Food and cultural identity: podcasts to better understand this link

Apr 18 2023, 14:20 | by Michela Becchi
It is now well known that food is the vehicle of varied messages. We've rounded up a series of podcasts that use cuisine as a key to understanding identity and much more.

BIPOC Podcasts: Talking about cultural identity through food

Black, indigenous and people of colour is the meaning of the acronym BIPOC, which began to spread in 2020 following the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement. In actual fact, the term had already started circulating on Twitter in 2013, but it gained traction following the death of George Floyd. It's an acronym designed to be as inclusive as possible, involving all black people, of technical or racialized minorities, to which there is no real equivalent in the Italian language. We therefore chose to continue using the BIPOC definition to talk about podcasts that address the interaction between race and food, culture, agriculture and culture, health and well-being. They are all in English – a reflection on the need to address this issue in Italy is a must at this point – available on Spotify or Apple, some still in progress, others already completed.

BIPOC podcasts to listen to

A Hungry Society

What better way than food to learn about different cultures? It is from this point that the project by Korsha Wilson was born – food writer and creator of A Hungry Society – created to promote diversified and inclusive conversations in the world of cooking. Every week Wilson welcomes new guests to analyse the current state of gastronomy and understand what role food plays in their lives: hers is also Boundless Horizon, a podcast that analyses African-American culinary culture and its impact on restaurants in the United States.

Must-listen episode: Professor Krishnendu Ray on how food culture is shaped

The Racist Sandwich

An 80-episode series that addresses the various problems surrounding race, class and gender in the world of food and wine, starting from the assumption that every consumer choice in the food sector is a political act. The idea came from journalist Zahir Janmohamed and food critic Soleil Ho, who met by chance at a party where they immediately started discussing racism and sexism in the restaurant industry. The intuition was immediate, as was the name linked to the media story involving the principal of a Portland school, unjustly accused of having defined peanut butter and jam sandwiches as racist.

Must-listen episode: Coffee level over 9000 (w/ Nick Cho)

Black Girls Eating

The first question is always the same: how did you fall in love with food? It's what food blogger Candace Boyd and cookbook author (as well as former Masterchef competitor) Tanorria Askew ask all their guests in the Black Girls Eating podcast, delving into childhood memories, which almost always have to do with grandmothers and family meals. The episodes are divided into two types: interviews and conversations between the two creators who, as they like to say, with these chats undertake to "create their table and also some problems."

Must-listen episode: Chicken thigh chronicles

The Color of Wine

Two siblings, a common passion for food, wine and good music, and voilà Love&Vines, a site that tells their adventures around wine bars, cellars and vineyards, complete with advice for wine/music pairing. music. Shomari Bowman has twenty years of experience in the dining world, while her sister Sukari is a lover of fine drinking: together they created The Color of Wine podcast to represent BIPOC professionals in the wine sector, from sommeliers to producers, from buyers to entrepreneurs, dedicating an entire episode to each.

Must-listen episode: The Color of Wine Presents: Black Wine Professionals

Black in the garden

In recent years, a sort of mania for indoor plants has exploded, especially among Millennials, on whom taking care of plants seems to have particularly beneficial effects. Thus, comedian and content creator Colah B Tawkin developed her podcast imagining it as the perfect background to this practice, to be listened to while watering flowers and plants. What does this have to do with BIPOC food and culture? A lot, actually, because the project was created to shed light on the world of horticulture and invite listeners to reflect on the origin and production of the foods they usually consume. With her frank, confidential and intimate way, Colah manages to deal with the most varied topics, going from advice on keeping a pineapple plant alive to child labour.

Must-listen episode: The real cost of chocolate

Black Desserts

This is the podcast of Black Food Folks, a community born in 2019 to provide resources to BIPOC professionals working in the food industry. A project conceived by Clay Williams and Colleen Vincent – already active in the James Beard Foundation, an organisation that promotes fair and sustainable dining – aimed at giving space to the black community within the gastronomic field. The Black Desserts podcast consists of a series of interviews with chefs, pastry chefs, chocolatiers and entrepreneurs to better understand their working background, success and possible difficulties in the sector.

Must-listen episode: Bakesale Resistance

Afros and Knives

A podcast to highlight all Black women working in the world of food, wine and hospitality, created by chef and freelance writer Tiffani Rozier. Each episode presents a woman who works in the food and wine sector, invited to tell about her experience, the obstacles encountered and her career path, with the aim of highlighting the important role that many black women play in Western cuisine.

Must-listen episode: Investor and Serial Entrepreneur Fawn Weaver on Risk-Taking, Strategy, and Legacy

Edible Activist

Entrepreneur and activist Melissa L. Jones has created a podcast entirely dedicated to black people who work in the agri-food sector, a series comprising stories, anecdotes and different perspectives. Stories that revolve around community projects, designed for the well-being of the community and the environment, conceived by farmers, peasants, artists, people with different professional paths and backgrounds who choose every day to fight for a change that, very often, begins at the table.

Must-listen episode: Why the color of food activism matters

by Michela Becchi


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