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Alton Brown Explains How Food Has Evolved From Burden to Joy

For his grandmother's generation, apple butter was work, not fun

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Ultimate food nerd Alton Brown stopped by Eater headquarters recently to chat with Helen Rosner and Greg Morabito of the Eater Upsell. The full episode airs Monday, but here's a preview: Today, nearly everyone loves food as a cultural phenomenon, and thinks a whole lot about what they put into their bodies, and plenty of folks obsess about the origin and process that goes into every jam, jelly, and jamón. But Alton Brown remembers talking to his grandmother about how historically cooking wasn't a pleasure — it was a chore, like "chopping wood or anything else... it wasn't celebrated, it wasn't like, 'Oh my gosh, this apple butter is artisanal.'" Listen as he recounts how cooking, eating, and the culture of food in America went from utilitarian burden to joyful experience — and be sure to check out the full episode of the Eater Upsell, available Monday, December 21.

As always, you can get the Eater Upsell on iTunes, listen on Soundcloud, subscribe via RSS, or search your favorite podcast app. You can also get the entire archive of episodes — plus transcripts, behind-the-scenes photos, and more — right here on Eater.

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