culinary history

Frederic Tudor, the Ice King

Tudor hatched a clever plan: In cold weather, he would harvest ice for cheap, and then sell it all around the world when it was hot, singlehandedly turning ice into a commodity and becoming vastly wealthy in the process.

A Brief History of Foreign Food in the U.S.

One of the most diverse things about the U.S. is its food industry. Foodies obsessively seek out the “authentic” flavors of any given culture. But many of the foods brought to the U.S. via immigration were initially viewed with suspicion and disdain.

John Kidwell and the Founding of Hawaii’s Pineapple Industry

From his start as an apprentice to a nurseryman in London, John Kidwell would go on to catalyze the establishment of Hawaii’s pineapple industry. His story is tied to the white business-driven Reform Party and its coup over the Hawaiian monarchy.

Beer History with Erik Lars Myers

Erik Lars Myers, founder, CEO and head brewer at Mystery Brewing Company, talks about the history of beer, including how it connects to charity, nutrition and humans' first development of agriculture.

Interview: Anne Byrn's 'American Cake'

Baking expert Anne Byrn joins Holly to talk about the place of cake in U.S. history, from the early colonies right up to the modern era. The relationship between kitchen and culture is evidenced in Anne's research about sweet treats in America.

Butter v. Margarine

Industries and governments had a really weird preoccupation with protecting people from margarine way before it was made with the hydrogenated oils that led to its unhealthy reputation in more recent years. There's even bootlegging involved.

A Brief History of Moonshine

People have fermented foods to make alcohol for much of human history. For this episode, when we refer to "moonshine," we're talking specifically about illegal liquor North America.

Good Humor v. Popsicle

There was a time when Popsicle and Good Humor couldn't stop suing one another about frozen treats on sticks. Many legal battles were fought over milk fat, the shapes of the desserts and the definition of the word "sherbet."

A Brief History of Peanut Butter

Peanut butter got its name in the 18th century, but it's been around in some form for hundreds and hundreds of years. The more modern history of the spread features changes to the recipe and even a little litigation with the FDA.

The American Hippo Ranch Plan, Part 2

Once the effort to import hippos to the U.S. got the backing of a politician, two men with wild and intertwined histories, Frederick Russel Burnham and Fritz Duquesne, were brought on board to serve as experts and advocates. Read the show notes here.