Real Kombucha is changing the way people drink. On our journey, we get to meet loads of passionate and wonderful people from the worlds of food and drink, wellness, art and inspiration. Occasionally we chat to them and upload our conversations here. Won't you join us?
Why Do I Like What I Like? A Foodie Podcast with Flavour Expert, Rachel Edwards-Stuart
Why do we like the food, drinks and flavours that we like? How much does colour, sound and even upbringing have on your enjoyment of a meal? And is Willy Wonka’s everlasting gobstopper scientifically possible? This month’s episode of The REAL Podcast answers all of these questions and many more, as we chat with food scientist and flavour expert, Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart.
Her contributions and insights at the cutting edge of gastronomy have been extraordinary, having studied and worked with Hervé This and Heston himself, not to mention developing a huge range of gluten free products for one of the UK’s biggest supermarkets. These days she teaches science to chefs and runs a selection of unique and bespoke events that take in the science of flavour and gastronomy.
Over the course of the hour-long podcast, Rachel discusses her journey into the world of food science, some of the amazing studies in flavour perception that many of us many not know about, the emergence of the non-alcoholic drinks movement and how these new drinks can be paired with delicious dishes.
If you’ve ever wondered what happens once you place something tasty on your tongue, this is the podcast for you. Pour yourself a glass of REAL and put in your earbuds as we explore the fascinating world of flavour with Rachel Edwards-Stuart.
Turning Drinking Traditions Upside Down - A non-alcoholic podcast with Henry Chevallier Guild and REAL Kombucha
This month's REAL Podcast is with Henry Chevallier Guild, chatting about how a natural-born cider maker, an 8th generation heir to the Aspall estate, former chairman of the National Association of Cider Makers, now makes non-alcoholic drinks. Nonsuch Shrubs, to be precise.
It's a story that takes in a huge amount of history, truckloads of apples (and a quick sidestep into the history of the apple), plenty of tradition with a side order of local ritual. Ideal, then, for the merry month of May, when the country springs to life and drinks are quaffed aplenty.
Starting with a brief history of cider making, we move swiftly into the world of shrubs and kombuchas and question how the growing non-alcoholic drinks scene might take hold of some of these artisanal traditions and adapt them for modern times.
Talking flavour journeys with the Belazu Ingredient Company
As we continue our journey at REAL Kombucha, we love meeting and working with people that really seem to be on the same wavelength. Take this week’s guests, for example. The folks at the Belazu Ingredient Company specialise in foodie items that can turn a good dish into something truly exceptional. They talk regularly about living life in full flavour, and about how life is too short for bland food. Living life in full flavour is something we can all aspire, so for this episode, we were delighted to invite their product specialist, Bob Curbishley, and their innovation chef, Henry Russell, to chat about what living a flavourful really means.
Over the next hour or so, we’ll be discussing how travel inspires culinary creativity, and how a little bit of that creativity can also fire the imagination and get the mind traveling, even when you’re stuck at home. We’ll also discuss the origins of Belazu, way back in Borough Market when they were known as The Fresh Olive Company, and how inspiring flavours and high quality have been at the heart of what they do from day one. Bob talks about how he became an olive oil sommelier, and also explains why it’s worth spending a bit extra on a good balsamic, while Henry tells us a bit about what an innovation chef does, answering the time-honoured question: what can I do with a jar of pesto that doesn’t involve pasta?
Along the way, we take in all kinds of food history and even find time for a kombucha tasting, asking Henry how he goes about pairing our fermented drinks with his ingredients. It’s worth noting, too, that the delicious new range of nuts he talks about at the end of the episode is now on the shelves in Waitrose, not too far from our own REAL Kombucha bottles, so you can put both into your shopping basket next time you’re shopping and try the pairing for yourself.
In short, this is a fast and friendly ramble through all things flavourful, on which you’re more than welcome to eavesdrop. Strap on your ear goggles, fire up your imaginations… things are about to get very tasty indeed.
Celebrating the Tea Harvest: The REAL Podcast with Jane Pettigrew
In episode 26 of the REAL Podcast, we discuss the tea harvest and the rituals and traditions associated with tea growing in the Longjing and Darjeeling regions. We do so with Jane Pettigrew, Director of the UK Tea Academy.
The Science of Flavour: a Podcast with Christine Parkinson
Welcome to episode 25 of the REAL podcast, brought to you as always by REAL - purveyors of award-winning non-alcoholic alternatives to sparkling wines. Have you heard that we’re available now in Waitrose? If you haven’t, you’ll want to add a beautiful bottle of Royal Flush to your basket or online trolley next time you’re doing the weekly shop.
Ever wondered what’s going on in your mouth when you taste a great drink? How about the technique behind formulating a winning food pairing? It’s something we think about all the time. Here at REAL we’re lucky enough to meet some wonderful, highly skilful people, and occasionally, when we invite them to come and share their wealth of knowledge on our podcast, they say yes.
We first met Christine Parkinson when she was Head of Wine for Hakkasan, the world-renowned restaurant specialising in modern Chinese cuisine. At the time, her team was looking for a kombucha to be served as a non-alcoholic food pairing and our drinks slid onto the menu very comfortably indeed.
Since then, Christine has gone on to form the Brimful Drinks consultancy – a particularly interesting venture that specialises in helping companies working in the low/no world, some of whom have already been guests on this podcast.
This development fascinated us. That someone who has won Industry Legend awards after her years spent in the wine world should choose to move her attentions to the burgeoning non-alcoholic space… well, that really said something about the sincerity with which this category is being taken.
In this episode, Christine will talk to us about the tips and techniques she learnt for tasting drinks, the science that accompanies taste, the art of creating a great food pairing, and – of course – the considerable interest she has in the world of non-alcoholic drinks. We also learn some of that all-important drinks-tasting vocab – vital if you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about.
Adjust your napkins and set your tongues to drool. It’s going to be a tasty one.
The Mother Root Interview: From Prohibition Drinks to Non-Alcoholic Wines
Welcome to episode 24 of The REAL Podcast, brought to you, as ever, by REAL Kombucha. Grab your earphones and a glass of crystal clear Royal Flush. What a time to be supping award-winning non-alcoholic wine-like tipples. What a time to be alive!
Speaking of which, this week’s guest used to work in the world of wine. Bethan Higson travelled the globe as an ambassador for a major wine brand, getting involved in harvests, learning all about yeasts, really getting her head inside what makes a good wine and – just as importantly – how a good wine can heighten an occasion.
Since then, she’s launched one of the UK’s most interesting non-alcoholic drinks startups, Mother Root. If you’re someone who thinks non-alc drinks are little more than sugary pop, you want to try this. Her ginger switchels pack a real punch, bringing a complexity to non-alcohol cocktails that you wouldn’t normally expect to find. A must-have for any non-alc explorer’s toolkit, we were delighted when she found time to drop by and chat about her journey so far.
In this episode, Bethan and Jon discuss a range of things, including the history of prohibition drinks, some of the questions an entrepreneur asks themselves when they start putting their brand out there, and the difficulties of getting a modern crowd to drink an age-old drink. Given her background in wine, we also dig into that world from our own perspective. Her views on the way the non-alcoholic wine world is developing are fascinating. In Bethan’s words, it’s really one for the “crazy thinkers”.
If you’re keen to try Mother Root and find out how it mixes with other non-alcoholic drinks, head to our Know How section. We’ll be adding an exclusive non-alcoholic cocktail recipe featuring our two drinks there. And for our newsletter subscribers… well, who knows what might happen. Treats abound. Worth signing up, dontcha think?
In the coming episodes we’ll be chatting again to REAL founder, David Begg, in a series of short episodes. He’ll be sharing his knowledge on a number of things, including fermentation, tea, food pairing and plenty more. Make sure you subscribe to our podcasts and set your notifications on so you can keep up. See you then.