We’ve reached that inevitable point in the middle of the summer months that dooms all bloggers. That is, the stretch of time where there is just nothing to write about. No movie or sports news—we are still waiting for a little bit of both. Because of that, I thought it was about time to finally set pen to paper on an idea I have had for a new television show, one that would combine history with the single item we can all find common ground on: food! There are an endless amount of documentaries on all time periods in history (though that number has been shrinking in recent years due to a mass-encroachment from mindless “reality”-based shows), but how many of them ever take the time to go into detail on the food consumed in whatever particular time period they are focusing on? The only one that comes to mind is one of my favorites, The Naked Archaeologist, hosted by Simcha Jacobovici, which I love for its simplistic, down-to-earth approach to archaeology, making it fun, interesting, and easy to learn for everyone. The reason why the show is titled as such is because he peels back the layers, so to speak, making the archaeology “naked”. Many times his shows will include little tidbits on food and lifestyles, which I always found fascinating. I think it is a topic that could do very well as a show of its own, because if there is one thing that can humanize a group of people who have been dead for hundreds or thousands of years, it would be details about, and demonstrations of how to cook the food they ate.
Have you ever wondered what kind of technology goes into making our favorite foods? What about the ingredients included, or where it is shipped from? Enter Bobby Bognar, the host of the fast-paced and informative program on the History Channel called Food Tech. Airing back in 2010, the show was given a lot of air time once more a few weeks ago for a food-related week of specials on the network’s sister station H2. It was here that I first got a chance to see the show, and I must admit, I was hooked. This is a fantastic show that answers all of the questions asked above. Though it has the format of a Modern Marvels episode, it is a lot more personable because of its host, who does everything involved with the certain food’s production, from operating machinery and tasting the product in various stages of development, to detailing the complete history behind what ever food is being featured.
During the show’s run, Bobby did episodes on more than 60 different items, ranging from Italian, Chinese, and Mexican food, as well as more specifically, hamburgers, hot dogs, cheeses, and seafood, and even some condiments like ketchup, mustard, and horseradish sauce—as you can see, no stone was left unturned; if you sat down and watched them one at a time, you would find yourself addicted to the fun nature of the program. It is not often that I stumble upon a show and automatically get hooked, which was why I contacted Bobby for an interview, who also happens to be a musician, and has a band called The Piper Downs. Below is our conversation: