Chewing the Fat
1 week ago
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Fan mail!

Fan mail!

1 week ago
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Yes, there’s destination dining, but destination markets? Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng shop the aisles in this week’s Super Markets episode. Monica goes behind the scenes at ALDI US HQ. And they visit Louisa’s own local small but super market, The Dill Pickle, surprisingly Chicago’s only food co-op to date. Plus they talk favorite markets worldwide with expert Robyn Eckhardt, the blogger behind Eating Asia, on location in Turkey researching her upcoming book. Plus the tables turn this week when Monica challenges Louisa with bird’s nest white fungus drink, but Will She Eat It? — or drink it?! (Photo by Louisa Chu / Super market bags and basket at The Dill Pickle Food Co-op in Chicago)

2 weeks ago
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Happy tomato season!

Happy tomato season!

3 weeks ago
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Chefs are the new rock stars, and rock stars are certified chefs. But what about diners? Does head banging metal make a better burger? How do experts pair a perfect summer tomato? Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng share their all-access pass to the recent Sound Opinions BBQ, and what they heard about food and music.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr/ MasterMaq

1 month ago
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You like tomato, and I like tomahto! And Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng do too, in this week’s Tomato Tomahto episode. Blue Hill chef and author Dan Barber told Monica and Louisa it’s the Hummer of the vegetable world last season. And now Tomato Mountain Farm owner Chris Covelli tells them heirlooms are Model Ts. But the hot tomato this season may be the Tesla, a hybrid blue-black Indigo Rose Blue Berry, and creator Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms describes their indescribable ideal flavor. Plus New York Times best-selling author Barry Estabrook updates the state of Tomatoland. And WBEZ host Tony Sarabia, fresh off an Iowa farm, is shocked by Green City Market’s ugliest tomato, but Will He Eat It?

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It’s mid-August in Chicago and for many people that means tomato season. But there are many controversies surrounding this love apple that has worked its way from the Americas to most of the world’s cuisines. Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng learned this as they researched their Tomato Tomahto episode.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

1 month ago
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Why should you spend double digits on a pint of ice cream? Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams tells us why, in loving detail. We also take a tour of Chicago’s coolest delicacies, including Mario’s Italian Lemonade. Finally, we bite into the cold, spicy, mango treats served at Mexican neverias. These places inspire Louisa to make a Honey Bun sundae for Monica, but Will She Eat It? Find out on the Icy episode of Chewing the Fat!

1 month ago
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So long, and thanks for all the fish? Hold the boat! This week Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng try to stem the tide in the Seafood episode. They ask New York Times best-selling author Paul Greenberg what are our best sustainable choices. And Jon Rowley, whom Julia Child called “The Fish Missionary”, about how to pick them. Plus a visit to Calumet Fisheries, the James Beard award-winning smoked seafood shack, to eat Gulf shrimp and hear fish stories from manager Carlos Rosas. But aged salmon bottarga? Podcast intern Iris Lin takes the plunge, but Will She Eat It? (Photo by Louisa Chu / Fried smelt at Calumet Fisheries in Chicago, Illinois)

1 month ago
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All American halal gyro cheeseburgers and camel milk? YES. This week Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng taste those and more on this Halal episode, exploring food at the end of Ramadan, during the Eid celebration. But what is halal food? Monica and Louisa ask their WBEZ colleague Mariam Sobh, who’s also the founder of the wildly popular lifestyle blog Hijab Trendz, about halal food trends. And they visit halal Pakistani-Indian restaurant Shahi Nihari Hot N Spicy to feast on American fare, including burgers, cheesesteaks, and wings. Plus Will She Eat It? this week is Will He Drink It? featuring Desert Farms camel milk, from Midwestern Amish camel farmers, and podcast intern Patrick Burns. Hear how halal food and drink is not just for religious reasons anymore, but health and ethical too. (Photo by Louisa Chu / Halal gyro cheeseburger at Shahi Nihari Hot N Spicy restaurant in Villa Park, Illinois)

1 month ago
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Where and what to eat in Chicago’s Chinatown? Plug in your earbuds and pull on your eating pants and join Chewing the Fat’s Louisa Chu and Monica Eng along with their author pal Wen Huang for a guided eating tour of Chinatown Square, from the east to west end. On this first Chewing the Fat “Raw”.

1 month ago
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“Where should I eat in Chinatown?” is a question Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng hear often as Chinese-Americans. In this Season Three premiere, we try to answer not only where, but what and why too. We talk and taste with expert friends, including internationally celebrated Chinese-American chef Ken Hom, who describes in loving detail his Chinatown childhood comfort dish of lap cheong steamed over rice. And New York Times best selling novelist Lisa See, who shares her father’s tomato beef chow mein. Plus author Wen Huang, who explains the northeastern Dongbei trend and dishes, with cumin crusted grilled lamb skewers, and much more. And Will She Eat It? is back, with preserved duck, plus listener guest Eleanor Ou! BTW Monica is half Chinese and half Puerto Rican/Peruvian, more on that in future episodes of Chewing the Fat! (Photo by Louisa Chu/Grilled lamb skewers at Homestyle Taste near Chinatown in Chicago)

2 months ago
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Louisa and I try Chicago’s first sustainable lop cheong on this week’s season launch of Chewing the Fat—Chinatown style.

Louisa and I try Chicago’s first sustainable lop cheong on this week’s season launch of Chewing the Fat—Chinatown style.

2 months ago
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Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng chow down on the 34th annual Taste of Chicago!

Chewing the Fat co-hosts Louisa Chu and Monica Eng chow down on the 34th annual Taste of Chicago!

2 months ago
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Whether you make Dorilocos, Tostilocos or Takilocos, here’s the basic recipe. Buen provecho!

2 months ago
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This morning I (Monica) did an interview for WBEZ at Goodness Greenness the biggest distributor of organic produce in the Midwest. What does it say about our society that this mecca of sustainable produce is located in the middle of a Chicago neighborhood whose grocery stores look like this? 

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