The food that built America

WATCH: The Food that Built America

Now in its second season, this compelling History Channel series takes you deep inside the cutthroat world of food entrepreneurialism. Did you know that the origins of Kentucky Fried Chicken include a murder? Or that the original creators of the fast-food industry and namesake of the McDonald’s franchise have had their legacy all but erased by the man who bought them out in 1961? Each episode explores a different moment in food history and the brilliant — and deeply flawed — inventors behind some of our most recognized and beloved products. If you don’t have cable, you can catch some episodes online for free at history.com.

LISTEN: Welcome to Your Fantasy

Historian Natalia Petrzela shares the compelling origin story and evolution of the famous Chippendales male exotic dance show that enthralled fans when it launched in 1979. Petrzela investigates how a young Indian immigrant named Steve Banerjee teamed up with Nick De Noia, an Emmy Award-winning children’s television producer, to create an epic production of male nudity and erotic dancing performed before throngs of shrieking, out-of-control audience members. The podcast also explores the dark side of Chippendales and its creators, forming a well-rounded portrait of a unique pop culture phenomenon. Available on Spotify. 

READ: How Beautiful We Were

Author Imbolo Mbue pens an engrossing, moving story of African villagers fighting for their lives and the future of their children against an American oil company and the corrupt dictatorship that has allowed them to pollute and defile the environment with impunity. The book is not an easy read, but it is a meaningful one, and its themes of sacrifice, love, corruption and colonialism will inspire deep contemplation — when you can find the willpower to pause and look away from Mbue’s engaging prose and creative structure.

PLAY:  It Takes Two

This bizarre new release from EA Games sends you and a partner on a co-op adventure built just for two. You’ll play as Cody and May, an odd couple turned into dolls by a spell and herded into repairing their relationship as they tackle challenge after challenge. While the premise might sound a little deep, the game has been celebrated by critics for its lighthearted themes, innovative gameplay and gorgeous visuals. In the spirit of cooperation, the game even allows you to have a friend from afar join online co-op for free with a friend pass. Alternatively, you can settle in for a couch co-op party with your spouse or in-person bestie. Available on most gaming platforms.