Taming the flame: How humans became cooks
Humans are the only animals that cook their food, an innovation that changed the course of our evolution and the trajectory of the planet.
But how did we tame those early cooking fires and put them in a box — and what can subsequent leaps forward in heating technology tell us about cuisines and culture?
This episode, we’re taking you on a whirlwind tour through oven history and science, from the legendary roast beef of Old England — and the special dogs bred to turn the spits on which it hung — to the curious origins of the microwave in military radar technology.
What do we gain and lose when our ovens change — and how might understanding that help with the quest to bring better cookstoves to the developing world?