As anyone who has taken to the open road can tell you, road trips are the perfect time to queue up a podcast. Not only will it keep your mind busy during long stretches of travel, but once you lose yourself in the story, it will also make those miles fly by.
The best part? Food podcasts are booming. What was once a niche market has exploded, and high-quality podcasts about all aspects of the food world are just a few clicks away.
Whether you want to gain insight into the workings of the food industry, be enlightened by a celebrity in the food world, or dive deep into a particular ingredient or culture, there’s a perfect food-based podcast for you.
This fantastic half-hour podcast from the Southern Food Alliance examines the nuances that have shaped Southern food culture. It gives a voice to those on the periphery who grow, cook, and serve Southern meals. The Southern Story of Coca-Cola‘s many twists and turns will keep you glued to your seat (which is good news because you’re in for the long haul anyway).
Now in its second second, this hour-long podcast promises “smart talk and shameless gossip with the food world’s most interesting people.” It’s one of the hottest food-themed podcasts around, thanks to hosts Greg Morabito and Helen Rosner. While they are immersed in the food world, they don’t take themselves too seriously.
This podcast focusing on women in the food world is perfect to listen to if you’re on the road with your girlfriends. Each week, Kerry Diamond, co-founder and editorial director of the bi-annual indie magazine Cherry Bombe, talks with the coolest chefs, bakers, pastry chefs, stylists, writers, and cookbook authors around. With over 100 episodes in the back catalogue and episodes clocking in at under an hour, you have your pick of content to choose from.
4. Burnt Toast
Food52’s quirky podcast will definitely spark discussion amongst everyone on your trip. For every off-beat topic (like What’s the worst food in White House History?) they include a writer, chef, or artisanal craftsman to toss in their two cents, which keeps the episode lively. Most episodes are under a half hour — perfect for when you need just a little time to fill during your trip.
Read more: the 16 Best Adventure Outdoors Podcasts
This radio documentary series lets food celebrities and restauranteurs share what events shaped their career in food and their outlook on the industry with minimal intrusion from the host. It’s almost like listening to a book on tape.
6. Spilled Milk
The hilarious podcast from writer/comedians Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton has the pair ruminating on a particular food item. For instance, in a recent episode they taste tested various candy bars you’d find at a gas station. It’s a hoot and will break up any monotony you’re feeling in the seventh hour of your drive.
7. The Sporkful
Dan Pashman’s podcast “isn’t for foodies — it’s for eaters.” Each episode tackles ridiculous food-ish minutiae, like How a Food Emoji Gets Made, or Is Cereal a Soup? Episodes are quick, irreverent, fun, and approachable — perfect if you don’t have a foodie in your car because they won’t feel alienated.
Linda Pelaccio is a culinary historian and her podcast is a must for history buffs who love exploring the link between foods of yesterday and today. From the evolution of industrialized meat to Roman food culture, her backlog of nearly 300 episodes covers a lot of ground. Sure, it’s a little more scholarly than your average food podcast, but if you’re up for it, she offers the listener a fascinating journey through time.
If you like politics, science, and pop culture, this podcast from the people at Mother Jones magazine will be right up your alley. Blogger Tom Philpott and Mother Jones editors Kiera Butler and Maddie Oatman gab with writers, farmers, scientists, and chefs on topics that range from stress-eating to immigration policy. If you’re traveling and want to be up on the latest food issues, this podcast will keep you in the know about what’s happening in the zeitgeist.
On Francis Lam’s awesome, long-running food-based podcast, he engages in discussions with movers and shakers in the food world. Together they address all aspects of the food industry, like the ins and outs of fine dining, food myths, and interesting ingredients. If you’re passionate about the food world, you’ll love this show. Listening to an expert like Francis Lam will feel like you’re sharing your trip with a smart, cool friend.