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Wonders of the World

Drew Vahrenkamp

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In this podcast, we'll visit 200 Wonders of the World, from the Pyramids to the Great Barrier Reef, to tell the story of our people, our civilization, and our planet. My name is Drew Vahrenkamp, and I'm a travel junkie. The world is filled with ama...Show More
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46:00 | Jul 18th

Nestled in the hills of north central Morocco, Fès' ancient walled medina is a labyrinth of narrow alleys, passages and souks: the world's largest car-free urban space.  Founded by an Arab refugee-turned-Moroccan king, Fès also claims the world's old...Show More

52:00 | Jul 4th

Aachen, Germany, was the favored city of Charlemagne. Through conquest and economic success, he unified much of Western Europe. He could be considered the father of Europe. Or he might just have been lucky. Travis Dow from the History of Germany ...Show More

57:31 | Jun 6th

In the soft rock of Cappadocia, Turkey, eroded into fantastic shapes, ancient peoples carved dwelling places. By the Byzantine era, locals created vast underground refuges to hide from foreign armies. In the 8th century, the Empire was shaken by a...Show More

59:49 | Aug 15th

In the 800s, the Abbasid caliphs of Baghdad created the House of Wisdom, starting point for a remarkable intellectual program, making Baghdad a medieval Silicon Valley. Dr. Ali Olomi discusses the House of Wisdom, the thinkers it produced, and the...Show More

53:44 | May 16th

The eighth century's greatest adventure story.  Abd al-Rahman is the only male member of his Umayyad family to survive a massacre.  He escapes through many adventures to try his luck in Spain, or as it was called then: Al-Andalus.  He eventually esta...Show More

30:08 | May 2nd

On April 15, 2019, a fire started in Notre-Dame de Paris and caused significant damage.  In its honor, here is a bonus episode on the great cathedral. Notre Dame will survive this calamity, because it has survived other calamities before. From Bar...Show More

1:21:40 | Apr 25th

On the Northern Ireland coast lie more than 40,000 interlocking hexagonal columns. To the ancient Irish, the basalt columns -- the result of a volcanic eruption -- seemed like the base of a bridge made for giants by the hero Finn McCool. Dr. Lucy...Show More

49:21 | Mar 28th

The Indian Ocean maritime trade, with Indonesia's own unique products, made its first great kingdoms possible: trading empires and regional powers capable of creating the world's largest Buddhist monument. Anthony Frisina of the History of Indones...Show More

58:11 | Mar 14th

Early medieval India saw the rise of an empire based in the Deccan plateau: the Rashtrakutas. Despite significant power and influence, their story is little-known and under-appreciated, from King Amoghavarsha the author to their masterpiece at Ellor...Show More

41:04 | Feb 28th

Back to the land of the Maya, to visit their most stunning artistic achievement. The stelae of Copán, carved for Waxaklajuun Ubaad Kawiil, are humanist yet fantastic. His reign marked the highest point and also the lowest; within decades of his death...Show More

59:39 | Feb 14th

The Muslims exploded onto the scene in the 7th century, but had to manage their new empire. We go to Syria, where Damascus served as the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate. The Umayyads eventually took control following the turmoil of finding success...Show More

1:09:25 | Jan 24th

We return to China, where the Tang Dynasty has embarked on a golden age. In the valleys of Sichuan, a monk begins to carve the largest statue built in pre-industrial history. And in Chang'an, the world's largest city, a young girl begins the path whi...Show More

49:12 | Dec 20th, 2018

Off to Tajikistan, to visit the intriguing murals of the Sogdians, a civilization wedged between Persians, Arabs, Turks, and Chinese, yet rich and remarkable on their own. In Panjakent, we have wall paintings of regular people, preserved for centurie...Show More

43:45 | Dec 13th, 2018

The Maya return as we visit Tikal, nestled in the jungles of Guatemala, and pick up the story of Nuun Ujol Chaak, after he left Palenque. And even if he might fall in the end, his son Jasaw Chan Kawi'il would restore Tikal to greatness. It's his pyra...Show More

37:35 | Nov 22nd, 2018

Back to Mesoamerica, as we introduce the Maya. In the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, sits the city of Palenque. Among its magnificent ruins is the Temple of the Inscriptions, the tomb of king Pakal. His rule was one of the longest in human history. ...Show More

36:27 | Nov 10th, 2018

It's our SECOND ANNIVERSARY.  Two years of history, travel, food, and such. What a ride.  To celebrate, let's visit Oregon, a weird, magical place I love.  I lived there for three years in the early 2010's and in this episode, I give the 30 things I ...Show More

1:20:29 | Nov 4th, 2018

An illiterate merchant in faraway Arabia, Muhammad develops a new faith and community that builds upon the monotheist faiths of his people's  neighbors.  Ali A Olomi joins me to discuss Muhammad's impact and the holiest site in Islam: the Kabaa in Me...Show More
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0:00 | Oct 17th, 2018

The classic Istanbul fish sandwich is simple, easy, and delicious.  Fish, bread, a little spices, onion, lettuce, lemon.  That’s it.  Some recipes will include mayo, which isn’t my bag.  Others get more complex with the salad topping.  I like to keep...Show More

1:06:25 | Oct 11th, 2018

A farmboy, an actress, and a bacterium. The Eastern Roman Empire reached a new golden age under Justinian as seen in his masterpiece church: the Hagia Sophia. But shortly after its construction highlighted the peak of Eastern Roman prosperity, a b...Show More

46:43 | Sep 27th, 2018

Rising from the Sri Lankan jungle stands the citadel of Sigiriya. An immense rock of volcanic origin, Sigiriya was the magnificent palace of Kassapa, whose story is Macbeth meets Othello. You're going to enjoy this one. Savi Danforth, a family...Show More
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0:00 | Sep 15th, 2018

The best lunch I’ve ever eaten was ceviche in Lima.  Hands down.  Traditional Peruvian ceviche is amazingly simple.  Seafood, lime juice, red onion, and chile.  That’s it.  Plus sweet potato and corn on the side. As I said in the episode, you probabl...Show More

51:20 | Sep 13th, 2018

Etched in the rocky plains of southern Peru, the Nazca Lines fascinate us. We don't know why the Nazca people created figures that could only be seen from the air, but we know: not aliens. Max Serjeant from the Latin American History podcast talks...Show More

0:00 | Aug 31st, 2018

BONUS EPISODE!  In March 2018, Drew Vahrenkamp appeared on Stephanie Craig's History Fangirl podcast to discuss what was once the largest city on earth, in area at least: Angkor, Cambodia. For the upcoming holiday weekend in the US, we are honored to...Show More
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0:00 | Aug 25th, 2018

Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, is justifiably famous for this dish, a delectable, spicy beef broth served over hand-pulled noodles, with layers of beef and daikon radish on top.  Restaurants all over Gansu ladle out this dish as a pick-me-up...Show More

53:51 | Aug 23rd, 2018

The Silk Road connected China to the West. Dunhuang is site of the Mogao Caves, carved into a cliffside with the largest collection of Buddhist art anywhere. Nathan Cherry of the Silk Road History Podcast helps tell the story of these caves and t...Show More

04:30 | Aug 14th, 2018

A quick update about the podcast, with news of all sorts.  To learn more, go to www.patreon.com/wonderspodcast
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Jul 27th, 2018

Pašticada   Pašticada is a long-simmered piece of beef, the kind of beef that would normally be tough and chewy, but when you cook it low and slow melts in your mouth.  Flavored with vinegar, fruit, veggies, and spices, it’s a traditional holiday or ...Show More

1:08:50 | Jul 24th, 2018

Rome was entrenched in chaos, until one man took charge, and remade the Empire.  Then he retired to farm cabbages, moving into a palace in what is now Split, Croatia. Rob and Jamie from the Totalus Rankium podcast drop by once again to discuss Dio...Show More
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0:00 | Jul 15th, 2018

Ma’amoul (Date Cookies)   Ma’amoul are shortbread cookies, filled with a sweetened date puree, baked until just golden, and dusted with powdered sugar.  They are traditionally served for Eid, as a welcome sweet reward following the fasting of Ramadan...Show More

1:07:44 | Jul 10th, 2018

In 2015, ISIS destroyed the Temples of Bel and Baalshemin in the Syrian desert city of Palmyra, in pristine condition since the city's glory days in the 3rd century. Under the leadership of its rulers Odenaethus and the "Warrior Queen" Zenobia, Palm...Show More
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0:00 | Jul 7th, 2018

Kibbeh are delicious Lebanese dishes made of ground meat (usually beef or lamb), bulgur wheat, onion and spices.  Very simple, very delicious.  Sometimes kibbeh comes as a baked casserole, like a meatloaf, and sometimes it’s a deep-fried croquette, s...Show More

0:00 | Jul 2nd, 2018

BONUS EPISODE!  In January 2018, Drew Vahrenkamp appeared on Stephanie Craig's History Fangirl podcast to discuss Brussels' glorious central square, the Grand Place. In honor of Belgium's appearance in the Round of 16 of the World Cup, we are honored...Show More

54:28 | Jun 26th, 2018

In Eastern Lebanon sit the ruins of the great temples of Heliopolis, some of the largest and most impressive in Antiquity. Scott Chesworth from The Ancient World podcast helps explain what they might be, and how they might be connected to Elagabalus,...Show More
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0:00 | Jun 22nd, 2018

The trick to wonderful couscous is to steam the grain over the sauce so that the flavors of the stew seep into every little piece.  Much fluffier and more flavorful than the store-bought boiled method you’re probably familiar with. This version also ...Show More
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0:00 | Jun 14th, 2018

The sadhya is a traditional Keralan feast: a banana leaf covered with small servings of 20 different items, from rice to curries to breads to a banana for dessert.  It’s pretty awesome. It’s also not something you’ll make for a weekday meal.  So what...Show More

58:28 | Jun 12th, 2018

Leptis Magna is the jewel in Libya's crown: potentially the largest and best preserved Roman city in the Mediterranean. It is an unvisited gem in a country long off the tourist radar. Leptis' golden age came under the leadership of local-boy-made-...Show More

51:29 | May 22nd, 2018

Nestled along the coast of India's most southwesterly state, the Backwaters are a 600 km-long series of lakes, rivers, channels and canals linking jungle to sea. Kerala's story is the story of maritime trade, and to help tell that story, Brandon Hueb...Show More
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0:00 | May 9th, 2018

Artichokes are a special part of a Roman spring.  Jewish-style artichokes are flattened and fried, and are delicious, but they can be devilishly difficult to cook at home.  Roman-style artichokes, on the other hand, are, as I’ve learned, only regular...Show More
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0:00 | May 3rd, 2018

I know I promised you huaraches.  I even described them in the episode.  But can I be honest?  Yes?  I like to keep these recipes to things you can do on a weeknight: delicious and authentic, yet not overly complicated.  Well… huaraches were getting ...Show More

46:39 | May 1st, 2018

Back to Rome for a meeting with Hadrian, the roving emperor.  Ryan Stitt from the History of Ancient Greece podcast discusses the "Greekling" and his most impressive monument, the Pantheon: the best preserved Roman temple anywhere. A fascinating s...Show More
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0:00 | Apr 25th, 2018

You shouldn’t need a recipe for bruschetta. It’s so simple, after all.  And yet, you’ve had bad bruschetta.  We all have.  The bread isn’t crisp enough or maybe too crisp.  There’s too much topping or it’s too wet.  And so, as a public service, I giv...Show More

58:07 | Apr 17th, 2018

Ana from the History of Small Things takes us to her hometown of Mexico City to talk about ancient Mexican history.  The standout wonders are the great pyramids of Teotihuacan, started in 100 CE in a city which rivaled Rome in size and artistry. Plus...Show More

1:04:11 | Mar 27th, 2018

We who are about to podcast salute you! Titus comes back for one more round as he unveils his father's masterpiece: the Flavian Amphitheater, a.k.a. the Colosseum. It's a magnificent creation, site of gladiatorial combat, executions, and emperors giv...Show More
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0:00 | Mar 24th, 2018

Can you make this classic Neapolitan pie at home?  No.  No you cannot.  You don’t have Neapolitan flour, Vesuvian tomatoes, Campanian water, fresh mozzarella from Italian buffaloes… or a dome-shaped wood-fired brick oven. So whatcha gonna do? Well…  ...Show More

59:58 | Mar 13th, 2018

The volcano Vesuvius still looms of the ruined Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, along the coast of Southern Italy. Dr. Fiona Radford from the Partial Historians stops by to discuss these accidental wonders: towns whose destruction have preser...Show More
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0:00 | Mar 5th, 2018

Traditional Hanukkah foods are fried in oil, and among Israeli Jews, that means sufganiyot: jelly doughnuts. The word sufganiyot comes from the sword sfog, meaning sponge, and North African Jews brought a long tradition of frying doughnuts with them ...Show More

41:56 | Feb 27th, 2018

A drama in three acts, all centered on the Fortress of Masada, a bastion perched above the Dead Sea in Israel. King Herod builds a pleasure palace, the Zealots make their last stand against Rome, and Israel returns at last. Josephus, historian/traito...Show More
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0:00 | Feb 26th, 2018

Everyone loves grilled chicken, right?  Especially cooked on an open flat grill and served in a warm sandwich?  Yes, please. Jerusalemites have their own version, the Jerusalem mixed grill, or me’orav Yerushalmi.   Chicken bits, sautéed with spices. ...Show More

03:55 | Feb 13th, 2018

A short bonus episode.  Drew's daughter makes her first podcasting appearance as she tells you the story of the Two Bethlehems. Bethlehem, Indiana is a popular place to mail Christmas cards, but there's more to its story than that!

1:04:23 | Feb 6th, 2018

Jesus Christ arrives on the scene, annoying the Roman authorities and the Jewish establishment. We visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, site of his death and resurrection, and the holiest site in Christianity. Garry Stevens from the History in the...Show More
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0:00 | Feb 6th, 2018

You’ve heard of a cronut, right?  Some New York baker took a croissant and fried and glazed it like a donut and made bajillions?  Well, feteer is a cro-izza.  It’s flaky and buttery like a croissant; in fact, some think it was the ancestor to that no...Show More

1:00:19 | Jan 23rd, 2018

We return to Alexandria to visit the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, a little-known but fascinating burial chamber encapsulating the marriage of Egyptian, Greek and Roman cultures and traditions. We meet Cleopatra, last pharaoh of Egypt and noted seduct...Show More
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0:00 | Jan 12th, 2018

Soupe au pistou is a classic Provençal dish: ripe vegetables, fresh herbs, inexpensive ingredients.  Soul-warming, bone-sticking nutrition in a bowl.  It’s sort of like minestrone: a bean soup, flavored with fresh herbs, then with any vegetable you c...Show More

47:23 | Jan 9th, 2018

Julius Caesar takes on Vercingetorix and the Gauls as we travel to Provence in Southern France.  The Pont du Gard is a Roman aqueduct, the largest left standing, and it's just one of the many legacies the Romans left in the land of lavender and sunsh...Show More

20:55 | Dec 25th, 2017

Bonus Episode! We have a running joke on this podcast about Demetrius Poliorcetes, Besieger of Cities. Despite having failed spectacularly at besieging Rhodes, he left a remarkable legacy across the Hellenistic world. As a Christmas treat, I give you...Show More
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0:00 | Dec 21st, 2017

Moutabel* is a smoky eggplant (or aubergine) dip from the Levant which is particularly popular in Jordan.  You would enjoy this with warm pita bread as part of a mezze, a large spread of appetizers like hummus, tabouleh, and other delicious taste sen...Show More

49:03 | Dec 19th, 2017

Lost city of the Nabataeans, the rock-cut city of Petra has been rightfully celebrated as a Wonder of the World, as least since that Indiana Jones movie. We'll talk about the Nabataeans, their caravans, and their run-ins with the Greeks, Romans and J...Show More
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0:00 | Dec 11th, 2017

This is the easiest pasta to make, and the easiest pasta to mess up.  There are four ingredients: pasta, preferably spaghetti - long, thin (but not too thin) and able to be completely coated in sauce water, specifically the water used to cook the pa...Show More

54:58 | Dec 7th, 2017

Back for Part II! Nitin Sil from the Flash Point History podcast joins me to discuss the Second Punic War, Hannibal, and Scipio. Was Hannibal crossing the Alps really a big deal? How did Rome win in the end? I also talk about mathematician and def...Show More

35:21 | Nov 28th, 2017

An episode so big I had to break it in half! Here comes Rome, both the vibrant, chaotic, eye-catching capital of Italy, and the civilization that made that capital possible. This episode looks at the rise of Rome and the first Punic War with Carthage...Show More

26:35 | Nov 4th, 2017

It's our FIRST ANNIVERSARY. And this episode is all about a special, secret location. It's a "wonder" in its own right, but I won't give more hints than that. There's also a "state of the podcast" bit at the end and a giant thank you to you for li...Show More
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0:00 | Oct 24th, 2017

Xi’an, being on the silk road, sits at a fascinating middle ground between east and west, only in this case, west means not Europe but the steppes of Central Asia. This soup reflects that heritage: it blends Chinese spices and flavors (ginger, star a...Show More

47:38 | Oct 24th, 2017

The Terracotta Army, built to defend the tomb of China's First Emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, stand row on row in silent guard of a long-dead autocrat. Joined by Abel Kay, we look into the story of the Emperor who unified China, and the ruthless path ...Show More
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0:00 | Oct 10th, 2017

One of the special pleasures in life is a cold spread coating a piece of warm, fresh-from-the-oven bread, and this one from Greece is my favorite. It’s fiendishly easy and magnificently garlicky.  If you don’t like garlic, then give this a pass. Not ...Show More

54:05 | Oct 10th, 2017

All the world is a stage, and the first stage was in Athens, the birthplace of tragedy.  With Darby Vickers from the History of Greece podcast, we visit with the great playwrights, as Athens hits a great turning point: the Peloponnesian War. That doe...Show More
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0:00 | Oct 6th, 2017

Spanakotiropita  (σπανακοτυρόπιτα) So I have searched every website out there to find an acceptable spanakopita, sorry, I mean spanakotripita, recipe, and I think this one will work. Here’s the thing: phyllo dough is an absolute pain in the backside ...Show More

57:22 | Sep 26th, 2017

Athens has won the war against Persia, but now what? The Golden Age of Pericles, that's what! He's building temples, making money, enlarging an empire, all in the name of democracy. Darby Vickers from the History of Greece podcast stops by to talk ab...Show More
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0:00 | Sep 12th, 2017

There are few dishes as stereotypically Greek as roast lamb.  With the weather starting to get cold as we move towards Autumn, what better way to celebrate stick-to-your-ribs comfort food? If we were REALLY doing this right, we would roast a whole la...Show More

1:03:01 | Sep 12th, 2017

The priestess of Apollo will answer your questions, if not how you expect. Will Athens survive the war with the Persians? Should Sparta march to help? Will you enjoy this episode on the Oracle of Delphi in Greece, featuring the brilliance of Alison I...Show More
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0:00 | Sep 1st, 2017

Sesame halva is well known throughout the world, and can be purchased at most Middle Eastern stores or Jewish delis.  I don’t care for it though, so I’m trying out a different version: one based on flour rather than sesame. It's smooth, sweet - but n...Show More

41:19 | Aug 29th, 2017

Is this burning an eternal flame? Why yes. Yes, it is. Nestled in the hills of Lycia in southwestern Turkey, the Yanartaş of Mount Chimaera is a series of methane-fueled fires that have burnt for at least 2500 years.  Lycia has a fascinating history ...Show More
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0:00 | Aug 1st, 2017

Chicken, skewered and grilled, is a classic Persian dish, one that has been cooked for centuries.  And it’s magnificent.  The key is two-fold: 1) the marinade: a tangy blend of yogurt, lime juice, olive oil and saffron, which does wonderful things to...Show More

55:09 | Aug 1st, 2017

East vs West? Maybe. We're off to Iran to greet the rise of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, the world's greatest by this point in history. Between Cyrus and Darius, we'll deal with two Great rulers, but we've also got medieval Iranian love poetry, una...Show More
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0:00 | Jul 11th, 2017

This week’s recipe comes courtesy of Vivek Vasan, our special guest and host of the Historical India podcast.  The recipe is based on his mother’s recipe, so you know it’s gotta be good.  I haven’t been able to try it yet, mainly because finding many...Show More

1:01:02 | Jul 11th, 2017

The prince who became an enlightened holy man, the Buddha took India by storm. We'll cover him and his contemporary Mahavira and two kings who followed their teaching while building India's first great empire: Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka.  It's st...Show More
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0:00 | Jun 20th, 2017

This recipe comes from the excellent Indian Home Cooking, co-written by Suvir Saran, who is a friend of a friend, and who has been personally kind and generous to me for years now.  Buy his book(s). Indian cuisine is fantastic if you are a vegetarian...Show More

50:03 | Jun 20th, 2017

Holiest site in Hinduism, Varanasi's riverside ghats are a swirl of color, faith, life, and death. We discuss the vedas, the great epics, and the development of Indian civilization with Vivek Vasan from the Historical India podcast.
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0:00 | Jun 6th, 2017

Traditionally, this dish requires carp caught from the Yellow River.  You won’t have access to that in all likelihood, so use any good firm mild-flavored fish.  Whole fish looks really cool, but if you’re not trying to impress, filets work just as we...Show More

36:08 | Jun 6th, 2017

Looming over Confucius' home province of Shandong, Mount Tai is the holiest place in Daoism, which means we can tackle both great philosophies while discussing feudal China and Shandong cuisine.
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0:00 | May 16th, 2017

An incredibly delicious dish of North African origin, shakshuka is eggs poached in tomato sauce, but it’s so much more than that.  Brought to Israel by immigrants from Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya, shakshuka has been throughly embraced by Israelis, an...Show More

1:06:49 | May 16th, 2017

The Jews had been exiled, came back, were exiled again, and have come back again. Through the process they changed a temple into a book, redefining religion. We'll see the Western Wall and talk Israeli breakfasts with Lara Rodin and Noah Lew, and Gar...Show More
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0:00 | May 3rd, 2017

Falafel are crunchy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside deep-fried balls of ground chickpeas.  They are an essential part of most Middle-Eastern cuisines, and are particularly embraced in Israel - since they are vegetarian, they can be eaten at any ...Show More

51:48 | May 3rd, 2017

Near the shores of the salt-saturated Dead Sea, the Israelites wrote the world's most read book. Garry Stephens of the History in the Bible podcast helps us examine historical accuracy, while Lara Rodin and Noah Lew help us visit Israel. Plus falafel...Show More
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0:00 | Apr 18th, 2017

When you need something sweet and simple, look no further than mahalabia, a “milk pudding” made with just milk, sugar, corn starch, and flavor. Traditionally, rosewater is the way to go, but if you can find rosewater, you’re better connected than I a...Show More

54:11 | Apr 18th, 2017

Ramesses the Great, public relations genius, takes us to Abu Simbel to visit his masterpiece of self-glorification. We talk about his reign and visiting Aswan with Dominic and Jack one last time. Plus ancient graffiti, singing kids on boats, and pudd...Show More
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0:00 | Apr 4th, 2017

Molokhia Molokhia is a vegetable, technically the leaves of the jute plant, also called Jew’s Mallow. Jute, like other mallows such as marshmallow (not that marshmallow, but the original plant) and okra, is mucilaginous, which means that it creates a...Show More

54:48 | Apr 4th, 2017

We're sticking around Luxor, Egypt, and crossing the Nile to visit the tombs of the New Kingdom pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings. We discuss Tut and Akhenaten. Plus pigeons! Dominic Perry and Lantern Jack stop by again to share their thoughts and ...Show More
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0:00 | Mar 21st, 2017

Om Ali (Egyptian Bread Pudding) I don’t do a lot of desserts on this podcast, mainly because, well, I don’t know why.  I just don’t.  Maybe it’s the hassle of baking, maybe it’s that I prefer savory dishes, maybe it’s that desserts aren’t THAT differ...Show More

52:58 | Mar 21st, 2017

We go to Luxor Egypt, ancient capital of the New Kingdom, to visit the great temples of Karnak and Luxor. We discuss Hatshepsut: a fascinating woman who became king. We also talk temple-side fries! Special thanks to Dominic Perry and Lantern Jack.
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0:00 | Mar 7th, 2017

Most food on Santorini requires the local volcanic soil or crystal blue waters to make it special.  While we could make tomatokeftedes, the deep-fried fritters fueled by the phenomenal local tomatoes, so perfect in the volcanic soil, you can’t get Sa...Show More

57:24 | Mar 7th, 2017

We go to the Greek island of Santorini to learn about the eruption that devastated the Minoan civilization of nearby Crete. Plus minotaurs, donkeys, Atlantis and Cretan cuisine!  Thanks to Ryan Stitt, Margo Anton, and Seth Ruderman for their help.
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0:00 | Feb 21st, 2017

You would think that something as simple as melted cheese on toast would be fairly straightforward, but there are billions of recipes out there for welsh rarebit. Well, maybe not billions, but quite a lot.  Fortunately, Felicity Cloake of the Guardia...Show More
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0:00 | Feb 21st, 2017

The most important piece of afternoon tea is the tea itself, but that is outside the scope of this episode.  So instead, let’s focus on the scone, the perfect little pastry at the center of the meal. This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman in the Ne...Show More

44:43 | Feb 20th, 2017

We go to Southwest England to see Stonehenge. We talk about the Neolithic revolution, Wales, Arthur and the Holy Grail, Bath, the Cotswolds, and clotted cream and scones. It's a lot! Thanks to Alexa Echlov and Rooksie Noorai for their help.

12:22 | Feb 16th, 2017

Bonus episode - An audio transcript of an interview of Ian, friend of the show and resident of the Northern Territory, in which he describes the heat, the snakes, the beer, and life in the far reaches of Australia's north.  Read by Drew.
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0:00 | Feb 7th, 2017

Since I’m not allowed to cook kangaroo steaks, here’s a recipe for a completely different Australian masterpiece: the pie floater, South Australia’s gift to the culinary world.  Imagine if you will: flaky pie crust, filled with seasoned ground meat a...Show More

28:46 | Feb 7th, 2017

We go to the Northern Territory of Australia to see Uluru, aka Ayers Rock, the world's largest monolith.  We'll talk about Aboriginal Australians, snack on bush tucker, and somehow do an entire episode without mentioning AC/DC.
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Jan 24th, 2017

The national dish of Tanzania, if there is one, is ugali, which is basically a very simple form of polenta.  You add cornmeal to hot water, cook until it thickens into a solid dough, and then use it to eat with a vegetable stew. When sharing a meal, ...Show More

36:58 | Jan 24th, 2017

We're off to Tanzania, to see Earth's largest unfilled caldera: Ngorongoro Crater. We'll also discuss nearby Oldupai Gorge and the evolution of man. Special guest Michelle Jones talks about her trip to Tanzania. We eat ugali and mchicha.

41:45 | Jan 10th, 2017

This episode, we visit Alexandria, Egypt, at its peak, as we check out the Lighthouse (or Pharos) and the Great Library. We'll enjoy some ful medames, and talk Ptolemy.  Plus science!
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Dec 29th, 2016

So what do you eat while you’re enjoying the sunshine, beaches, shopping, art and architecture of Rhodes?  That’s tricky, since Rhodes has all the great Greek masterpieces available, but one thing that is truly Rhodian is pitaroudia.  Pitaroudia are ...Show More

29:14 | Dec 27th, 2016

It's big! It's bronze! This week, we'll head to the Greek island of Rhodes, and hear them undergo two separate sieges, one of which led to the mighty and short-lived Colossus. We'll also sample some classic Rhodian food with all the garlic that impli...Show More

11:51 | Dec 20th, 2016

Bonus Episode!  Turns out there were two Artemisias.  In this bonus episode, we take a look at Artemisia the First of Halicarnassus, who was a naval commander in the Persian War at the Battle of Salamis.  I'll let our old pal Herodotus explain more.
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0:00 | Dec 13th, 2016

Kiliç Şiş   Swordfish kabobs can be done with any meaty fish if you don’t have swordfish handy.  Tuna would work.  So would halibut or mahi mahi, probably.   Ingredients: 1.25 lbs swordfish (or similar), cut in 1-inch cubes 24 Turkish bay leaves 2 le...Show More

28:15 | Dec 13th, 2016

This episode, we're heading down the Turkish Coast to Bodrum, formerly called Halicarnassus and home of the long-lost Mausoleum, symbol of should-have-been-forbidden love.  We'll also check out the thermal springs at Pamukkale and eat swordfish kebab...Show More

27:03 | Nov 30th, 2016

This week, we sail to Turkey to visit the great temple of Artemis in Ephesus, which at its peak was one of the world's largest and richest cities.  Since the temple is gone, we'll tour the ruined city and eat a seafood feast.
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0:00 | Nov 30th, 2016

To start with, try the stuffed mussels, or midye dolma, which is our recipe of the week.   I found this recipe at http://ozlemsturkishtable.com/2015/06/homemade-stuffed-mussels-with-aromatic-rice-midye-dolma Ingredients: 25 - 30 large black mussels,...Show More

28:12 | Nov 18th, 2016

This week, it's off to Greece's Peloponnese peninsula, to visit Olympia, home of the Statue of Zeus and the original Olympic Games. We'll also take a side trip to Sparta and seek out that most Greek of healthy fats: olive oil.
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0:00 | Nov 11th, 2016

This is a recipe for tepsi, a layered baked casserole dish from Iraq, which I'm borrowing from someone who borrowed it from someone else.  Not overly spiced, but frying the components and baking the final dish gives the flavors a chance to intensify....Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Nov 11th, 2016

I found this recipe on the web, written by someone named Hans buried in the answers for a random Yahoo answers question.  That's all I know about him, but this seems the best I've found.  If you follow this, you'll have far more rice than you'll need...Show More

23:53 | Nov 11th, 2016

We travel to Babylon in Iraq, to search for the elusive remains of Nebuchadnezzar's Hanging Gardens, which might have not have been his at all.  We'll also try masguf and tepsi, Iraqi specialties which have been enjoyed for centuries.

25:10 | Nov 10th, 2016

We start our trip around the world in Giza, Egypt, to see the Great Pyramid.  We'll talk about how pyramids came to be and how a prince used the Sphinx to build legitimacy, and we'll eat koshari, the veg-friendly national dish.

05:15 | Nov 10th, 2016

Welcome to the Wonders of the World!  In this podcast, we'll visit the Earth's great places to tell the story of our people, our civilization, and our planet.  From history to travel and even to food, we'll examine what makes us great and what makes ...Show More