Music has been around for as long as we can remember, and with the invention of streaming services, is now more popular than ever. However, music isn’t the only popular form of entertainment that has become available on streaming services.
Podcasting is now a term that 75% of Americans are familiar with and approximately 55% of those same US citizens consider themselves fans of these digital audio series, according to 2021's podcast statistics.
As numbers continue to grow, more and more “podcasters” are inspired to enter the game, one of which being Ohio University freshman and sociology/criminology major, Jack Gentry.
Gentry is the founder of the podcast “Rigatoni Radio, a Portly Mans Podcast,” in which he and other guests discuss a common love that all of humankind share, food.
Each episode generally discusses burning topics that all foodies have debated since the dawn of time. For example: tacos vs burritos, sweet or savory, best side dishes for Thanksgiving feasts and cake vs pie.
Not only does this audio series discuss general food debates such as the ones previously listed, but each episode typically includes a complaint about the quality of certain food items that can be found at the dining halls at Ohio University.
Having a grievance or two directed towards dining hall food is something no OU students are strangers to. Gentry and his guests are relatively unhinged when it comes to sharing their opinions on some of Nelson Hall’s “finest cuisines,” which makes for entertaining back and forth banter.
These guests, such as Nathan Herchl, a freshman majoring in energy engineering, and *Donnie Schiffbauer, who is majoring in meteorology and environmental geography are by no means experts on food, which eliminates any possibility of pretentious food critics that can be found on other food-related podcasts
The relationship between Gentry and his guests adds to the amusement because they aren’t afraid to poke fun at each other and get under each other's skin while recording. This dynamic allows for an upbeat and casual conversation that gives one the feeling of being amongst friends.
When a podcast host doesn’t have a good repartee with his or her guests it can really show and become a detriment to the performance, which is why this aspect of the “Rigatoni Radio” series is so vital.
It is hard not to crack a smile as you listen to this group of likable companions voice their well-defended opinions on everything food, and when some of the discussion points involve food items you're familiar with,(such as OU’s sometimes inedible dining hall nourishment) it only adds to the enjoyment.
While discussions often do go awry, these sidetracked moments are part of the charm of “Rigatoni Radio” and it ensures that no two episodes are remotely similar
This podcast is ideal for walking through college green or to put one in the mood for a good meal. Plus, it could save you from making a grave mistake at one of the dining halls, or offer a suggestion on a food item one hasn’t gotten around to trying yet.
The disorganized, comedic conversation about everyone's favorite necessity will provide perfect background noise for your day-to-day life, and is sure to put you in a better, or at least hungrier, mood.
When asked what drove him to create this podcast, Gentry simply shrugged and nonchalantly replied, “I love food, and who doesn’t want their own podcast?” It’s a perfect representation of what his series is all about.