Cooking really shouldn’t make good radio. On television, it’s already frustrating that you can’t taste what you’re seeing, but on radio you can’t even see it. ‘I’m just cracking an egg,’ they tell you. ‘And now I’ll crack another egg.’ The sounds — violent thuds, hissing gas, moist chewing — are more ominous than appetising and the commentary (‘I’m just mixing those eggs together now’) can’t help but be comically sedate (‘OK — they’re mixed’).
So it’s a miracle that The Food Programme (Radio 4), after three decades of this sort of experiment, is as good as it often is, and Cooking for Poldark, this week’s ingenious episode, was really very good indeed.
Its likeable star was Genevieve Taylor, a ‘food stylist’ who constructs banquets for the BBC1 adaptation, now on its second series, of Winston Graham’s Poldark novels.