Podcast: Fake Meat!


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.

And if you live in the New York City area, come on out to see MSG LIVE at Public Assembly in Williamsburg on Tuesday, January 29th.

Podcast: MSG Screams for Ice Cream

I don’t care that we got a half a foot of snow last night–that’s all the more reason to eat ice cream! So in preparation for holiday gorging (pies a la mode!!), an hour on the history and science of ice cream.

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.

Podcast: GET TIPSY Alcohol and Drinking Games

The latest Masters of Social Gastronomy podcast! 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.

And now all the podcasts have a home on the MSG Podcast Page here! You can also subscribe via Itunes here!

Podcasts: MSG Gets the Jigglies & Wigglies

The Masters of Social Gastronomy podcast talks the science and history of GELATIN!

Sarah will discuss the origins of gelatinous desserts, starting long ago when jiggly delights were made with drippings from beef stew or extracts from the swimbladders of sturgeon. Then she’ll take on that modern wonder: Jell-O! She’ll explore the greatest atrocities and wildest successes of the 20th century Jell-O mold. From 19th-century “Punch Jelly,” to 20th-century “Jell-O Sea Dream with Shrimps” you will hear about gelatin both beautiful and horrible.

Then, Soma will untangle the science of gelatin and its kin, introducing a few lesser-known relatives along the way. How’d we get the wiggle in those jigglers? Find out where killer bacteria and Jell-O meet on the other side, and dive into the amazing world of edible dishware. Stretch the boundaries of reality through an introduction to counterfeit Chinese eggs and the fancy-pants world of molecular gastronomy.

You can subscribe to the MSG podcast via ITUNES here.

Read More!

JELL-O: A Biography

Hello, Jell-O!: 50+ Inventive Recipes for Gelatin Treats and Jiggly Sweets

Jelly Shot Test Kitchen: Jell-ing Classic Cocktails-One Drink at a Time

Origin of a Dish: The Jell-o Shot


The Masters of Social Gastronomy Podcast: RAW MILK!

My monthly lecture series with Jonathan Soma of the Brooklyn Brainery, Masters of Social Gastronomy, has begun podcasting here!  Monthly updates will feature recordings of our live events (in case you miss them, or don’t live in the NYC area) as well as exclusive online content.

This month, we’re presenting a web-only podcast on the science, history, and controversy surrounding the consumption on unpasteurized (raw) milk.

It’s 18 minutes of facts and laughs. Listen above, or download it here.

For further reading, here are some relevant links:

The Official Masters of Social Gastronomy Tumblr, for related articles and future events: http://hellomsg.tumblr.com/

“The Swill is Gone” – op-ed in New York Times about the history of bad milk in New York.

“The Great Milk Wars” on Brooklyn Brownstowner, has some images of swill milk cows.

“Taste Test: Local New York Milk” on Serious Eats.

A Raw Milk Taste-Test” follow-up to “Raw Deal,” The New Yorker’s article on raw milk.   New Yorker Culture Desk blog.

And I want to thank the Lower East Side Tenement Museum for providing much of what I know about the history of milk in New York City.  The Museum gives a tour called Irish Outsiders which focuses on sanitary conditions, health and adulterated milk supplies in mid-19th century New York.


Thoughts on the raw milk debate?  Please feel free to leave a comment on this post.

And for more MSG podcasts, check out the recording of our live lecture on the history and science of Candy here!