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How did a story about hog rectum and calamari on public radio capture the public's attention and win a James Beard Award? Find out on a brand new episode of Eat Your Words, as host Talia Ralph is joined by Ben Calhoun, a producer for NPR's This American Life, who contributed the story about hog rectum to the popular public radio show. He got a tip about a meat plant selling pig intestines as fake calamari, wondered if it could be true, and decided to investigate. Tune in as Ben explains how the story came to life and shares why he became so emotionally invested in the possibility of pork bung masquerading as seafood. This program was brought to you by Consider Bardwell Farm

"I like finding all the paths to go down and chasing them all as far as they can possibly go." [06:00]

"Pricing in American food culture ends up obscuring so many other things that are happening with those foods." [25:00]

"The story appealed to different parts of my personality as a journalist and somebody who likes to make radio [...] I love the idea of it. If you didn't have to use the word rectum, it could be a children's book." [27:00]

"If you eat calamari in the United States, I can't guarantee anything but I'd bet everything I own that you're not eating hog rectum [...] eat your calamari with confidence!" [28:00]

--Ben Calhoun on Eat Your Words


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Leiti Hsu is back for a brand new episode of WORD OF MOUTH after a brief hiatus! She's full of energy and joined by a great guest to get things back on track. Hear from Chris Jaeckle, the talented chef behind All'onda, a modern Venetian inspired Italian restaurant with Japanese influences in New York City. Chris is a fine dining vet, having worked as head chef at Michael White's Ai Fiori and spending almost a decade in kitchens like Tabla, Eleven Madison Park and Moriomoto. Tune in and hear why his mom is so important to him, why other cultures fascinate him and what it was like dealing with a brain tumor amidst a difficult time in his career. This program was brought to you by Of a Kind.

"When you're about to put 110-120 hours a week into something, other things seem to slip away." [08:00]

"I'm a very curious person - I'm always trying to understand cultures and quite often that's through food." [16:00]

"Everyone rubs you the wrong way sometimes. It's about finding those people who rub you the wrong way the least." [42:00]

--Chris Jaeckle on WORD OF MOUTH


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American food writer Betty Fussell joins Linda Pelaccio this week on "A Taste of the Past" for a conversation on culinary history, cultural identity and food literature. Betty is an award-winning writer and is the author of eleven books, ranging from biography to cookbooks, food history and memoir. Learn how she discovered food through travel and writing and became an "accidental" food historian. Listen as Betty describes the American cuisine she discovered throughout her life and elaborates on everything from corn fields to Mexican markets. Find out why Betty fell in love with New York City as she reads one of her literary passages live on-air! This program was sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons.

"The food of my family was absolutely terrible - the land of the bland! It was Midwestern bible belt food in California. The discovery of the drama of what food could be was enormous!" [07:08]

"Corn created settlements, it's the basis of our agriculture in the Western world. It's totally different from the plow culture of Europe." [12:15]

"I have two romances - one is the California landscape I grew up in, two is New York City. The wonder of New York City has never left me, it's the last of the great cities of the last two centuries." [21:20]

--Betty Fussell on A Taste of the Past


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