Even on public television’s extensive menu of food and cooking shows, Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie is a standout offering. It’s a globe-hopping, half-hour magazine of on-location footage and interviews featuring all sorts of fascinating topics from the primitive to the cutting-edge. A typical episode might take you from a Dante-quoting butcher in Panzano, Italy, to a traditional Door County, Wisconsin fish boil, to the inferno beneath a Moroccan bathhouse and the cooks who use its heat. There’s often also a brief recipe or technique worth trying at home.

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed most of the show’s two seasons so far on our local PBS stations, but only last week did I visit the Diary of a Foodie Web site and notice that all 20 episodes of the first season are available online for free downloading and viewing in iTunes. That’s eight and two-thirds total hours!

Go and get it.