By America's Test Kitchen

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Subscribers: 1119
Reviews: 4

Daniel Evans
 May 29, 2020
*Currently attempting to write adequately glowing review.

 Feb 4, 2020

John B
 Nov 18, 2019
A great food and food adjacent podcast. Lovely!

 Nov 10, 2018
A very interesting podcast! Definitely worth a listen.


We tell the weird and surprising and funny backstories around food and drink. The tales we haven’t all heard yet, the ones that have been lost, the under-told. This is not a recipe show. And this is not a show about celebrity chefs or what they like to eat. Proof goes beyond recipes and cooking to investigate the foods we love (tiki drinks) and don't love (the grain bowl); ask the big questions (where do food cravings come from?); and uncover the hidden backstories that feed your food-obsessed brain. Hosted by Bridget Lancaster. A production of America's Test Kitchen.

Episode Date
Hive Heist

A new branch of crime has emerged in central California under cover of mass almond groves: the theft of beehives. Why? Because they’re really valuable. The American honey economy has crashed, leading beekeepers to find other sources of income for their bees. The burgeoning US Almond industry was just the key. But it's a dangerous gig for the bees, making their hive rental fees steep and a perfect target for organized crime. 

Sep 24, 2020
You're a Good Man, Brady Keys

After Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in 1968, Civil Rights leaders, fast food corporations, and the Nixon administration began an unlikely collaboration: to promote “Black Capitalism” in the fast food industry. The idea was this: promoting Black franchise business ownership in Black neighborhoods could improve the quality of Black life in America. Brady Keys was the king of Nixon’s Black capitalism. He received upwards of 9 million dollars in federal money to develop his fast food franchise, All-Pro Chicken, and collaborated with KFC and Burger King in ground-breaking franchise deals. Keys’ story is a case study of Black business ownership in the ‘60s, when the path to Civil Rights was paved with profits.

Sep 18, 2020
You’re a Good Man, Brady Keys

After Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in 1968, Civil Rights leaders, fast food corporations, and the Nixon administration began an unlikely collaboration: to promote “Black Capitalism” in the fast food industry. The idea was this: promoting Black franchise business ownership in Black neighborhoods could improve the quality of Black life in America. Brady Keys was the king of Nixon’s Black capitalism. He received upwards of 9 million dollars in federal money to develop his fast food franchise, All-Pro Chicken, and collaborated with KFC and Burger King in ground-breaking franchise deals. Keys’ story is a case study of Black business ownership in the ‘60s, when the path to Civil Rights was paved with profits.

Sep 17, 2020
The Case of the Disappearing Franchise

Historian/Fast-food Detective Marcia Chatelain is our guide as we explore the cases of American fast food franchises that once were, until they vanished without a trace. The Mid-century was the height of fast-food franchising: McDonalds, KFC, White Castle. But what about the chains that didn’t survive? From pyramid schemes and copycats to acquisitions and fish wars, we explore the culprits in the cases of the disappearing franchise.

Sep 10, 2020
The Mysterious Yamei Kin

Dr. Yamei Kin was orphaned by her parents at a young age, and adopted by missionaries. She became one of the first Chinese women to receive a medical degree. In the 1910s, the USDA hired Dr. Kin to research high-protein foods in light of World War I shortages. But she was never able to position tofu as a respectable ingredient in the American diet. Why wasn’t the West ready for Tofu?

Sep 03, 2020
Will The Real Mr. Oreo Please Stand Up?

A collaboration with Business Insider’s Brought To You By. In this three-part story, we tell the history of the Biscuit Wars of the early 1900s. Then, we learn of one woman’s relationship with Oreos as an expression of rebellion to her Jewish roots’ Kosher rules. Lastly, we also uncover the real story behind Mr. Oreo, the man who somehow got credit for inventing the current Oreo cream filling. 

Aug 27, 2020
The Search for the Queerest Food

In John Birdsall’s 2014 article, "America, Your Food is so Gay," he describes a particularly indulgent cheese burger as "unflinchingly queer." For reporter Chad Chenail, this sparked a journey of self-discovery through queer theory, all in an attempt to answer the question: What is the Queerest food?

Aug 20, 2020
Season 5 starts August 20

Queer food, beehive theft, Nixon-sponsored fast food, and searching for Mr. Oreo. We're back with more of the food stories you love. Tune in for Season 5 of Proof beginning August 20.

Aug 06, 2020
Summer Cocktails 101

According to cocktail expert Dan Zucarello, the basic Daiquiri might be the queen of all cocktails. Learn these cocktail fundamentals, and your summer will be filled with delicious drinks.

Jul 30, 2020
Wine and Whisky Copycats

Some new wines and spirits are being created in the lab, not the cask. Using flavor technology, companies are able to replicate artisan wines and spirits at a fraction of the price. But, is there art in that too?

Jul 23, 2020
Quaran-tiny Sourdough Starter

Creating a sourdough starter can be difficult during a pandemic. Sourdough Guru, Andrew Janjigian is here to help.

Jul 16, 2020
Science Diction: Umami

Science Diction host Johanna Mayer joins Bridget to talk about the history of Umami and MSG.

Jul 09, 2020
[Bonus] Brought To You By from Business Insider: Jack Daniel's

While we work on our next season, here's another podcast to check out: Brought To You By from Business Insider. Jack Daniel’s is the top-selling whiskey in the world. For more than 150 years, it’s been made using time-honored methods that go back to when Jack Daniel made the whiskey himself. (Yes, he was a real person.) But who taught “Mr. Jack” how to make that whiskey? Nearest Green, a formerly enslaved man. Unlike Jack Daniel, though, most people don’t know his name, so one woman has made it her mission to tell the world his story one sip at a time.

Jun 04, 2020
Exodus Bagels: A Small Business and COVID-19

The restaurant industry has been especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. 8 million restaurant jobs have disappeared around the country and some are projecting $80 billion in lost revenue in March and April alone. But behind the numbers and headlines are real people. This is the story of one family, struggling to save their bagel cafe in Boston. 

Take our Season 4 survey!

May 28, 2020
The Reconstruction of A Royal Cake

In 1947, the Peek Freans bakery of Bermondsey made a beautiful royal wedding cake for Queen Elizabeth’s nuptials to Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh. It was a showstopper: 6 feet tall, 6 tiers, and covered in beautiful white royal icing and exquisite decorations. The Peek Freans bakers were so proud of the cake, that they immediately made a replica, which sat on display for decades. Queen Elizabeth’s replica wedding cake would end up in a museum. Until one day in 2015, when it was destroyed by vandals. They turned it upside down, splashed it with red paint, and marked it with “A” for anarchy. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Over the next two years, hundreds of people would come together to make yet another replica of the replica royal wedding cake: For the Queen, for craft, or for Bermondsey.

May 21, 2020
Cheater Cheater Chili Eater

For competitive chili cooks, the ultimate accomplishment is taking home first prize at the Original Terlingua International Frank X. Tolbert-Wick Fowler Memorial Championship Chili Cook-off. The Terlingua chili cooks are a tight-knit group. And in 2003, they were suspicious of newcomer Don Eastep. And it turns out, they were right to be. Because Don didn’t cook chili at that cook-off. Instead, he turned in a cup of chili to the judges, filled with samples of everyone else’s chili mixed together. And then, he won first place. The 2003 Terlingua Cook-off would go down as the most scandalous event in the history of chili cooking. After the chili cheater was revealed, Don was banned from Terlingua, the Eastep family name was scorched, and the chili-cooking community was forced to answer the question: Can the ultimate chili crime be forgiven?

May 14, 2020
The Journey of the Nem

How did the nem, a Vietnamese Spring Roll, become a prominent feature on Senegalese restaurant menus in New York City? The Journey of the nem is one of war, love, hardship, and chasing a dream. Over the last century, the nem has traveled thousands of miles, from Vietnam, to Senegal, and eventually, to find its new home in New York. The diaspora and the collective knowledge that traveled with it, shared over generations and across international cities, helped propel spring rolls from foreign novelty to everyday snack.

May 07, 2020
Who Owns Nature?

The Plant Patent Act of 1930 is cited in a landmark Supreme Court case that extended patent rights to genetically engineered plants, animals, and bacteria. But it all started with Luther Burbank, aka the “Wizard of Horticulture.” Burbank rose to fame in the early 20th century for his plant inventions like the Russet Burbank Potato. But, unlike his friends Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, Burbank was never able to patent his creations. After Burbank’s death, his supporters would push a controversial bill through Congress legalizing patents on plants. But have these laws had unintended consequences in the modern age?

Apr 30, 2020
Proof on Podapalooza

We’re taking the stage for Podapalooza on April 25th and 26th, a virtual podcast festival for the benefit of COVID-19 relief. 

Apr 24, 2020
Yelp Therapy

Bryce has put his blood, sweat, and tears into building his business, a Williamsburg restaurant called The Black Flamingo. This plant-based Latin-inspired restaurant is home to a basement disco, and widely celebrated tacos and cocktails. So when “Tanya” leaves a scathing Yelp review about her bad experience at the restaurant, Bryce is discouraged. A Yelp rating is proven to affect restaurant profit, which can make even one bad review devastating to a business owner like Bryce. When the Yelp platform does little to help facilitate resolution, is Bryce and Tanya’s only hope of reconciliation to take their dialog “offline” and come face to face?

Apr 23, 2020
Raiders of the Lost Yeast

Seamus Blackley is the creator of the Xbox. He’s also an ancient Egypt enthusiast and baking hobbyist. Yes, you heard that right. Via Twitter, he assembled a rag-tag team of specialists: an archeologist (Dr. Serena Love) and a biologist (Rich Bowman). Together, they created a grand scheme: extract dormant yeast from the nooks and crannies of ancient Egyptian pots stored in the vaults of the world’s most prestigious museums and bake bread with it.

Apr 16, 2020
Atomic Peanuts and Gamma Grapefruit

In 1927, more than 50 years before the first GMO crop hit the market, a scientist named Louis Stadler shot X-rays at barley. The result was a random mutation—a change in the color of the plant. While not particularly useful, it showed that with radiation, scientists could roll the genetic dice, press fast-forward on natural selection, and with enough rolls, maybe even uncover something new- a useful mutant. The Atomic Age would inspire a generation of scientists to blast crops with Cobalt-60 radiation. Even civilians got in on the action. But today, this type of breeding is all but forgotten. Is the possibility of an “Atomic Garden of Eden” worth the nuclear gamble?

Apr 09, 2020
Season 4 Starts April 9

4,500 year old yeast, atomic peanuts, and a cheating scandal at a chili cook-off. Season 4 goes even deeper to reveal what’s on our plates and how it got there. Tune in for Season 4 of Proof beginning April 9.

Apr 02, 2020
[Bonus] The Bitter Southerner: Waffle House

We want to share with you a podcast from our friends at The Bitter Southerner called "The Ways of Waffle House" that attempts to answer a large question: How could a 2,000-store restaurant chain become, to Southerners, something more than just another place to eat?

Mar 20, 2020
Introducing Mystery Recipe, a New Podcast from America's Test Kitchen Kids

Mystery Recipe is a new podcast from America's Test Kitchen Kids! With new episodes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, this short-form podcast will help kids AND their grown-ups uncover the fun, fantastical, and fascinating sides of food. Each week will have a different ingredient theme, which builds to the grand finale: a mystery recipe cook-along. Get excited about cooking (and eating) by digging into the deliciously silly and unexpectedly educational.

Mar 16, 2020
[Bonus] Introducing Clearstory from This Old House

Our friends at This Old House have a new podcast called Clearstory. Hosted by Kevin O'Connor, Clearstory is a podcast that sheds light on the surprising stories behind our homes. The episode we bring you today, "Wood: Dead in the Water?", is all about old-growth wood found at the bottom of riverbeds that's used for beautiful furniture and flooring.

Feb 06, 2020
Oyster Mushroom Revolution

In Rwanda 26-year-old Christian has turned his mom’s backyard into an oyster mushroom cultivation lab, with mushrooms sprouting here and there. And he’s not alone. For a country still known internationally for its 1994 genocide, Rwanda’s booming mushroom industry reflects hope for a brighter future. In Rwanda, is a better tomorrow just a mushroom farm away?

Jan 02, 2020
Underground Aams Trade, Part 2

In part two of this investigation, reporter Ahmed Ali Akbar explores the underbelly of the secretive mango distribution industry. He uncovers the historical and economic reasons that importing mangoes from Pakistan has been so difficult — from regulation to irradiation. And he finally traces product to supplier.

Dec 26, 2019
Underground Aams Trade, Part 1

Pakistani-American communities all over the U.S. rely on dealers on WhatsApp to gain access to their most coveted treasure: Pakistani mangoes. And they pay a premium for it. In part one of this two-part investigation, reporter Ahmed Ali Akbar searches for answers. Why are Pakistani mangoes so hard to find? And why is the Pakistani community resorting to shady deals on WhatsApp to procure them?

Dec 19, 2019
Jamon, Y'all

In 2015, Will Harris, a farmer in southwest Georgia, partnered with a pair of Spanish entrepreneur brothers to bring Iberian pigs to the United States. The climate would be different (from hot, dry Spain to wet, humid Georgia) and so would the pigs' diet (they would eat Georgia pecans instead of acorns), but Harris figured this expensive gamble could pay off. Can jamón ibérico can be reduced to a simple formula (pigs + pasture + acorns), or is there more to the story?

Dec 12, 2019
Tracing Jambalaya

Reporter Kayla Stewart attempts to trace Gulf Coast dish Jambalaya back to its rumored roots in West Africa’s Jollof Rice. Kayla’s journey to find a connection between the two dishes takes her from her mother’s Houston kitchen to the streets of Accra. But instead of a link, she finds that the history of African American food ways cannot be separated from the influences of slavery and colonialism.

Dec 05, 2019
Why Not Eat Bugs?

A South African Entrepreneur, Leah Bessa, discovers that processing Black Soldier Fly larvae produces a milk-like substance, dubbed Entomilk. Can Leah’s entomilk ice cream succeed as a dairy-alternative? Although South African populations have a traditional history of bug-eating, can modern society overcome its ick-factor to take advantage of all bugs have to offer?

Nov 21, 2019
Prepping for the Worst

In a deep dive into “prepper” culture, we learn what makes up the ultimate survival cuisine. We investigate the motivation of this subculture that stocks up on non-perishables for the end-of-times. Should the desire to survive be reduced to a quirky paranoia, or is the quest to prepare for survival in dire circumstances more noble than we give it credit for?

Nov 14, 2019
The True Cost of Mezcal

Mezcal has recently enjoyed a spike in popularity, which brought a welcome surge to the Oaxacan economy, the southern Mexican state where Mezcal is produced. But is the demand for Mezcal outgrowing the supply? What can be done to ensure it survives for years to come without sacrificing the agave plants and land that sustain it? Can mezcal avoid becoming the next tequila?

Nov 07, 2019
Season 3 Starts November 7th

An underground mango industry, the hidden costs of your favorite Mezcal, and ice cream made from bugs. Season 3 goes deep to challenge our ideas about what we eat and uncover where it comes from. Tune in for Season 3 of Proof beginning November 7.

Oct 17, 2019
Can You Prevent Brain Freezes?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: does eating ice cream slower prevent a brain freeze?

Oct 03, 2019
Can Pistachios Spontaneously Combust?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: do pistachios spontaneously combust?

Sep 26, 2019
What Food Should I Wish For On A Deserted Island?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: If I was stranded on a deserted island, what's the best food to wish for?

Sep 19, 2019
What Weird Things Did Presidents Eat?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: What are the weirdest things US presidents ate?

Sep 12, 2019
Can You Bake A Cookie In Space?

In these bonus episodes, we try to answer your weird food questions. This week: If you flung a cookie dough ball into space, how long until it bakes into a cookie?

Sep 05, 2019
Why Is Ranch So Addictive?
Aug 29, 2019
Are We All Victims of Food Fraud?
Aug 22, 2019
Can You Get Drunk Off Kombucha?
Aug 15, 2019
Is Cereal Soup?
Aug 08, 2019
Why Does OJ Taste Bad After Using Toothpaste?
Aug 01, 2019
The Plan to Kill the Chinese Restaurant
Jul 18, 2019
The Pretty Big Problem of Ugly Food
Jul 11, 2019
The Quest for Mystic Makgeolli
Jun 27, 2019
The OGs of America’s Oranges
Jun 20, 2019
Hidden Valley Wine
Jun 13, 2019
Jun 06, 2019
Welcome to the Microbiome
May 30, 2019
Who Killed the Miracle Berry?
May 23, 2019
Season 2 Starts May 23rd
May 02, 2019
Apr 11, 2019
Mar 21, 2019
Mar 07, 2019
Feb 21, 2019
Feb 07, 2019
Jan 24, 2019
Dec 20, 2018
Dec 13, 2018
Dec 06, 2018
Nov 29, 2018
Nov 22, 2018
Nov 15, 2018
Nov 08, 2018
Oct 31, 2018
Introducing Proof from America's Test Kitchen
Oct 09, 2018