Iris' Top 5 Podcasts of July 2016

For us long-term podcast listeners...the struggle is real. Serial may have helped this particular category of media become slightly more mainstream, but I still find myself having to answer the question, "what's a podcast?" nine years after I started listening to my first one.

My love affair with podcasts has been a long and geeky one, with many shows coming in and out of my life. Show topics have included everything from marketing, coffee, wine, nutrition, stories about people, comedy and...Harvard Business Review for some reason? I was straight up obsessed with Kevin Smith's podcasts a few years back, to the point where my ex-boyfriend bought a copy of Shootin' the Sh*t With Kevin Smith: The Best of SModcast as a Valentine's Day gift. And yes, I read it.

As I finally have the opportunity to launch my own podcast (well, there was an embarrassing first attempt three years ago that you will never find), it only seems right to share some of my current favorites. Here are the shows that entertain, educate and inspire me.

1. Bodega Boys

Hands down my favorite show right now. Whenever I feel homesick for NYC while living in Hong Kong, that intro song brings me right back. The Kid Mero and Desus Nice are so hilarious and quick-witted, I often replay certain sections over and over, laughing out loud on public transportation like the crazy person I am. Bonus points for all the Bronx references.



2. All Songs Considered

This is such a well-produced show with hosts who know their shit and have great on-air chemistry. I've discovered so much great music and some of my now favorite artists through All Songs Considered. A much needed addition to my life while I live here in Hong Kong, so far away from good music.



3. Food is the New Rock

It's a podcast that interviews musicians and chefs about food and music, my two favorite things in life. Enough said.





4. Ben Greenfield Fitness

OK, what is an out-of-shape restaurant employee who may or may not have had McDonald's five times this month doing listening to this podcast? Actually, this show is more about maximizing human performance than just fitness. I value learning about how to take care of my body so I can live my best life. Also, I like to fantasize about one day taking his advice and actually exercising again.


5. Japan Eats

Woah woah woah. As I Googled "Japan Eats" the first Google search bar suggestion was "Japan eats dogs". WTF. Stop being racist, Google. Anyhow. It's hard for me to pick one Heritage Radio Network show because there are so many good ones. But as I work in a Japanese restaurant and have always loved Japanese cuisine, I gotta give this shout-out to Japan Eats. NY-based food writer and director of the NY Japanese Culinary Academy, Akiko Katayama, interviews professionals in the Japanese food industry and demystifies the cuisine for the rest of us.

The Spirit of Japanese Whisky

Matcha Madness