I’ve been listening to lots of food podcasts lately so I thought I’d give a little summary of my favorites. What is a podcast you might ask? Simply put, podcasts are audio or video files that are available via the web. You can think of them as a radio shows you can listen to at your convenience. Despite the fact that it contains “pod” in the name, you don’t need an iPod in order to listen. You can download podcasts and play them on any Mp3 player or you can listen to them right on your computer. The benefit of podcasts is that you can subscribe to them using simple software known as an aggregator, often called a podcatcher. When you subscribe to a podcast, your podcatching software will either download new episodes of your favorite podcasts automatically or notify you when new episodes are available, allowing you to download them at a time that best suits you. iTunes, Juice and Amarok will all allow you to subscribe to podcasts. I prefer to use Amarok since it is designed for linux users like me.

Bon Appetit – Like the monthly magazine, Bon Appetit’s podcasts cover a wide range of food-related topics. The podcasts are usually paired with an article in the current issue of the magazine, but they are not just a recap of the contents of the article. Instead, the articles are used more as a branching off point. For example, a magazine article about margarita recipes may be fodder for a podcast on types of tequila. Bon Appetit’s podcasts are hosted on a rotating basis by the magazine’s editors (I like the ones with Associate Editor Andrew Knowlton the best.) The podcasts are nice and short, averaging about 15 minutes each. New podcasts come out every Tuesday.

Good Food – Good Food is Santa Monica Public Radio/KCRW’s weekly food show. It is hosted by Evan Kleiman. The shows feature a wide range of food topics from restaurant reviews to food politics to specific ingredients. Each show starts off with a report from the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market about what’s in season and how to prepare it (which means that I can start planning meals several months in advance for when those ingredients finally come into season in my area.) Podcasts are around 1 hour each and are available every Saturday.

Splendid Table – I have always loved Lynne Rosetto Kaspar’s wonderful NPR radio show, The Splendid Table. She is so exuberant and enthusiastic about food, you can’t help but smile when listening. Now that the show is available as a podcast, I can listen whenever I want (usually Saturday mornings over coffee.) The first part of the show is devoted to interviews with guests; the second half features listener questions and sometimes my favorite segment, Stump the Chef, where Lynne has to come up with a delicious meal based on 5 ingredients in a caller’s fridge. Christopher Kimball of America’s Test Kitchen serves as judge and deems whether Lynne’s creation is edible or not. Podcasts are about 1 hour long and are available every Saturday.

Eat Feed – Eat Feed was the very first food podcast I ever listened to. It is hosted by Anne Bramley. Ms. Bramley, with her soothing voice and food scholar intelligence, provides a very insightful podcast. The podcasts are broken up into four “channels” each with a different focus. There is “Amuse Bouche”, which focuses on food terms and their history, “In Season” (self-explanatory), “Eat Feed Midwest”, which highlights Midwestern cuisine and can be very enlightening for a West Coaster like me, and “Now Serving”, in which Anne Bramley teams up with Leite’s Culinaria’s David Leite to explore what is happening in food today. Since it was my first podcast, Eat Feed will always be my favorite. John Edwards is supposedly a fan too!

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