America’s Test Kitchen is Tested

America's Testkitchen

Episode: 413 Chinese Food at Home with Fuschia  Dunlop

Category: Food

Podcast Rating: okay

Full disclosure: I’m a bit of a culinary nerd. I not only watch America’s Test Kitchen on PBS, but I am actually a paid subscriber to their website. So I am very much their niche, target market. So, I should loooove this podcast, right? Unfortunately, not so much. I mean it’s an okay/good podcast, but it’s not great or special.
There are some occasional strong points – in a previous episode, I learned a lot about the industry of wine forgery, much more pervasive than one would think. However, the format of this podcast is very disjointed. There are two segments of answering phone questions. (Not live, recorded earlier.) Sometimes the questions are interesting, and the answers are often helpful to the general listener, but they break the flow of the podcast. I find the hot/not equipment review generally good; but again, it breaks the flow of the program.
Of course, the success of each episode hinges on the strength of the title interview. In this case, I was disappointed. The interviewee discussed wok cooking, however her summary was brief to the point of being an inaccurate approximation. Her technique for wok cooking is surely effective; but it is the polar opposite of traditional wok cooking. (True traditional woks are a large beaten copper. As such, foods can be placed up the sides, where they won’t slide down, and won’t overcook. This is almost the opposite of her setting aside portions of cooked food to be re-added at the end – French cooking! Rant over!)
Overall, I find that the shifting from segment to segment detracts from the flow of the episode, and that I retain much less of what I hear because of it. While pleasant to listen to, this is really only for die-hard foodies. The interview segments vary in insight from guest to guest. I like the podcast, but not to a huge degree.


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