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What makes Curious Minnesota different from other podcasts?

In the words of host Eric Roper: “It’s quick, packed with interesting facts and all about Minnesota.”

Our Curious Minnesota stories already answer reader questions about our state, our culture, local history and beyond. Since the effort launched in March 2019, more than 775 questions have been submitted and more than 15,000 votes have been cast to help pick questions that we’ve answered for the series.

The new Curious Minnesota podcast expands upon our reporting, featuring the journalists who wrote the stories and subject-matter experts. Plus, each episode includes outside voices — whether we talk to the reader who asked the question or we go out and ask Minnesotans what they think, like we did in the Stone Arch Bridge episode.

“It’s important to us to showcase the readers asking these questions, because we couldn’t produce these stories without them,” said Roper.

The podcast is strictly about Minnesota and questions Minnesotans wonder about every day — topics range from Honeycrisp apples and skyways to the Stone Arch Bridge and “Minnesota Nice.” Each episode stays under 15 minutes, every time.

“We know that you’re busy, and that there’s tons of other podcasts out there,” said Roper. “I personally feel inundated with new podcasts. Our pitch is: We’re not going to waste your time.”

What questions have we already answered, and what’s coming next?

So far, we have recorded episodes based on some of our most popular Curious Minnesota stories — Where does “Minnesota Nice” come from, and what does the label even mean? How did the Twin Cities become a hub for Somali immigrants?

Our newest release explains why the Stone Arch Bridge crosses the Mississippi River at such a strange angle. An episode about why Honeycrisp apples are still so expensive, although it’s been years since their release on the market, is in the works.

You can find Curious Minnesota wherever you listen to podcasts. Tune in on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher or on our website.

We want to hear your feedback

Roper, who hosts and edits each episode, wants to hear your thoughts about how the podcast could be improved and adjusted to best serve its listeners. Are the podcasts the right length? Are there other elements or segments you’d like to see included? We would also love input on what Curious stories you’d like to see in the podcast.

“If people feel strongly about something, they should email me at eroper@startribune.com.