Beyond the Plate: A Culinary Journey Through Authenticity and Imitation

    Chinatown, Chicago. Photo taken by the author, Kaylah.
    Listen to Beyond the Plate: A Culinary Journey Through Authenticity and Imitation by Kaylah.

    Food is something we all know and love. Here in the U.S., numerous cultures co-exist. This breeds foods of all cultures. Food is a very big part of people’s lives and it is important to know the differences in the foods you eat. In the U.S., there are authentic and Americanized foods. Authentic foods come directly from a specific culture while Americanized foods are derived from authentic foods. This podcast will explore the differences between the two genres of food and which type of food people prefer. 

    Jacianna grew up in Trinidad and Jamaica. She grew up eating authentic Caribbean food. Before coming to the U.S. four years ago, she never experienced Americanized food. She shares her experiences of eating non authentic foods as someone who always eats authentic food. She speaks of Chicago’s Jerk places, which she sees as good but not comparable to her native cuisine. But my mother Catherine, an American who grew up eating both authentic and Americanized Chinese food, has no preference between the cuisines. She explains that the more she eats authentic Chinese food, she’s able to differentiate fresh ingredients and dishes made from scratch from pre-made foods.

    Fershawnda, owner of Poppin’ Plates, shares her experiences as a catering professional navigating cooking authentic soul food and also consuming non authentic soul food. She speaks of the price and nutrition differences between authentic food restaurants vs fast food places. All three of the people interviewed have gone through different experiences which shaped the way they view authentic and Americanized foods. People’s preferences for the two types of food stem from the foods they grew up with.

    This issue of Mildsauce, we invited young journalists to reflect on the theme “Sense of Wonder.” Click here to follow the stories coming up in our “Wonder” issue. For more podcasts, check out our Podcasts archive.


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