Hungry For MO Podcast – 

Co-hosted by Jenny Vergara, foodie and freelance writer, and Natasha Bailey, a chef, cheesemaker, and home gardener, the show celebrates how local cuisine connects us as a community and shapes our region’s identity. Each podcast episode dives deep—taking the listener on a food journey that highlight’s Missouri cuisine—including interviews with the food inventors, historical events, and unique circumstances or family recipes that went into some of our state’s most iconic dishes.

Hungry For MO is made possible by Missouri Humanities and produced and distributed by KCUR.

Season 2

What Even is Ozarks Cuisine?

Missouri’s Ozark Mountains are known for their lush wilderness and popular tourist destinations. But what about the food? Like much of Ozark culture, the cuisine remains deeply misunderstood and shrouded in stereotypes. From deep in the forest to upscale restaurants, these food lovers are preserving the Ozarks’ past and charting its future.

The Salad Days of Wish-Bone dressing

In 1948, Phillip Sollomi debuted an Italian vinaigrette at his Kansas City fried chicken restaurant, the Wishbone. An immediate hit, the salad dressing formed the foundation for an empire: You can find that iconic Wish-Bone bottle in nearly every supermarket in the country. Decades after Sollomi left the company, his family has returned to the city to reclaim their legacy.

Black Walnut Magic

Missouri is home to more black walnut trees than any other place in the world. Its wild nature and distinct flavor means the black walnut often gets passed over for more popular European varieties — the kinds you normally see in grocery stores and restaurants. But these Missourians are making sure that the state’s native nut, and its importance to the culture of this region, gets its day in the sun.

No apologies for St. Louis pizza

Is there any other regional pizza in the country that elicits as much debate and shame as St. Louis-style? A square-cut, thin-crust pie topped with ooey, gooey Provel cheese, this unconventional pizza is the result of decades of St. Louis ingenuity — and yet, even many locals apologize for their unique creation.

Season 1

Myth-Busting The St. Louis World’s Fair

The St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904 forever changed modern American cuisine — popularizing foods like the ice cream cone, hamburgers and iced tea. But what aren’t we remembering about this international affair?

Crock-Pots For The People

No Midwestern cookout is complete without a delicious chili or dip simmering in a Crock-Pot. But when the device was first unveiled by a Kansas City company in 1971, it promised something more: freedom. Learn more about the Kansas City women who taught America how to use the Crock-Pot.

George Washington Carver’s Quiet Revolution

George Washington Carver is slotted in American history lessons as “the peanut guy.” But this Missourian gave us biofuels, food trucks, plant based meats, alternative medicines, and so much more.
Learn more about Carver’s revolutionary contributions to the world, stretching from civil rights to agriculture.

Chinese Food, Missouri-Style

Missouri claims the creation of two iconic, innovative Chinese dishes — but they’re more than local curiosities. Each dish tells a story of immigrants who arrived in Missouri and “cooked to survive.”

How Missouri Saved Wine

If you love French wine and the Napa Valley region of California, then you should really thank Missouri — specifically, the work of a few Missouri winemakers and scientists who saved the industry at a pivotal moment.

Who Gets To Define Missouri Barbecue?

Kansas City and St. Louis are both known as barbecue destinations, but recent efforts to redefine the cuisine have sidelined the Black barbecuers, pitmasters and restaurateurs who made it an institution.

Trailer: Hungry For MO

To celebrate Missouri’s 200th birthday, hosts Natasha Bailey and Jenny Vergara are uncovering the stories behind the iconic foods of the state of Missouri. 

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