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January 04, 2006

Feed Your Ears

I like to listen to audiobooks on my iPod while I exercise. Relatively recently, I've discovered a wonderful wealth of podcasts and subscription audio about food. Here are some of my favorites:

The Splendid Table. A wonderful public radio show, hosted by Lynne Rosetto Kasper, author of the book The Splendid Table. This weekly show has a little bit of everything: interviews with food writers and cooks, spotlights on exotic ingredients, and a call-in segment where Lynne takes questions from listeners. I've been taking particular note of their wine recommendations, since I'm woefully ignorant of wine and can always use coaching on how to find something tasty to drink without breaking the bank.

I subscribe to the show through Audible.com, which allows me to download it weekly and listen to it on my iPod. You can listen to clips from the show from the website as well.

The Splendid Table also does a nifty weekly e-mail newsletter, which offers up a "weeknight supper" recipe each week. Some of their recipes stretch the parameters of what I'm usually up for on a weeknight, but the ones that I've tried have all been good. One in particular, a recipe for Tarragon Chicken Breasts with Buttered Leeks that came from Jerry Traunfeld's The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor, is well on its way to becoming a regular staple. (It's particularly fantastic if you replace some of the leeks with thinly sliced fennel.)

KCRW's Good Food. Another weekly show, from Southern California public radio station KCRW. Somewhat similar in basic concept to The Splendid Table (once in a while they end up covering the same topic or interviewing the same person on consecutive weeks), but with a more hip, Californian sensibility. (They have a lot more coverage of vegan cooking and dining options, for example.) My favorite segment is the weekly farmers' market report, where they interview a vendor or two at the Santa Monica farmers' market about what they are selling that week. I can't get to the Santa Monica farmers' market, of course, but it often gives me good ideas for what to look for at my own local farmers' market.

Even better, you can subscribe to the podcast of Good Food for free. See the link above for instructions.

Eat Feed. A podcast without an associated radio show! I just discovered Eat Feed, and have only listened to a few episodes, but I'm enjoying it a lot. They find some great people to interview, and often get to talk to them at greater length than the quick "sound bite" interviews of some of the radio shows. I particularly enjoyed a recent podcast on food of the British Isles, with a nice segment on Scottish whisky.

Eat Feed is also free, and you can find details on how to subscribe on their website.

On Food with Hsaio-Ching Chou. Hsaio-Ching Chou is a food editor/writer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Each of her podcasts is an interview with a food personality (usually a cookbook writer or chef). The interviews have a nice relaxed, chatty feel, like you're sitting in a fine restaurant eavesdropping on the conversation of two knowledgeable foodies at the table next door. My only major complaint is that the podcasts are quite irregular in length, and are fairly short (averaging perhaps 20 minutes each). This means that it takes two to three to cover an entire workout session.

You can subscribe on On Food with Hsaio-Ching Chou for free. See the link above.

That's not by any means an exhaustive list of all the food-related podcasts out there. In particular, I know that there are specialty podcasts for wine enthusiasts, coffee fanatics, and others. But these are the ones that I keep listening to week after week.

Posted by spaceling at January 4, 2006 09:34 AM


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