MSG Podcasts

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To celebrate its one year anniversary, this month’s Masters of Social Gastronomy Podcast takes on its namesake: monosodium glutamate (MSG)! Savory spice or fatal flavor?

Sarah Lohman of Four Pounds Flour will track MSG back to its source in traditional Japanese food, showing how time and money can turned an innocuous plant into the darling of mass production

Soma will take on modern-day interpretations of MSG, from its role in “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” to its many relatives hiding in everyday foods. Science fact will be separated from science fiction as myths are deflated and truths laid bare.

BONUS TRACK! “Storytime” from the Monosodium Glutamate lecture. Soma and Sarah toast to one year of MSG talks with fish sauce diluted to the color of “honey wine.” Sarah bitches about the deception propagated by chic kitchen product “Umami Paste #5.”

 
 

MSG is our FREE monthly food science and history lecture, and this podcast is all about convenience food!

It’s evil, right?

Well, you may change your tune after Sarah’s Ode to Convenience Food in Three Parts: How Convenience Food Won the Civil War; How Convenience Food Almost Killed Us at the Turn of the Century; and How Convenience Food Liberated the Modern Woman.

Sarah is fairly certain modern society was built on the back of Borden’s Sweetened Condensed Milk, and at MSG, you’ll find out why.

Why does your bacon clamor about its lack of nitrites, but your soda keeps quiet about sodium benzoate? Soma will unwrap our love/hate relationship with modern preservatives, and how keeping our food safe may or may not kill us in the end. Learn to read the small print of food labeling with terrifying ease!
 
 

Each month, MSG takes on a curious food topic and breaks down the history, science, and stories behind it. In this podcast, Sarah Lohman of Four Pounds Flour will give you a run-down of vegetarianism in the west. From Benjamin Franklin’s ”Tow-fu” to Dr. Kellogg’s commercial “Protose,” we’ll explore just how long we’ve been eating things that masquerade as meat.

Soma will be taking charge of all your favorite modern imitation meats, exploring the many faces of soy and revealing the not-so-secret fungi factories that power your favorite frauds. We’ll take a look at crafting mock duck and tempeh at home, as well as where to shop if your culinary prowess fails.

Sarah Lohman of Four Pounds Flour will unearth the stories behind our favorite ice cream treats and share some of history’s wildest bygone flavors–that may be due for a revival. You’ll be able to answer questions like: which came first, chocolate or vanilla? The ice cream sandwich or the ice cream cone? Neapolitan or liquid nitrogen?

Then, Soma will tell you the science behind making the perfect batch at home, and Big Ice Cream’s tricks for plumping up their profit margins. We’ll also track frozen desserts across the globe, from Italian gelato to dondurma, the magically stretchy ice cream from Turkey.

 

 

Jonathan Soma of the Brooklyn Brainery will unravel the science behind inebriation, from the moment it hits your lips to your next-day regrets. Sarah Lohman, author of Four Pounds Flour, will unveil the history of drinking games, from Geisha Games to ancient Rock, Paper, Scissors.

 

 

From 19th-century “Punch Jelly,” to 20th-century “Jell-O Sea Dream with Shrimps” Sarah will discuss gelatin both beautiful and horrible.

Then, Soma will untangle the science of gelatin and its kin: stretch the boundaries of reality through an introduction to counterfeit Chinese eggs and the fancy-pants world of molecular gastronomy.

 

 

A special Masters of Social Gastronomy podcast short–all about RAW MILK! Sarah explores the history of the milk industry and why we pasteurize milk; Soma analyzes the scientific reasons to drink (or not to drink) raw milk. From swill milk to yellow milk to creamy milk to the lactose intolerant, we’ll answer the question: should you drink raw milk?

 

 

MSG tackles Candy! Sarah talks about the ancient origins of candy, and shares her recipe for chicken-flavored marshmallow peeps. Soma explores the science of candy making, and creates his own Atomic Fireballs, candy cigarettes and more.

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