Show cover of Food Non-Fiction

Food Non-Fiction

Food Non-Fiction tells the incredible true stories behind food. We look forward to taking you on this wild food journey - through history, and around the world. Think of us as food historians, food scientists, and food journalists.


#73 Ignacio Nicknamed Nacho
This Food Non-Fiction episode tells the incredible true story of nachos. This snack was created by and named after Ignacio Anaya who's nickname was Nacho.
12:04 10/21/20
#72 When Impossible Burgers Became Possible
This Food Non-Fiction episode tells the incredible true story of meat alternatives. We talk about the early history of meat alternatives and then we talk to the Impossible Foods team to understand how this modern meat alternative was created.
25:41 4/14/20
#71 Pass the Tofurky
This is an in-depth interview with the wonderful person who created Tofurky. Seth Tibbott founded Turtle Island Foods which is still a family owned company today. 
38:57 5/20/19
#70 Craft Beer Beginnings
This is the story of the beginnings of craft beer. We tell you how this "craft beer" concept emerged. In this episode, we interviewed John Holl - a beer expert and journalist, Renee DeLuca - the daughter of the craft beer pioneer Jack McAuliffe, and professor Michael Lewis who has taught brewing for decades. 
17:25 12/24/18
#69 The Oreo Story
This is the story of where Oreo came from, how it got its name, and who designed the cookie.
28:23 8/24/18
#68 Kombucha: The Tea of Immortality
Kombucha has been referred to as the tea of immortality. So where did it come from and what are the actual health benefits? In this episode, we talk to the experts to learn about the history and the process of brewing kombucha.
21:23 6/18/18
#67 Nutella Since Napoleon
In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about the origins of Nutella - starting from when cocoa met hazelnut!
13:50 12/31/17
#66 The Monastery Breweries
In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk to one of the authors of Trappist Beer Travels. Caroline Wallace and her two co-authors visited the 11 Trappist monastery breweries, learning the stories and history behind each of these breweries.  Here is a link to the book website for Trappist Beer Travels
21:10 11/1/17
#65 And This Led to Corn Flakes
Lots of people know the story of how cornflakes were created - this is the story of why. Thank You To Our Interviewee: Dr. Brian Wilson Thank You To Looperman Artists: Melody 126 Beats by Purge Ambellient by Danke Edm pluck for intro by capostipite Edm synth for verse by capostipite
17:25 7/31/17
#64 How Fondue Became Popular
This is the origin story of fondue and how it became a popular dish. Thank You To Our Interviewee: Belinda Hulin Thank You To Looperman Artists: Poppy Acoustic (parts 1, 2, and 3) by BradoSanz Edm pluck_for_intro by capostipite EDM Trap Perc Melody by 7venth12
16:17 7/2/17
#63 Tony the Tiger
This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is about the famous cereal mascot - Tony the Tiger. Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music: Apollo by SANTIAGOO  
05:01 5/22/17
#62 - The Palace Kitchen
In this Food Non-Fiction episode, we talk to Peter Brears about what it was like to work in King Henry VIII's kitchen.  Thank you to our interviewee: Peter Brears - author of "Cooking & Dining in Tudor & Early Stuart England" Thank you to Looperman artists: Bright Absurdity - Hip-hop Piano by JulietStarling xxiii Sampled Medieval Italian Acoustic Guitar by Julietstarling Artisticstrings HD Part 1 by Jawadalblooshi Dusted Jazz Loop by LeuNatic Brass - 10 - 130 Bpm by SoleilxLune AV Melody Loop 4 by Angelicvibes
18:46 3/6/17
#61 - Turnspit Dogs
This is the incredible true story of Turnspit Dogs.  The turnspit dog is an extinct breed of dog. This breed was used in kitchens to turn roasting spits back when roasting was done over an open fire, rather than in an oven. The earliest known reference to to this breed is in a book called "De Canibus Britannicis" by Dr. Caius. In this book, which was published in 1570, turnspit dogs were described as a kitchen service dog.  Turnspit dogs were put into wooden wheels (that looked like giant hamster wheels), and made to run inside the wheel, which turned a chain, which turned the spit.  Thank You to Our Interviewee: Ciara Farrell from The Kennel Club Thank You to this Looperman Artist for the Music: Melody by Slice0fCake
17:43 1/29/17
#60 The Carrot Myth
Did your parents ever tell you that carrots improve your night vision? Have you ever heard that this is a myth? So what is the real story? Thank You to Our Interviewee: Maya Hirschman from The Secrets of Radar Museum Thank You to This Looperman Artist for the Music: Piano Loop Will-Power 94 by designedimpression Special Thanks to Public Service Broadcasting for the Music: Visit their site!
13:48 12/1/16
#59 Trick Or Treat!
This episode explores the history of Halloween and the vague beginnings of trick or treating! Thank You To Our Interviewee: Professor Nick Rogers Thank You To Looperman Artists for the Music: Melody by Slice0fCake Father Grimlin - Temperament Strings by JulietStarling Dark Creepy Piano by Zaqsi  
12:30 10/31/16
#58 All Your Favorite Chocolates
Inspired by the book, "Chocolate Wars", by Deborah Cadbury, today we're telling you the incredible true story of how how the biggest chocolate companies in the world fought for our tummies and tastebuds through innovation after innovation that eventually turned cocoa products from a drink, to an edible chocolate, to a milk chocolate powder, and finally, to our beloved milk chocolate bar. In the 1860s/70s cadbury experimented with and successfully created the first mass-manufactured chocolate bar. Milk chocolate bars did not yet exist at this time, so it would have been a plain dark chocolate bar. This was a big breakthrough. The fact that these bars could be mass-produced meant that they could be cheaper...more affordable, so more people could buy it and try it. By the 1890s, everyone in Britain was buying cocoa products - it was no longer just an exotic treat for the rich. In the decade from 1890 to 1900, the amount of cocoa consumed in Britain was doubled. Over in Switzerland, around the same time that Cadbury had managed to mass-produce their plain chocolate bar, Daniel Peter was working on making the world’s first milk chocolate powder. We know that Daniel Peter happened to be neighbors with Henri Nestlé of Nestle fame. And according to one story, Daniel had a baby daughter, named Rose, who wouldn’t take breast milk. So he asked his neighbor Henri for help, because he had just started selling a powdered milk developed for babies. So baby Rose was saved, because she could drink Nestlé’s powdered milk. At the same time her father, Daniel, got the idea to use the powdered milk to create a milk chocolate powder, which of course did not exist at the time. Although, people were already drinking cocoa powder with milk, so they would have been familiar with the flavor. In 1875, Daniel su cceeded in making the world’s first milk chocolate powder - it was called “Chocolats au Lait Gala Peter”. It was a success. He thought about making his drink into a chocolate bar...a milk chocolate bar. After years of working to create a milk chocolate bar, Daniel finally created one he could sell - he called it “Gala Peter”. The year was 1886. Elsewhere in Switzerland, at around the same time, another important chocolate innovation was happening. Rodolphe Lindt, of Lindt chocolate fame, created a much smoother chocolate after pressing the beans for longer than the norm. He experimented with different temperatures and timings to get as much cocoa butter folded into his mix as possible. This created a delicious melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. (Even today Lindt chocolates are known to be silky smooth.) He invented a machine called “a conch” because it looked like a conch shell. Chocolate bars used to be hard and gritty, but now they could be softer and smoother. So what we’re seeing at this time is more and more people getting into the business of cocoa, and working hard and innovating to get ahead. Now, back in Britain, Cadbury’s innovations made them very successful. As Quakers, George and Richard Cadbury wanted to use their money to create an ideal place for their employees to work. In 1878, they bought the idyllic land for their model factory that would be surrounded by nature. The factory was a manufacturing marvel. It was built to be one-storey tall, so that goods would not have to go up and down stairs. And they built cottages and gardens around it with spaces to play sports or relax. They called the model Town Bournville, and Bournville would be the inspiration for model towns to come. Including, the town of Hershey, which we’ve done an episode on. At around this time in the 1870s, young Milton Hershey was still in Philadelphia trying to make his candy shop successful. In England at that time the Quaker-led chocolate companies dominated. The 3 Quaker companies, Fry, Cadbury and Rowntree were all powerhouses. But they were all being threatened by European competition. You can imagine it must have been hard to compete with Lindt’s smooth chocolate and Peter’s milk chocolate coming out of Switzerland. So the Quaker firms discussed pricing and advertising with one another, essentially working together not to destroy each other. Cadbury had to figure out how to make a product that could compete with Swiss chocolate. After a trip to Switzerland and much experimentation, George Jr. created a chocolate bar you may have heard of - it was Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, and it launched way back in 1905. That means Dairy Milk has been around for over one hundred years. The first world war really leveled out the chocolate playing field. The big British Quaker companies, including Cadbury, had to withdraw their best products. The Swiss, including Nestle, were very impacted because their home market was small and they had relied on selling across Europe and abroad, but exporting became dangerous. The solution was to borrow a ton of money and invest in companies overseas. In America, Hershey was not affected by the first world war. And soon after the war, another chocolate contender surfaced in America alongside Hershey. It was Mars, which used to be called the Mar-O-Bar Company. The countline that was created was the Milky Way which launched in 1924 and made Frank Mars’s Mar-O-Bar Company a success. Frank Mars and his son Forrest Mars built a new factory and went on to launch Snickers and 3 Musketeers bars. In 1933, the father and son had a fight over how to run the business. After WWI, cadbury had to worry about competition from foreign companies like Nestle again. They had become more efficient after experiencing war-time rationing, and they knew they needed to use their efficiency to make and sell products more cheaply. They also knew that they needed to make fewer types of chocolate and focus on mass producing key products. Soon after WWI they launched Flake (1920), Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut bar (1926) which I love, and the original cream-filled chocolate egg (1923) which would eventually become today’s iconic Cadbury Creme Egg (1963). Like Cadbury, the other chocolate companies rolled out fantastic new chocolate bars in the post-WW1 period. In the 1930s Forrest Mars came out with Maltesers. Then Rowntree came out with tons of innovations like - Chocolate Crisp (which was eventually named Kit Kat), and also Aero, and Smarties. Eventually, Cadbury went public And then Cadbury was taken over by Kraft, which I just learned is now called Mondelez International Thank You to Our Interviewee: Deborah Cadbury Thank You to Looperman Artists: Guitars Unlimited - Reaching Home 1 by MINOR2GO Melody 126 Beats by Purge
15:56 10/12/16
#57 What Came First - the Cadbury or the Egg
In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we talk about the beginning of Cadbury. We go right back to a time before Cadbury even existed. Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music: happily ever after strings perfect for movie score by nbeats26 oboe 65 70 bpm by soleilxlune Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems For more information on the topic, we recommend this book: "Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers" by Deborah Cadbury
14:39 9/1/16
#56 Waffle Frolic
This Food Non-Fiction episode is about waffles! We talk about the beginning of waffles and the rise of waffles. Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music: Guitars Unlimited - Reaching Home 1 by MINOR2GO Guitars Unlimited - Reaching Home 2 by MINOR2GO happily ever after strings perfect for movie score by nbeats26
10:40 8/10/16
#55 The Sriracha Story
This is the story of the extremely popular and iconic Huy Fong Foods hot sauce - Sriracha. The company, Huy Fong Foods, is an American success story. The founder, David Tran, left Vietnam in 1979 and ended up in the U.S., along with many of his fellow refugees. He had been part of the Chinese minority in Vietnam, and because of his Chinese heritage, he had been pressured to leave after the Vietnam War.  David Tran missed the taste of the hot sauces from Vietnam, and also needed to make money, so he started the company, Huy Fong Foods, in 1980 in California. The company was named after the freighter that he took to leave Vietnam. It was named "Huey Fong". Huy Fong Foods has never spent money on advertising, but it continues to grow year after year. They make Sriracha from fresh red Jalapeno peppers, which comes from Underwood Ranches - their sole supplier. The peppers are delivered within hours of harvesting. It's believed that the original Sriracha sauce was created by a woman named Thanom Chakkapak from a coastal town in Thailand called Si Racha. The original sauce is still being produced, and it is called "Sriraja Panich". It is sweeter and runnier than the Huy Fong Foods brand Sriracha that we know so well. Thank You to Our Interviewees: Griffin Hammond Ernesto Hernandez-Lopez Craig Underwood Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music: relaxed chillout strings by rasputin1963 within reach piano by designedimpression DNB EXPLOSION Piano by frogdude34
17:17 7/26/16
BONUS Ep - Interview with Kyleena
Hey Food Buffs - This one is a bonus episode. Fakhri has a pizza place she loves - it's called Secret Stash - and she collected an interview with the owner, Kyleena Falzone. Thank You To Our Interviewee: Kyleena Falzone of Secret Stash
24:12 7/15/16
#54 Vending Machines - Past to Present
This episode is about vending machines. The first reference to a vending machine is from the 1st century AD in Egypt. The reference is in a book called “Pneumatika”, written by Hero of Alexandria. In it, there is a detailed description and a picture of a device, which dispensed water when you put in a five-drachma coin. This was invented for dispensing equal amounts of sacrificial water at Egyptian temples. This was a source of money for the Egyptian temples, and it also made sure everyone got the same amount of holy water. Here is how it worked: Imagine a teeter totter. When a coin was dropped into the holy water dispenser, it fell on one end of the teeter totter, causing the other end to lift up, also opening a little exit which let the holy water out. As the teeter totter moved down on the side with the coin, the coin eventually fell off. Once the coin fell, the teeter totter reset and the water exit closed. Unfortunately, one of these devices has never been found, so we don’t know if this was just a design concept or if it was actually used. In fact, we’re not even sure who invented it. It’s possible that the author of the book, Hero of Alexandria, invented it. It’s also possible that one of his predecessors, Ctesibius, invented it. After that, it wasn’t until the 1600s that more vending machines were introduced to the world. Around 1615, you could get tobacco from coin operated devices in English taverns and inns. Here’s how the tobacco device worked: When you put your coin in, it pressed a trigger that popped open the lid. These were very crude vending machines. After each use, you had to manually close it again. And you also had to watch to make sure people didn’t take everything in the box, because when the lid was open, you could just take all the tobacco. The next version of vending machines also appeared in England. Richard Carlile was a publisher and a bookseller who believed in freedom of the press. He had been arrested for selling political texts, so in 1822 he created a book vending machine, hoping to avoid more legal charges that way - because it would be the machine selling the books, not him. Anyhow, the courts did not agree with that logic, and he was still held responsible for selling the books. Moving on to 1857, we get the first patent for a fully automatic vending machine. It was called “A Self Acting Machine for the Delivery of Postage and Receipt Stamps”. That didn’t take off either. Finally, in England, 1883, we get a more successful vending machine. That year, Percival Everitt got his patent for a vending machine which dispensed postcards. With that vending machine, people could finally buy postcards when shops were closed. In 1888, the Adams Gum Company installed vending machines on the platforms of rail stations in New York. These vending machines were designed to sell Tutti-Frutti gum, and inspired the creation of more vending machines that sold small snacks like candy and peanuts. Gum was a great product to sell because it was cheap, it lasted a long time, and they came with no health concerns. Gum can also take a good amount of abuse. You can drop it without it breaking it, and it doesn’t melt when it gets hot out - the way chocolate bars do - so quality control was not an issue. In 1911, many of the big players in the vending machine business started to merge together to become the Autosales Gum and Chocolate Company. This company combined the major players in the chewing gum business, together holding 250 names and brands, and the major players in the vending machine making business, together controlling many patents and wide distribution. The idea behind the Autosales Gum and Chocolate Company was that their vending machines would sell small versions of the goods they wanted people to buy over the counter. The vending machines were a way to market the goods. But vending machines still had a long way to go before becoming the $43 billion industry it is today. The vending machine industry has been plagued with bad behaviour since the start. People abuse the machines. People hit vending machines when they don’t get their purchased item, they plug the coin slots with random objects for fun, drunk people pour beer into the coin slot, and people also use other objects to mimic coins - these mimics are called “slugs”. Slugs were a really big problem, especially in the early 1900s when vending machines were not great at identifying fake coins. In the 1940s vending machines improved their system for checking for slugs. Coins went through multiple tests before they were accepted by the machines. First, the vending machines would test the size of the coin. Then they tested for iron and steel with a magnet - if the coin was magnetic, it would be returned. Then the coin was tested for the proper weight. Then the coin was tested with metallurgy to check for the right composition (for example foreign currency was sometimes used and this test would uncover that). Real coins passed these 4 tests within a fraction of a second. Vending machines really took off in the post-WWII period. They were a convenient way to feed the workers in the factories. Factories also earned commission from vending machine sales. Over time, the technology became more sophisticated. Today, machines are great at detecting fake money, operators can monitor the machines remotely, sensors and machine-learning reduce the energy usage by turning off things like the lighting when there are no customers, and machines can take credit cards. The next step for the vending machine industry is to make vending machines a destination, rather than a last resort. Touch screen video displays and other interactive features are being added that are making vending machines much more fun. Thank you to our Interviewees: Tim Sanford - Editor-in-Chief of Vending Times Dr. Michael Kasavana - National Automatic Merchandising Association Endowed Professor Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music:  happily ever after strings perfect for movie score by nbeats26 Whats Goin Down by rasputin1963 Strings Universal - RIP Old Friend by MINOR2GO Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems  
21:04 6/23/16
#53 How Jell-O Became Popular
This episode tells the story of Jell-O from when it was first introduced in 1897. Because gelatin desserts like Jell-O used to be a food that only wealthy families could afford to eat, (it took a long time to prepare) people were unfamiliar with the product and it was hard to sell. It took some great marketing to get this product off the ground. Special Thanks to Interviewee: Lynne Belluscio and the Jell-O Gallery Museum Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music: relaxed chillout strings by rasputin1963 happily ever after strings perfect for movie score by nbeats26
17:30 6/9/16
#52 The Price of Vanilla
This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is about vanilla! We explain the causes behind the rise and fall of the price of vanilla. It is a product that has very erratic cycles of prices skyrocketing then crashing, skyrocketing then crashing. The supply never seems to match the demands. We discuss a possible solution to this - fair trade. Special Thanks to Our Interviewees: Felix Buccellato of Custom Essence Richard J. Brownell We highly recommend this book about vanilla: "Vanilla Orchids: Natural History and Cultivation" by Ken Cameron Thank You to Truekey for the Music, as well as Looperman Artists: Memories Acoustic 1 by BradoSanz chillwave bass and synth by Djpuzzle  Going Up by LarsM
12:43 5/20/16
#51 The Original Chocolate Chip Recipe
This episode is about the creation of the original chocolate chip cookie recipe by Ruth Wakefield in 1938. Ruth, along with her husband, was the owner of the famous Toll House Inn. As promised in the episode, here are 2 links to the original chocolate chip cookie recipe: Easier to read! With pictures! Thank you to Looperman Artists for the Music: Apollo by SANTIAGOO Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems Whats Goin Down by rasputin1963
12:38 5/11/16
#50 Hershey, Pennsylvania
We talk to the Hershey community archivist, Pam Whitenack and her colleagues about what it is really like to live in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Hershey is a model community that was built by Milton Hershey - the founder of The Hershey Company. It was built as a place for The Hershey Company employees to live. Unlike other factory towns, it was built with care and love, with great transportation, entertainment, and aesthetics. Special Thanks to Our Interviewees: Pam Whitenack and Anthony Haubert of the Hershey Community Archives Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music: Poppy Acoustic by BradoSanz Poppy Acoustic 2 by BradoSanz Poppy Acoustic 3 by BradoSanz Poppy Acoustic 4 by BradoSanz Bright Absurdity Hip-hop Piano by JulietStarling 1950s Rock-N-Roll Piano Riff by rasputin1963 Going Up by LarsM Nights Strings HD by jawadalblooshi FX - 34 - 80 Bpm by SoleilxLune
18:54 4/25/16
#49 Temple Grandin and The Slaughterhouse Revolution
This is a very special Food Non-Fiction podcast episode. We had the immense pleasure of interviewing one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the Heroes category of 2010. Her name is Temple Grandin. She is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. In North America, over half the cattle are handled in the humane systems designed by Dr. Grandin. Thank You to Our Esteemed Guests: Temple Grandin Christopher Monger Mark Deesing Special Thanks to: David Porter and Rachel Winks of for all your help. Thank You to Looperman Artists for the Music: Memories Acoustic 1 by BradoSanz  Ambellient by Danke Primitive Piano by Danke  Nasty Patterns 4 by flsouto Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems Whats Goin Down by rasputin1963 Concert Cello - Heaven by kickklee Piano Quality Cajsa by MINOR2GO SynCato by DesignedImpression Credit to Rosalie Winard for the photos of Temple Grandin
25:56 4/13/16
#48 The Poison Squad
In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the incredible true story of The Poison Squad. Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music: SynCato by DesignedImpression 1950s Rock N Roll Piano Riff by rasputin1963 Food non-fiction 1 & 2 Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems Special thanks to the musician, truekey, for writing music for Food Non-Fiction: Soundcloud Twitter: @truekeymusic
11:23 4/7/16
#47 The Life of Heinz
In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the incredible true story of Henry John Heinz - the founder of the H.J. Heinz Company and the maker of everybody's favorite ketchup. Special Thanks to Looperman Artists for the Music: Liar Piano - 1 of 5 Sounds by RicoBeatz Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems Bright Absurdity - Hip-hop Piano by JulietStarling Liar Guitar FLEX - 4 of 5 Sounds by RicoBeatz Piano Quality - Love Confession 2 by MINOR2GO Piano Quality - Love Confession 1 by MINOR2GO If you'd like to know more about this topic, we strongly recommend the book "H.J. Heinz: A Biography" by Quentin R. Skrabec - we relied heavily on this source for this episode.
12:43 3/26/16
#46 Ketchup Before Tomatoes
In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we tell the incredible true story of ketchup. Thank you to this Looperman Artist for the Music: 1950s Rock N Roll Piano Riff by rasputin1963 Special thanks to the musician, truekey, for writing music for Food Non-Fiction: Soundcloud Twitter: @truekeymusic
11:20 3/18/16
#45 Tupperware Parties
In this Food Non-Fiction episode, we tell the incredible true story of the Tupperware Party. Every few seconds, someone somewhere in the world is hosting a Tupperware Party. In a world where everything is sold online, Tupperware sells their product through Tupperware Parties. If you haven't attended a Tupperware party, it's unlikely that you own actual Tupperware brand Tupperware. That's right - Tupperware is a brand. It's one of those brands, like Frisbee and Kleenex, with a name that has become synonymous with the product. If Tupperware Parties didn't exist, it's possible that tupperware would not exist. And without tupperware, we might still be covering our dishes in shower caps. When tupperware first hit the market, it was a huge dud. Even with tons of marketing, the inventor, Earl Tupper, could not increase sales. However, while no one was buying tupperware from stores, people were buying tupperware from independent sales people hosting parties, utilizing the "party plan" sales method. This is because back when people were not familiar with tupperware, it had to be demonstrated for people to recognize what a great product it was. Brownie Wise was a superstar at selling tupperware through Tupperware Parties. Earl Tupper hired her to create a sales force and she created a huge and loyal network of salespeople.  Special Thanks To Our Interviewee: Caroline Schoofs Thank You To Looperman Artists for the Music: Funky Guitar by Neems 1 by Neems Bright Absurdity - Hip-hop Piano by JulietStarling
11:09 3/10/16

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