In Search of 'Real' Food

Listen nowDownload file
Embed player
Original Air Date: 
June 30, 2018

What makes food "authentic"? Do we need to feel close to where it's made? Know the complete history of where it comes from? Be able to diagram the chemistry of how it dances along our taste buds? How can we quantify the romance between eaters and the food they love?

In this hour, we talk about what it means to truly love what you eat and drink — and we ask why it matters.

Lots of choices

153 flavors of ice cream. An acre of cold cereals. Why do supermarkets have so many choices? Or do they? Where we might see hundreds of flavors, varieties and brands of food, food journalist Simran Sethi sees a scary kind of sameness.

Michael Twitty

Michael Twitty can trace his family’s food history back to the slave cabins and Antebellum kitchens of the South. Honoring his diasporic heritage — he’s both black and Jewish — lead Twitty to the practice of identity cooking. He calls it Kosher/Soul.

Salt, fat, acid, heat

Chef, author, and Netflix star Samin Nosrat developed her own philosophy of cooking, based on a few universal principles: salt, fat, acid and heat. She says it allows us to cook by following our taste buds, rather than a recipe book.

A five year vertical of Bourbon County Brand Stout.
Photo Gallery

Back in 1995, Goose Island created one of the most iconic craft beers of all time — Bourbon County Stout. Which — as Chicago Tribune beer writer Josh Noel explains — was why it was such a shock when they sold the brewery to Anheuser-Busch.

lemon and kale

After listening to the food mavens and masters in our show on chasing "authentic" food, you might be mentally gathering tips on how to better enjoy food in your own home. So let's gather some tips for better eating in one place.


Show Details 📻
June 30, 2018
February 02, 2019
December 28, 2019
August 08, 2020
August 22, 2020
December 11, 2021
July 22, 2023
Simran Sethi
Author and Journalist
Samin Nosrat
Author and Chef
Michael Twitty
Author and Culinary Historian
Josh Noel
Journalist and Author
Last modified: 
July 22, 2023