This post is guest-written by Jared Kaufman, a Gastronomy student who writes and hosts Nosh Box, a food newsletter and podcast.
Whenever I used to find myself needing to scarf down a quick meal — which still happens more often than I’d like, especially as a Gastronaut — I would wonder: What was I supposed to do while I was sitting there eating? It felt like too little time to get any serious productive work done, but also too much time to justify mindlessly scrolling through social media. (So, naturally, social media it was.)
Eventually, though, I started reading newsletters. I found that the size of stories fully contained within email newsletters was a great match for that mealtime block. But I couldn’t find a food newsletter specifically designed to read while I was eating. So in October 2017, I combined my food journalism background with my desire to get food stories in my inbox for my lunch break, and the result was Nosh Box, a weekly “eater’s digest.”
Now in both newsletter and podcast form, Nosh Box explores a different brand, ingredient, dish, or food phenomenon every Tuesday, and I try to answer the question of what our food can tell us about ourselves. (While Nosh Box’s weekly food feature story is intentionally sized to read or listen to during meal times, you can also check it out while walking down the street, riding the T, going to the bathroom — I don’t judge!)
Over the past year, I’ve written over 150 issues of Nosh Box, about topics ranging from Cheetos to corn vs. flour tortillas to why chip bags are half-full of air. And I’m rolling out some new ideas, too. As I mentioned, I recently began releasing a thematically paired episode of the Nosh Box Podcast with each week’s email. Plus, my original idea for Nosh Box was as a meal-coordinated link roundup, so I recently brought that back in the form of a weekly segment called The Schmear, where we give you a taste of the food news and stories worth reading. And on the last Tuesday of every month, starting this week, the newsletter and podcast will be devoted to The Schmooze, an interview with someone cool in the world of food — a journalist, chef, researcher, author, eater.
As I’ve been thinking of ways to improve Nosh Box, I’m inspired by the people I’ve met and the concepts I’ve encountered in the Gastronomy program. For example, critical theory readings from the Sociology of Taste special topics course informed a recent edition of Nosh Box about the ways Ocean Spray (which is obligated to buy and resell all the cranberries its member growers produce — about two-thirds of the world’s supply) manufactured demand for an otherwise undesirable berry. And with the introduction of The Schmooze, I’m excited that some of the food-world luminaries I’ll get to talk to will be Gastronomy students, faculty, and alumni.
If you’re interested in getting Nosh Box in your inbox and podcast feed every Tuesday, you can subscribe at bit.ly/NoshBox. And if you have any ideas for topics I should explore or people I should talk to, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!