East Asian ingredients tightly clustered while North American ingredients are all over the shop.

    —Huffduffed by chrisaldrich

  5. Want to be great at UX research? Take a cue from cultural anthropology (Ep. 451) - Stack Overflow Blog

    The home team talks with designer, coder, and anthropologist Maggie Appleton about her path from academic ethnography to leading design at HASH, how she balances creative expression and usability in front-end design, and why UX researchers are really anthropologists by a different name.

    —Huffduffed by neil

  6. SitePoint Podcast #168: Secret Src with Jeremy Keith

    Episode 168 of The SitePoint Podcast is now available! This week our regular interview host Louis Simoneau (@rssaddict) interviews Jeremy Keith (@adactio) who now works at ClearLeft to talk about the developments in the Responsive Design world, and particularly the ongoing discussions on proposed image element solutions.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  7. India’s bread landscape and my plans here | Eat This Podcast

    This is the last of the short episodes of the holiday season. It is also something of a meta-episode because it is mostly about this podcast and another podcast.

    I’ve hinted before that I’d like to do more constructed shows here, where I speak to a few different people about a topic to try and get a broader sense of the subject. They’re harder to do, but more rewarding, and they consistently get more listeners. The problem is that as a one-man band, I don’t have the time I need to do that kind of show very often. As an experiment, I’m going to try chunking episodes into seasons, with a break between seasons when I’ll be working on those more complex shows. I’m not sure yet how long either the seasons or the breaks will be.

    In anticipation, I encourage you to subscribe to the podcast, if you aren’t already doing so, via iTunes or by email, which gives you the added advantage of getting Eat This Newsletter between episodes and during the breaks. (You can also, of course, do both.) I’m also on Twitter and Instagram.

    Aside from finding time and resources, one of the other things that is really hard for a completely independent production like this is to find new listeners. Reviews and ratings on iTunes probably help, but a word-of-mouth recommendation is even better.

    I know that’s true for me, and so I want to share a podcast that was recommended to me. Bee Wilson (@kitchenbee) recommended “this wonderful podcast series by Vikram Doctor, The Real Food Podcast … It is superb and worth listening to in its entirety.”

    On the strength of that, I jumped through a few hoops to ensure I had an episode to listen to on my walk in the park, and I agree. Thoroughly enjoyable and informative. In addition to making podcasts, Vikram Doctor is also the editor of special features for the Economic Times of India.

    I’ll be subscribing, and if you have any interest in food from an Indian perspective (and not just Indian food) I recommend you take a listen.


    I’m currently working on two idea for shows suggested by listeners, and I’d love to hear about anything you think I should consider.

    Vikram Doctor’s Real Food podcast is at

    I’m using that banner photograph knowingly, having shamelessly stolen it from Julia Barton, who started the whole stock mic thing.

    And I admit I flipped the cover photograph, which I took from Douglas Self’s strange catalogue of Acoustic Location and Sound Mirrors.

    Seriously, though, why is it so difficult both to find new podcasts and to put my own podcast in front of people. I still don’t know. it? Take a second to support me on Patreon!

    —Huffduffed by chrisaldrich