A Taste of the Past

By Heritage Radio Network

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Linda Pelaccio, a culinary historian, takes a weekly journey through the history of food on A Taste of the Past. Tune in for interviews with authors, scholars and culinary chroniclers who discuss food culture from ancient Mesopotamia and Rome to the grazing tables and deli counters of today. Each week Linda explores the lively link between food cultures of the present and past.

Episode Date
The Food Supply Chain and History of Beans

How and why has the COVID-19 pandemic affected our Food Supply Chain? And where are all the dried beans? They've been around for thousands of years and now the shelves are empty. Maybe it's a sign that Americans are cooking real food and know what's nutritious. Natalie Rachel Morris joins Linda to talk about the History of Beans and their importance.

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Apr 03, 2020
Golden Arches in Black America

Often blamed for the rising rates of obesity and diabetes among black Americans, fast food restaurants like McDonald’s have long symbolised capitalism’s villainous effects on our nation’s most vulnerable communities. But how did fast food restaurants so thoroughly saturate black neighbourhoods in the first place? Historian Marcia Chatelain whose new book is Franchise, The Golden Arches in Black America, traces the history of the relationships between the struggle for civil rights and the expansion of the fast food industry.

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Feb 25, 2020
Darra Goldstein: Seeking The Flavors of Russian Cooking

In her travels to the Russian North award-winning cookbook author and Russian scholar Darra Goldstein discovered the extraordinary in the ordinary. In her search to find truly Russian flavors she found that many of the old foods seemed new again in the context of modern cuisine. She shares her poetic sensibilities and sense of adventure and research on this episode.

Photo Courtesy of Barry Goldstein

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Feb 06, 2020
Poison Squad: Founding of the FDA

Technology and industry put more food on the shelves and in markets by extending the life of perishable goods with canning and processing methods. But was the food safe? By the late 19th century, the American food supply was rife with frauds, fakes, and deadly chemicals. It affected everything from milk and beef, black pepper and mustard to candy, whiskey and soda. It took one man, Dr. Harvey W. Wiley, chief chemist of the USDA, his entire career to campaign for food safety and consumer protection, and the ultimate creation of the Food and Drug Act in 1909. Award winning writer and science journalist Deborah Blum talks about the stories and struggles to safe food from her book, The Poison Squad, which is now a PBS documentary.

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Jan 30, 2020
PASTA GRANNIES: Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks

Who ever thought a video series about watching old Italian grandmothers making pasta would become a hugely successful YouTube channel? Food writer Vicky Bennison saw something special and spent over five years filming and interviewing the women who became "Pasta Grannies." Traditional regional recipes and techniques will be preserved thanks to her foresight and work. And now there's a companion cookbook that shares not only the recipes but also the extraordinary stories of these endearing women. And Vicky shares with us the behind-the-scene tales.

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Jan 23, 2020
Episode 344: The Coney Island Hot Dog Returns

Charles Feltman, a German immigrant, invented the hot dog in Coney Island during the summer of 1867 as a convenient way for beachgoers to enjoy quality sausages on a bun without plates and silverware. The business closed in 1954, but the name lived on.  Now entrepreneur and historian Michael Quinn and his brother have resurrected the brand FELTMAN'S OF CONEY ISLAND and tell us all about the history.

The holiday season is all about food and community. There’s no better time to show your support for food radio by becoming a member! Lend your voice and help HRN continue to spreading the message of equitable, sustainable, and delicious food – together, we can change minds and build a better food system. Go to heritageradionetwork.org/donate  today to become a crucial part of the HRN community.

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Dec 19, 2019
Episode 343: Signature Dishes That Shaped Culinary History

There are certain iconic restaurant dishes that defined the course of culinary history over the past 300 years, known as a chef's signature dish. Now an international team of culinary experts has featured 247 of those dishes in a new book, Signature Dishes That Matter. LInda's guest, writer and editor Christine Muhlke, wrote the texts that describe the dishes' histories as well as providing context and connections between chefs and culinary movements to create an innovative and fascinating history of gastronomy.

The holiday season is all about food and community. There’s no better time to show your support for food radio by becoming a member! Lend your voice and help HRN continue to spreading the message of equitable, sustainable, and delicious food – together, we can change minds and build a better food system. Go to heritageradionetwork.org/donate today to become a crucial part of the HRN community.

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Dec 12, 2019
Episode 342: Serious Eats' Ed Levine

LIVE FROM INDUSTRY CITY: Linda interviews Ed Levine, food writer, author, and founder of one of the top food and cooking websites, SeriousEats.com. From a serious pizza taster to a serious website founder, Ed Levine had one mantra: “YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE people who refuse to lose who end up finding success.” It is the mindset that Levine carried with him throughout the ups and downs of his career. This tumultuous journey is also the primary focus of his latest book Serious Eater: A Food Lover’s Perilous Quest for Pizza and Redemption

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Dec 05, 2019
Episode 341: Resurrection of Zagat

Restaurant guides have been around for centuries since Grimod de La Reyniére published his Almanach des Gourmandes in1804. These guides were usually opinions of one writer about upscale restaurants or coupled with travel guides. Then along came Zagat in 1979, a restaurant guide for the people by the people founded by Tim and Nina Zagat. Forty years since its launch it is enjoying a resurrection of sorts. After having been dormanat for a few years TheInfatuation.com bought the rights to Zagat and has just published the first new NYC edition, and plans for more. The editor-in-chief Hillary Reinsberg joins Linda to share the story of its rebirth.

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Nov 21, 2019
Episode 340: Joy of Cooking - Redux

It’s been nearly ninety years since Irma S. Rombauer self-published the first edition of Joy of Cooking in 1931. It quickly rose in popularity and soon became the “kitchen bible,” shaping the recipes and techniques of home cooks. Irma’s daughter, Marion Rombauer Becker, revised and wrote the 6th edition in 1975, now considered a classic. Today there is a new, modern edition which reclaims many of the lost recipes over the years and adds a few new ones. John Becker, Marion's grandson and great-grandson of Irma , and his wife Megan Scott spent nine years revising and updating the recipes and information for the newest Joy of Cooking. They share their stories of that effort with Linda on this episode.

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Nov 14, 2019
Episode 339: The Food of Sichuan

Sichuan food has long been known for its heat and spice, but the fragrant flavors and sophistication that it holds throughout China was little known abroad. The award-winning food writer Fuchsia Dunlop has done much to introduce the finer flavors of Sichuan cuisine. She has revised her 2001 book, Land of Plenty, to create a more encompassing book of the culture and recipes of Sichuan Food.

Join Heritage Radio Network on Monday, November 11th, for a raucous feast to toast a decade of food radio. Our tenth anniversary bacchanal is a rare gathering of your favorite chefs, mixologists, storytellers, thought leaders, and culinary masterminds. We’ll salute the inductees of the newly minted HRN Hall of Fame, who embody our mission to further equity, sustainability, and deliciousness. Explore the beautiful Palm House and Yellow Magnolia Café, taste and imbibe to your heart’s content, and bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences and tasty gifts for any budget at our silent auction. Tickets available now at heritageradionetwork.org/gala.

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Nov 07, 2019
Episode 338: American Cuisine and How It Got This Way

What is American cuisine? Is there an American cuisine? It’s probably one of the most debated questions in food circles, certainly by food writers. Historian Paul Freedman, author of the recent best-selling book, Ten Restaurants that Changed America, explores the question in his newest book, AMERICAN CUISINE, and How It Got This Way.

Join Heritage Radio Network on Monday, November 11th, for a raucous feast to toast a decade of food radio. Our tenth anniversary bacchanal is a rare gathering of your favorite chefs, mixologists, storytellers, thought leaders, and culinary masterminds. We’ll salute the inductees of the newly minted HRN Hall of Fame, who embody our mission to further equity, sustainability, and deliciousness. Explore the beautiful Palm House and Yellow Magnolia Café, taste and imbibe to your heart’s content, and bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences and tasty gifts for any budget at our silent auction. Tickets available now at heritageradionetwork.org/gala.

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Oct 31, 2019
Episode 337: The History and Art of Tailgating

What do football games, concerts, NASCAR, and similar outdoor gatherings have in common? Tailgate parties, or "tailgating" as it's commonly called. It's an American cultural phenomenon, and my guest today, Lynne Weems Ryan, whose moniker is Tailgage Buzz, is well-versed in the art and history of these social gatherings.

Join Heritage Radio Network on Monday, November 11th, for a raucous feast to toast a decade of food radio. Our tenth anniversary bacchanal is a rare gathering of your favorite chefs, mixologists, storytellers, thought leaders, and culinary masterminds. We’ll salute the inductees of the newly minted HRN Hall of Fame, who embody our mission to further equity, sustainability, and deliciousness. Explore the beautiful Palm House and Yellow Magnolia Café, taste and imbibe to your heart’s content, and bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences and tasty gifts for any budget at our silent auction. Tickets available now at heritageradionetwork.org/gala.

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Oct 24, 2019
Episode 336: Seeking the South

“There’s no genre of American cuisine as storied as Southern,” according to Rob Newton, Southern born chef/restaurateur, and now cookbook author. In his book, Seeking the South: Finding Inspired Regional Cuisines, Rob describes how the clash of cultures and ever-shifting mix of people who have moved through Southern regions have influenced the cuisine, making it culturally rich with distinct regional differences.

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Oct 03, 2019
Episode 335: Dining at Downton Abbey

Fans of the TV series "Downton Abbey" are excitedly awaiting the premiere of the movie on Friday of this week. And coinciding with the movie's release is the publication of "The Official Downtown Abbey Cookbook," by Annie Gray, one of Britain's leading food historians who joins Linda on today's episode. Dr. Gray researched recipes from historical sources for the meals seen on the show and includes notes on the ingredients and customs of the time. She gives a warm and fascinating insight into the background of the dishes that were popular between 1912 and 1926, when Downton Abbey is set – a period of tremendous change and conflict, as well as culinary development, which makes the book a truly useful work of culinary history.

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Sep 19, 2019
Episode 334: Grave Case of the Gravenstein: Saving an Heirloom Apple

In 2005, Slow Food USA declared the 17th century Gravenstein apple a heritage food. But despite the efforts of several organizations to preserve this historically important apple, it is now listed on the Slow Food’s Ark of Taste as an endangered American food. Why has such a flavorful fruit fallen out of favor? The attributing factors are several and, fortunately,so are it's supporters. Joining me to discuss the Gravenstein apple's perilous future are Chris Mittelstaedt, a produce expert and Founder & CEO of The FruitGuys.com based in San Francisco, and Rebecca North, Director of Quality and Supply Chain at The FruitGuys.

It's HRN's annual summer fund drive, this is when we turn to our listeners and ask that you make a donation to help ensure a bright future for food radio. Help us keep broadcasting the most thought provoking, entertaining, and educational conversations happening in the world of food and beverage. Become a member today! To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we have brand new member gifts available. So snag your favorite new pizza - themed tee shirt or enamel pin today and show the world how much you love HRN, just go to heritageradionetwork.org/donate

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Aug 01, 2019
Episode 333: PICKLES!

Pickling is an ancient method of preserving foods, and even though the preservation need is no longer the major importance in today’s gastronomic world, pickled foods are valued more as a food that excites and delivers those desired, assertive flavors. Fermentationist Jori Jayne Emde of Lady Jaynes Alchemy talk about the process and Zach Meyer from Claussen (Kraft-Heinz,) one of America's top choice, commercially produced pickles shares their history.

It's HRN's annual summer fund drive, this is when we turn to our listeners and ask that you make a donation to help ensure a bright future for food radio. Help us keep broadcasting the most thought provoking, entertaining, and educational conversations happening in the world of food and beverage. Become a member today! To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we have brand new member gifts available. So snag your favorite new pizza - themed tee shirt or enamel pin today and show the world how much you love HRN, just go to heritageradionetwork.org/donate.

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Jul 18, 2019
Episode 332: Molly O'Neill

Today, we are rerunning Episode #52 of A Taste of the Past, in which we spoke with Molly O'Neill. Molly passed away this week, and she will be sorely missed.

It's HRN's annual summer fund drive, this is when we turn to our listeners and ask that you make a donation to help ensure a bright future for food radio. Help us keep broadcasting the most thought provoking, entertaining, and educational conversations happening in the world of food and beverage. Become a member today! To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we have brand new member gifts available. So snag your favorite new pizza - themed tee shirt or enamel pin today and show the world how much you love HRN, just go to heritageradionetwork.org/donate.

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Jun 20, 2019
Episode 331: Salt-Works: Reviving a Centuries Old Tradition in the Appalachian Mountains

William Dickinson first drilled for brine in 1817, in western Virginia, using a hollowed-out tree trunk for piping, The town soon became the "salt capial of the east." Today, two 7th generation descendants of Dickinson, siblings Nancy Bruns and Lewis Payne, have reinvented this storied tradition, transforming the process by using natural and environmentally friendly concepts to produce small-batch finishing salt. On the very same family farm where William Dickinson lived and made salt, Nancy and Lewis have recaptured salt from this pristine 400 million year old ancient sea below the Appalachian Mountains. Nancy joins Linda to tell the story.

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Jun 13, 2019
Episode 330: Women's Work: History of Community Cookbooks

Community cookbooks—you know, those spiral bound collections with each contributor credited--began as a way for women to come together and share recipes and to support a common cause be it a local church, school, club, or other fundraising goal. The concept became so popular and spread rapidly throughout the nation that more than 3,000 charity cookbooks were published between 1864 and 1922, according to Feeding America, an historic cookbook project of Michigan State University. Antiquarian bookseller, collector and food historian Don Lindgren shares his insights into this movement from charitable funding to the breaking of gender limits.

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May 30, 2019
Episode 329: Eat With Your Eyes: "Moritsuké," Japanese Arrangement of Food on the Plate

Have you ever marveled at the delicately complex beauty of a plate of Japanese food? A dish is considered well-harmonized in Japanese when it is peaceful to look at. This arrangement of food on the plates in Japan or at Japanese restaurants is largely dictated by the rules of moritsuké, or serving arrangement. These are a set of styles that draw on the ideas of balance and contrast established centuries ago. Elizabeth Andoh, an authority on Japanese food and culture, TasteofCulture.com, explains the art and philosopy behind the saying, "Japanese eat with their eyes."

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May 23, 2019
Episode 328: Evolution of the American Kitchen, From Workplace to Dreamscape,1940s-70s

The prosperity of the 1950's kicked off the revolution in technology and design that transformed the American kitchen from scullery to the central great room of the modern home. Modern pastel colored appliances and kitchen products made by companies whose names became household synonyms for convenience were representative of the era. Writer and design curator Sarah Archer has documented this movement in her new book, The Midcentury Kitchen, and joins Linda to talk about it.

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May 16, 2019
Episode 327: Pierre Thiam on FONIO: History and Future of the African Supergrain

New York City-based Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam has heightened the profile of West African cuisine in the United States with his restaurants and award-winning cookbooks Yolélé and Senegal. His new mission is to popularize the ancient supergrain FONIO in the U.S. and help farmers across the drought-prone Sahel region.

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May 09, 2019
Episode 326: Lost and Disappearing Dishes of the Italian South

The cuisine of the Italian south has been called the soul of Italian cuisine and bedrock in the history of Italian cooking. In her new book, Food of the Italian South, food journalist and historian Katie Parla explores the cuisine, region by region, and discovers that many of the dishes are disappearing or are lost and remain as vague memories by later generations. Katie shares her insights into the history and culture of the southern regions that shaped the country’s soulful cuisine.

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Photo courtesy of Ed Anderson.

Apr 18, 2019
Episode 325: Pintxos and Food of the Basque Country

The Basque region of Spain is a food lover's mecca. From the endless variety of pintxos--the small bites offered at hundreds of bars--to rustic ciderhouse dinners; and from over 20 Michelin-starred restaurants to private gastronomic clubs, there is clearly a strong culture of food and dining. San Sebastián, once a humble fishing village, is at the center of all this gastronomy. San Sebastian native and culinary tour guide Lourdes Erquicia shares the history of the region and its food traditions.

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Apr 11, 2019
Episode 324: The Ancient Secret of Cetara: Colatura di Alici

For centuries, in the small town of Cetara on the Amalfi Coast of Italy, anchovies have been gathered and fermented into the piquant sauce "colatura di alici," a local specialty. Until the 1990s, colatura di alici had never been bottled or sold. People clamored for the artisanal product and asked for more. Now the town is embroiled in a "be careful what you wish for" scenario. Culinary history scholar Claire Alsup spent several months in Cetara examining the history and process, and was thrust into the middle of the town's debate.

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Mar 21, 2019
Episod 323: Irish Classics

It's been 30 years since Irish cooking personality Darina Allen started SIMPLY DELICIOUS, her original television program and cookbook series. Today she looks back over that period of time and talks about the tried and true Irish dishes that she has gathered for her newest book, Simply Delicious: The Classic Collection. She reflects on how the cuisine has evolved over the years and descibes the traditional Irish recipes that have endured.

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Mar 14, 2019
Episode 322: Bartolomeo Scappi: History Reimagined

Author Crystal King’s newest historical novel, “The Chef’s Secret,” is a fictional story based on a true character, Bartolomeo Scappi, who served as the Vatican chef during the 16th century Italian Renaissance. From Scappi’s original cookbooks and her extensive research on the popes and cardinals for whom he worked, King recreates and fabricates the missing pieces of the first ""celebrity chef's"" life.
As one reviewer wrote: It’s not a meant as a scholarly novel, but merits recognition for historical details on the Vatican and its occupants, and also architectural details of Roman estates… and, of course, descriptions of Scappi’s recipes and dishes.

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Mar 07, 2019
Episode 321: Accidental Farmers: How the Jamisons Became part of the Food Revolution

When Sukey and John Jamison purchased an old farmhouse over 40 years ago they had no idea they would they would become game-changing farmers, let alone being named Conservaton Farmers of the Year for 2017. As sheep farmers they learned techniques that harked back to historic methods which have roots in pre-industrial and European farming. Their lamb gained traction and was declared the best in the country by some of the top chefs and their customer list became a veritable who's who of the food world. They join Linda on this episode to talk about their experiences, stories, and recipes which they have written down in a new book that humbly declares that they achieved sustainable farming due to "pure survival techniques.

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Feb 21, 2019
Episode 320: 30 generations of Olive Oil - Frescobaldi

In medieval times the term Laudemio indicated the best part of the harvest reserved for the feudal lord. This year the Frescobaldi family of Tuscany is celebrating the 30th anniversary harvest of its Laudemio Frescobaldi extra virgin olive oil with a special gold bottle. Matteo Fescobaldi, the 30th generation of the wine and olive oil family joins Linda to share the story behind Laudemio, now a consortium of 21 producers.

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Feb 07, 2019
Episode 319: Food of the Republic of Georgia

Situated strategically at the crossroads of Europe and Asia in the Caucasus mountain range the Republic of Georgia has a unique and ancient cultural heritage that is famed for its traditions of hospitality and cuisine. Twenty-five years ago award-winner cookbook author Darra Goldstein introduced a generation of cooks to the culture and cuisine of that land in her book, The Georgian Feast. Today Georgia has become a hot travel destination for both its beautiful land and its food and wine traditions. Fortunately for us, an updated anniversary edition of The Georgian Feast has been released, and Darra once again brings the marvels and tastes of that rich country to her readers.

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Jan 31, 2019
Episode 318: Sustainable Culinary Travel

Culinary travel is one of the fastest growing travel trends today. By combining travel with unique eating--and even cooking--experiences, culinary tourism offers an authentic taste of place and understanding of the culture. Elizabeth Minchilli shares her philosophy and tips for seeking out some of the historical food experiences which serve to preserve the ways of life and traditions that might otherwise fade away.

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Jan 24, 2019
Episode 317: The Eternal Table - History of Roman Food

Like the city itself, Rome’s culinary history is multi-layered, both vertically and horizontally, from migrant shepherds to the senatorial aristocracy, from the papal court to the flow of pilgrims and Grand Tourists, from the House of Savoy and the Kingdom of Italy to Fascism and the rise of the middle classes. Historian and author Karima Moyer-Nocchi joins Linda to talk about her recent book, The Eternal Table, in which she takes the reader on a culinary journey through the city streets, country kitchens, banquets, markets, festivals, osterias, and restaurants illuminating yet another facet of one of the most intriguing cities in the world.

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Jan 17, 2019
Episode 316: Feast of the Seven Fishes with Michele Scicolone

Italian cookbooks do not refer to it by name. It's not known by name in Italy. In fact, in the north of Italy it's unheard of, and the Catholic church does not recognize it. So what exactly is the Feast of Seven Fishes and how did it come to be associated with Italian-American Christmas Eve celebrations? Cookbook author Michele Scicolone helps shed some light on the search for the beginnings of this feast which just might be an Italo-American construct.

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Dec 20, 2018
Episode 315: Street Food of China

Chinese cuisine's history dates back more than three millennia, and it's only in recent times that regional specialties beyond the usual Cantonese, Hunan, and Sichuan dishes have begun to arrive in the US. Still, one element of Chinese cookery that remains rare in the Western world is the most popular across China: street food. Author, photographer and food fanatic Howie Southworth aims to change that with his new book, Chinese Street Food, filled with history, recipes, stories, photos and more. He describes it as a celebration of a culinary culture.

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Dec 13, 2018
Episode 314: The Cries of Street Food Vendors: 19thC Public Culture of Food in New Orleans

Ashley Rose Young, Historian of the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, has long been interested in the foodways of America’s past. And when she’s not hosting live cooking demos to explore that history at the Smithsonian Museum, she is immersed in her study of the alternative foodways and food economies—specifically of New Orleans—which relied heavily on street vendors. This street vending became the domain of the enslaved or newly freed, disenfranchised population. And, like so many street vendors in cities around the world, their sing-song cries heralding the fruits, vegetables and sweets in baskets often carried on their heads, became the street music of late 19th and early 20th century New Orleans. Listen in for a sample of some of the cries.

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Dec 06, 2018
Episode 313: Katie Parla Talks Classic Comebacks

On a recent trip to Rome, I met up with Katie Parla, Italian food and culture writer, to talk to her about her thoughts on the recent renaissance of old classic Roman dishes, particularly pasta dishes. She spoke about past, present, and what she sees in the future for the food of Rome.

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Nov 29, 2018
Episode 312: Sicilian Influence in New Orleans Food Culture

In his recently published book, Creole Italian, Justin A. Nystrom explores the influence Sicilian immigrants have had on New Orleans foodways. His culinary journey follows these immigrants from their first impressions on Louisiana food culture in the mid-1830s and along their path until the 1970s. Sicilian immigrants cut sugarcane, sold groceries, ran truck farms, operated bars and restaurants, and manufactured pasta. Citing these cultural confluences, Nystrom posits that the significance of Sicilian influence on New Orleans foodways traditionally has been undervalued and instead should be included, along with African, French, and Spanish cuisine, in the broad definition of “creole.”

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Nov 08, 2018
Episode 311: Galloping Gourmet Redux

Graham Kerr, aka The Galloping Gourmet, wrote a very modern and revolutionary cookbook in 1969, which was overshadowed by his huge success as one of the early TV cooking personalities. Matt and Ted Lee have resurrected the book and added Kerr's own handwritten commentary. Graham and Matt join Linda to revisit the newly republished book and early stardom of TV food.

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Nov 01, 2018
Episode 310: Historic Foodways in Montgomery County, Maryland

In the 1980s, Montgomery County, Maryland set aside one-third of the county—93,000 acres—for agricultural uses. It was a remarkable act of stewardship, especially in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, where land is at a premium. Since then more than 500 farm operations produce food for local residents and for people around the world. The Reserve has become a national model for land preservation and has created space for food production, but also for clean air and water, recreation, and history. Independent writer, Claudia Kousoulas and producer, Ellen Letourneau have created a cookbook whose recipes, profiles, essays and photographs trace the Reserve’s history.

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Oct 25, 2018
309: The Bitter Flavors of Sicily

Food is a many layered topic in most cultures and none more so than in Sicily, where the bitterness found in the flavors of almonds and wild greens are also present in the emotions of Sicily's past. Fabrizia Lanza, born and raised in Palermo, left to study and live in northern Italy as an art historian for many years. She returned to carry on her mother's work at pre-eminent Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School on the family property and winery, and realized the roots of so many of those bitter feelings were imbued with love for the land, people and food. She has made it her mission to promote Sicilian cuisine and bitter flavors through her books and films. Her newest film project called Amaro (bitter) is raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign and she hopes to have it completed by next fall. She shares her story with Linda on this episode.

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Oct 18, 2018
Episode 308: Oreos and the Giant Cookie Factory, Nabisco

America has long had a love affair with cookies which led big business to get in the game and the choices of commercially made sweets seem endless. Several years ago Oreos, the iconic, #1 American cookie, celebrated their 100th birthday. Food writer and culinary historian Michael Krondl talks with Linda about their history and Nabisco - world's largest cookie factory that transformed cookie and cracker manufacturing.

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Sep 27, 2018
Episode 307: Treasures of Medieval Egyptian Cooking

The Kanz al-fawāʾid fī tanwīʿ al-mawāʾid, a fourteenth-century cookbook, is unique for its variety and comprehensive coverage of contemporary Egyptian cuisine. It is the only surviving cookbook from a period when Cairo was a flourishing metropolis and a cultural haven for people of diverse ethnicities and nationalities. Now available for the first time in English, it has been meticulously translated and supplemented with a comprehensive introduction by scholar Nawal Nasrallah. She joins Linda on this episode to discuss the discoveries, delights, and difficulties of the task of making this important work accessible.

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Sep 13, 2018
Episode 306: The Virginia Housewife: Cooking Mary Randolph

Mary Randolph wrote The Virginia Housewife Cookbook, first published in 1824. But who was she and who was in the kitchen doing the cooking? Dr. Leni Sorensen, a writer, chef, and Jefferson's Monticello resident culinary historian, joins Linda to talk about the kitchens, cooking methods, and enslaved cooks who influenced the recipes and methods of cooking in one of America's oldest printed cookbooks.

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Sep 06, 2018
Episode 305: Some Like it Hot--Jamaican Jerk History

Trying to pinpoint origins of cuisines from the Caribbean is not an easy task. The many traders, invaders, colonists, and travelers left bits and pieces of their cuisines that became incorporated in the island food cultures. And Like most Caribbean islands, Jamaican foods are derived from many different settlement cultures, including British, Dutch, French, Spanish, East Indian, Portuguese, Chinese, and importantly, West African. Writer Rochelle Oliver takes us back to the 1500’s to learn about the origins of the favorite Jamaican food preparation – Jerk.

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Aug 02, 2018
Episode 304: The Embattled History of Milk

Profoundly intertwined with human civilization, milk has a compelling and a surprisingly global story to tell, and historian Mark Kurlansky, author of the new book "Milk! A 10,000 Year Food Fracas" is the perfect person to tell it. HRN's Kat Johnson interviewed Mark last month at MOFAD, (Museum of Food and Drink) and shares it here with us. In this diverse history from antiquity to the present, he details milk's curious and crucial role in cultural evolution, religion, nutrition, politics, and economics.

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Jul 26, 2018
Episode 303: 1920's Food Radio with "Aunt Sammy"

From the 1920s through the 1940s "Aunt Sammy's Housekeeper's Chat" was a hit food radio program created by the USDA Bureau of Home Economics. Aunt Sammy doled out recipes, kitchen tips, and other household advice. She was so popular that the spin-off recipe book stayed in print for 50 years. But who was she? Justin Nordstrom, editor of the newly annotated version of Aunt Sammy's Radio Recipes, joins Linda to introduce and explain the phenomenon of Aunt Sammy.

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Jul 12, 2018
Episode 302: Magic Bean: History of Soy in America

America's agriculture has undergone many changes in the past century. One of the major changes is the growth of soy bean farming and how the little-known Chinese transplant became the nation's largest cash crop. Matthew Roth joins Linda to share the history and stories from his book, Magic Bean: Rise of Soy in America.

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Jun 28, 2018
Episode 301: Power of the Press: History of Restaurant Reviewing

The adage "Power of the Press" is never truer than when it comes to restaurant reviews. A review can make or break a business, and more than that, it serves as a reliable guide to diners' experiences. Longtime restaurant critic and food writer Mimi Sheraton shares her insights and experience and sheds some light on the history of restaurant reviews.

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Jun 07, 2018
Episode 300: Food of the Islamic World

Arabs have always been great traders, collecting spices and ingredients from the early Silk Road routes right through the expansion of Islam from North Africa to South Asia. With the ingredients came the development of recipes and dishes unique to the various locations. Anissa Helou has lived and traveled widely in these regions and has become an authority on the cuisines. In her new book she presents her research and recipes that are evidence of the great culinary traditions of the Islamic world.

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May 31, 2018
Episode 299: Halal Food: a History

Food trucks announcing "halal" proliferate in many urban areas but how many non-Muslims know what this means, other than cheap lunch? Middle Eastern historians Febe Armanios and Boğaç Ergene provide an accessible introduction to halal (permissible) food in the Islamic tradition, exploring what halal food means to Muslims and how its legal and cultural interpretations have changed in different geographies up to the present day.

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May 17, 2018
Episode 298: Something Fishy: Garum, Liquamen and Muria – What’s in a Name?

Many Ancient Roman dishes included the use of fish sauce—garum or liquamen—made from fermented fish parts. Sally Grainger, one of the foremost authorities on Roman fish sauce and foods of the Roman era, joins Linda to explain the nuances, differences, and uses of the sauces, as well as other herbs, spices, and recipes she has written about in her book, Cooking Apicius.

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May 10, 2018
Episode 297: 150th Anniversary of the Feminist Lunch that Broke Boundaries

Until the mid-19th Century, it was not acceptable--and in some cases not allowed--for women to out and about unescorted. They would not be served even at elite restaurants. But in 1868, a journalist named Jane Cunningham Croly pushed open the doors of restaurants to women with an historic luncheon at Delmonico's in New York City, and the rest is...history. this luncheon was recreated at the famed Delmonico's with guest chef/restaurateur Gabrielle Hamilton cooking some classic dishes for an all woman group of diners. Linda gives a first hand report of that event and speaks with those involved.

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Apr 20, 2018
Episode 296: The Greedy Queen: Dining in the Time of Victoria

On this episode, historian and regular voice on BBC Radio 4's Kitchen Cabinet, Annie Gray, joins Linda to talk about the enormous culinary changes during the Victorian era and the birth of modern food culture. In her recent book, The Greedy Queen, Annie considers Britain's most iconic monarch from a new perspective, telling the story of British food along the way. Voracious and adventurous in her tastes, Queen Victoria was head of state during a revolution in how the British ate--from the highest tables to the most humble.

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Apr 12, 2018
Episode 295: Hot on the Trail: Tracing Peppers of the Americas

Few ingredients have had greater influence on the cuisines and foodways of the world than peppers. Their diaspora spans millenia and has shaped the way generations of cooks create flavor. On this episode historian and three-time James Beard award winning author Maricel Presilla joins Linda and shares her work from her new book, Peppers of the Americas, in which she retraces the fascinating history of how Capsicum spread across the globe and found their way into cuisines of the world.

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Apr 05, 2018
Episode 294: Raising Cane

On this episode, Linda welcomes Kat Johnson, HRN's Communications Director, to share an panel she moderated at the 2018 Charleston Wine + Food festival. Kat welcomed Jerome Dixon and Doc Bill Thomas from Georgia Coastal Gourmet Farms, Chef Sean Brock of Husk, and Glenn Roberts of Anson Mills to talk about the repatriation of Purple Ribbon Sugar Cane to Sapelo Island, home of the Gullah-Gechee community Hog Hammock.

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Mar 22, 2018
Episode 293: What Makes a Cookbook a Classic?

Marvin Taylor, Director and Archivist of NYU Fales Library and Special Collections, has been instrumental in building one of the top culinary collections in the nations. He and Linda discuss the meaning of classic cookbooks and other archival materials that can help us piece together the past.

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Mar 15, 2018
Episode 292: History and Evolution of the American Restaurant Chef

In his book Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll, Andrew Friedman takes us back in time to witness the remarkable changes in the American dining scene and evolution of the American restaurant chef in the 1970s and '80s. Using oral histories told primarily in the words of the people who lived it Friedman writes about the pioneers behind Chez Panisse, Spago, River Cafe and other landmarks as well as many of the the young cooks like Jonathan Waxman, Tom Colicchio, and Mario Batali who went on to become household names. Friedman shares those stories with Linda on this informative episode.

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Mar 08, 2018
Episode 291: Hidden Cooks in the White House

African Americans have worked in presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards, and servers for every First Family since George and Martha Washington. Award-winning author and food historian Adrian Miller explores the lives of these men and women in his book, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families from the Washingtons to the Obamas (UNC Press, 2017). Miller gives us a glimpse of what life was like for these culinary artists, and he incorporates their White House experiences into the larger history of African American foodways, American foodways, and its cultural impact both at the White House and nationwide.

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Mar 01, 2018
Episode 290: The History and Evolution of Noodles

Just about every culture has some form of noodles. But when and where did noodles first appear? Food historian Ken Albala joins Linda to untangle the noodle's history.

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Feb 15, 2018
Episode 289: Tasting Ancient Rome: Recreating Ancient Recipes and What Archaeology Tells Us

What is most commonly known about the food and dining of Ancient Rome comes from vivid—and often fictional—descriptions of exotic foods of lavish banquets of the wealthy. But further study reveals an approachable cuisine of the Mediterranean in ancient times. Farrell Monaco describes how she combines her background in archaeology to study and recreate many of those dishes.

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Feb 01, 2018
Episode 288: David Shields, The Seed Sleuth, Repatriating Heirloom Crops

Good news to David Shields is that the Speckled Whippoorwill Cowpea, Jimmy Red whisky corn, or the Sicilian Timilia strain of durum wheat has been located, identified, and successfully grown and harvested. And further success means that many of these formerly lost seeds are added to the Ark of Taste, Slow Food's global register of the most flavorful, historically resonant, and imperiled foods. David sat down with Linda to discuss some of the recent searches for seeds and why they are important in the final flavors of regional dishes.

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Jan 18, 2018
Episode 287: Rediscovering Acadian Cuisine

Who were the Acadians? What was their food culture and cuisine? Food writer and journalist Simon Thibault, talks about exploring his Acadian roots and reacquainting himself with the food and recipes from his family’s past which he documented in his new book, Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food. It’s a cookbook filled with old food traditions, recipes and anecdotes “seasoned with history.”

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Nov 30, 2017
Episode 286: History of Professional Cooking in America

Culinarians are and were intellectually curious, aesthetically experimental, and gastronomically evangelical. In his new book, The Culinarians: Lives and Careers from the First Age of American Fine Dining, Dr. David Shields traces the stories of 175 lives and careers of chefs, caterers, and restaurateurs who raised the profession of cooking and fine dining in America to an art form.

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Nov 09, 2017
Episode 285: Keeping Traditions Alive: Authentic Italian

Unlike many Italian cookbooks, Autentico goes far beyond pasta. In a world where culinary shortcuts, adulteration, misleading labeling, and mass production of seemingly “authentic” food rule, culinary archaeologist, innovator and cooking teacher Rolando Beramendi has kept centuries-old culinary traditions alive.

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Nov 02, 2017
Episode 284: The South, A - Z

The American South is a diverse region with its own vocabulary, peculiarities, and complexities. Even Southerners can't always agree on all things Southern. A new book by the editors of Garden & Gun Magazine is a good source for answers. S is for Southern is an encyclopedia of Southern life, culture, and history, covering age-old traditions and current zeitgeists. Executive managing editor Phillip Rhodes, born and bred in the south, talks about the fun facts.

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Oct 26, 2017
Episode 283: Gourmands Way...

Following WWII, France--particularly Paris--became the world's most stylish tourist destination and capital of fine dining. Americans were smitten. Justin Spring follows the lives of six American writers-adventurers who adopted Paris as their home, and tells how they transformed the way Americans talk and think about food and the way they eat.

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Oct 19, 2017
Episode 282: How Tea Shaped the Modern World

Tea has been one of the most popular commodities in the world. Over centuries, profits from its growth and sales funded wars and fueled colonization. Erika Rappaport talks about her new book, A Thirst for Empire, in which she delves into how Europeans adopted, appropriated, and altered Chinese tea culture to build a widespread demand for tea in Britain and other global markets and a plantation-based economy in South Asia and Africa. She shares her in-depth historical look at how men and women—through the tea industry in Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa—transformed global tastes and habits and in the process created our modern consumer society.

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Oct 05, 2017
Episode 281: Paris: History of a Food Lover's Paradise

Paris has been associated with fine dining for centuries and the city remains a veritable walking tour of historic gastronomy. David Downie, a travel and food writer living in Paris, takes a deep dive into this history for his new book, A Taste of Paris: A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food. He shares with us stories, events and locations that brim with passion and flavor--a true food lover's paradise.

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Sep 21, 2017
Episode 280: Big Chicken, History of How Antibiotics Changed Modern Agriculture

Award winning journalist Maryn McKenna reveals the fascinating history of chicken in her new book, Big Chicken. She talks with us about chicken's rise in popularity through the routine use of antibiotics, a practice that would transform agriculture, change the world's eating habits, and contribute to the deadly rise of drug-resistant infections around the globe.

Sep 14, 2017
Episode 279: Vinegar: The Alchemy of Acid

In his new book, ACID TRIP: Travels in the World of Vinegar (Abrams Books), Michael Harlan Turkell takes us on a fermented look into vinegar's soured past and bright future. He shares tales and experiences from his travels throughout North America, France, Italy, Austria, and Japan to learn about vinegar-making practices in places where the art has evolved over centuries.

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Aug 10, 2017
Episode 278: Culinary Biographies of Women with Laura Shapiro

Most biographers pay little attention to people’s attitudes toward food, but once we ask how somebody relates to food, we find a whole world of different and provocative ways to understand her. Historian Laura Shapiro uses the lens of food to look at the lives of six women, each famous in her time, and most are still famous in ours; but until now, nobody has told their lives from the point of view of the kitchen and the table.

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Jul 27, 2017
Episode 277: Ancient Syrian Cuisine

Scents and Flavors is a 13th century Syrian cookbook which historian and Arabic scholar Charles Perry has edited and translated. Unlike many early recipe manuals this book gives us a glimpse of the social history of the medieval period in Syria. Charles talks about an inventive cuisine that elevates simple ingredients by combining various aromas of herbs, spaces, fruits and flower essences. He shares stories and descriptions of ingredients and recipes for food and drink as well as the fragrances that garnish the meals and perfume the diners.

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Jul 20, 2017
Episode 276: Baking Powder Wars: a History

First patented in 1856, baking powder sparked a classic American struggle for business supremacy. For nearly a century, brands battled to win loyal consumers for the new leavening miracle, transforming American commerce and advertising even as they touched off a chemical revolution in the world's kitchens. Linda Civitello chronicles the titanic struggle that reshaped America's diet and rewrote its recipes.

Jul 13, 2017
Episode 275: The Evolution of Grocery Stores

From early trading posts to retail chains and superstores, award winning author Michael Ruhlman--The Soul of a Chef, The Elements of Cooking--traces the history and evolution of the American grocery store in his new book, Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America. On this episode Ruhlman shares his views of grocery stores as a reflection of our culture. He examines how rapidly supermarkets—and our food and culture—have changed since the days of your friendly neighborhood grocer.

Jun 22, 2017
Episode 274: Food History of the Modern South

John T. Edge joins Linda today for a conversation about his new book, The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South. John T., an esteemed writer of Southern food, traces how the food of the poorest Southerners has become the signature trend of modern American haute cuisine. He puts names and faces on the familiar dishes as he examines the food, race and politics in the South over the past 60 years.

Jun 15, 2017
Episode 273: Slow Food in Denver: Regenerating Heirloom Flavors

Since 2013, David Shields has been the chairman of Slow Food's Ark of Taste Committee for the South, and will be a participant in Slow Food Nations Festival in Denver, July 14-16. There he will talk about the heirloom grains which have been revived with the help of farmers and chefs. He spoke with Linda about his work reviving many of the heirloom ingredients that made up the original flavors of southern cuisine.

Dr. Shields, Distinguished Professor at University of South Carolina, and the Chairman of the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation, is the author of Southern Provisions: the Creation and Revival of a Cuisine (Univ of Chicago Press: 2015).

Jun 14, 2017
Episode 272: Cookbook Temptation in American Culture

Author Megan Elias explores the role words play in the creation of taste on both a personal and a national level. From Fannie Farmer to The Joy of Cooking to food blogs, she argues, American cookbook writers have commented on national cuisine while tempting their readers to the table. By taking cookbooks seriously as a genre and by tracing their genealogy, her new book, Food on the Page, explains where contemporary assumptions about American food came from and where they might lead.

Jun 01, 2017
Episode 271: Evolution of Industrialized Meat

It’s been 111 years since the publication of The Jungle, Upton Sinclair’s groundbreaking book on the cattle industry. Though improvements in animal welfare have been made since then, the industry has evolved to include issues Sinclair could never have foreseen. In her new book, What’s the Matter with Meat?, Katy Keiffer, host of What Doesn’t Kill You here on HRN, leads readers though a crash course on how this powerful multinational business has been able to generate such a bountiful supply of absurdly cheap animal proteins.

May 25, 2017
Episode 270: Rose Water Festival and Saffron Tales

Roses are indigenous to Iran and distilling the essential oils of the flower to make rose water has been practiced there for over 2,500 years. Every May, when the city of Kashan is enveloped in pink and a sweet floral scent, there is a festival that honors this ancient tradition of boiling petals in barrels of water and collecting and condensing the rising steam. Cookbook author Yasmin Khan attended the festivities last year and joins us to share the stories, significance and flavor uses of rose water and to share culinary insights from her recent book, The Saffron Tales, from Bloomsbury Press.

May 18, 2017
Episode 269: America's First Foodie

On the season premiere of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined by Elizabeth Federici and Kathleen Squires, the director/producer and producer, respectively, of the new documentary film James Beard: America's First Foodie.

The name of James Beard has become synonymous with culinary excellence, and each year thousands gather in New York City for the James Beard Foundation Awards, which is often referred to as the Academy Awards for food. And yet, the incredible details of Beard's life are not as widely recognized.

The will air on PBS Friday, May 19 at 9:00 p.m.

May 11, 2017
Episode 268: Popular History: Food

For years Food History remained the purview of a few researchers writing papers for academic journals. But recently interest has grown in knowing what we ate in times past, and where certain foods in different cuisines came from. Emelyn Rude joins Linda to talk about a start-up magazine on the horizon called REPAST that aims to tell the interesting stories about food history that will appeal to everyone. And one of the early contributors, Ken Albala, a professor of history who has devoted a good part of his career writing about and teaching students about food and culinary history talks about his views on this growing interest.

Apr 20, 2017
Episode 267: Tea Time

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined by tea sommelier for the historic St. Regis Hotel in New York City, Elizabeth Knight.

Widely recognized as one of the country’s foremost authorities on tea and entertaining, Knight shares her passion as the founder of Tea with Friends, a website devoted to all things tea. A certified English Tea Master, she is the author of bestselling books on the subjects of tea and entertaining including Tea with Friends, Celtic Teas with Friends, Welcome Home, and Tea in the City New York - A Tea Lover's Guide to Sipping and Shopping in the City.

Apr 13, 2017
Episode 266: Persia: Cuisines without Borders

The countries in the Persian culinary region are home to diverse religions, cultures, languages, and politics, but they are linked by captivating food traditions. The intrepid traveler, food writer and photographer Naomi Duguid covered the vast region to capture the cuisine. She uncovers the flavors of herbs, spices, fruit and tart that transcend the divisive borders and give a picture of ancient tastes of modern people.

Mar 23, 2017
Episode 265: A Little Bit Irish

Everyone is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day, or so the saying goes. It's a celebration that's been going on in America since the mid 1700's. And except for the soda bread, the food of the day is anything but Irish. Irish-American cookbook author Margaret Johnson joins us to talk about the background of some of these dishes and others that have stayed true to their roots.

Mar 16, 2017
Episode 264: Pho: History in a Bowl

Andrea Nguyen, an author, food writer, culinary teacher and expert in Vietnamese cooking, learned to love the iconic noodle soup of Vietnam long before it became a cult food item in the US. She traveled back to her birthplace to research and learn about the birth of PHO which she recounts in her newest book, The Pho Cookbook, and shares with us in this episode.

Feb 23, 2017
Episode 263: African American History Through the Lens of Food NMAAHC

The recently completed Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. Within the museums' exhibits are five forms of cultural expression including "Foodways: Culture and Cuisine." Author and historian of African-American foodways Jessica B. Harris was a consultant on the project, and talks about range of influence of African-Americans in the foods and cooking of the United States. And she gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the careful planning of regional foods offered in the museum's Sweet Home Cafe.

Feb 16, 2017
Episode 262: Handwritten Recipes and Marginalia

Handwritten Recipes is a living platform for culinary memories curated and edited by Rozanne Gold, a well-known chef and cookbook author. The column is part of the the website Handwrittenwork.com created by Brett Rawson, and serves to re-ignite the connection between generations of families through food, memory, and the power of the pen. While the relation of food to language is universal, the curve and slope of a loved one’s scrawl can re-capture long-lost scents, tastes and emotions at a moment’s notice--a living cookbook. Rozanne and Brett join Linda to discuss the silent power of the handwritten word in our digital world.

Feb 02, 2017
Episode 261: What's a Wok? The Evolution of Chinese Food in America

Chinese food first became popular in America under the shadow of violence against Chinese aliens. In her book Chow Chop Suey, Anne Mendelson traces the introduction of an altered Cantonese cuisine to white Americans by poor Chinese immigrants during the Gold Rush. She follows the eventual abolition of anti-Chinese immigration laws and demographic changes that transformed the face of Chinese cooking in America.

Jan 19, 2017
Episode 260: History and Origin of Coconuts and Their Use in Cooking

Today is the launch the 8th Winter/Spring season of A Taste of the Past. To get this season cracking Ramin Ganeshram joins me to talk all about the background, history, and folklore of coconuts. Where do they originate? How were they dispersed? And how are they incorporated in cuisines across the continents? Ramin will include a discussion on the cuisine of Trinidad & Tobago, the land of her paternal ancestors where she spent many summer vacations and family visits learning to appreciate the sweet pleasures of coconut.

Jan 12, 2017
Episode 259: Celebrations of Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is the longest night of the year. Since ancient times, people all over the world have recognized this important astronomical occurrence and celebrated the subsequent “return” of the Sun in a variety of different ways. Old solstice traditions have influenced holidays we celebrate now, such as Christmas and Hanukkah and historian Cathy Kaufman discusses the rites, rituals and recipes of many of those celebrations.

Dec 22, 2016
Episode 258: What Menus Tell Us

Menus hold a vast amount of historic information on America's culture, social history, economy, and everyday life. Food and culture historian and menu collector Henry Voigt shares some of the stories old menus have to tell about 19th century America.

Dec 15, 2016
Episode 257: All About Butter

From an accidental churning in ancient times to the modern day quest for the purest, silkiest spreads, butter has a very rich history. Historian Elaine Khosrova, author of Butter, A Rich History, shares some of her stories as we dive into the unctuous beginnings of this delicious food.

Dec 08, 2016
Episode 256: As American as...Black Pepper? Surprising Flavors of American Cuisine

American cuisine is often described as bland, but throughout our history flavors and spices such as pepper, vanilla, curry powder and soy sauce have crossed the ocean to define our ever-changing palate. Historic Gastronomist Sarah Lohman researched the stories of these flavors in her new book Eight Flavors, The Untold Story of American Cuisine and shares them with us.

Dec 01, 2016
Episode 255: A Culinary Journey: Historic Food Traditions

Intrepid traveler and writer Shane Mitchell shares her insights into the culture and regional cuisines of remote communities around the world from her book, Far Afield: Rare Food Encounters Around the World. She describes the food, farming, and fascinating people she met in these areas who are keeping some of the world’s oldest food traditions alive.

Nov 17, 2016
Episode 254: The Myth of the Italian Mamma

Artist, writer, and accomplished cook Rob Chirico talks about growing up with an Italian mother who would rather be anywhere but the kitchen. In fact, he wrote an entire book about it, "Not My Mother's Kitchen." In today's discussion Rob gives Italian-American cooking its deserved place as a cuisine separate from classic Italian and explains why.

Nov 10, 2016
Episode 253: China: 3000 Years of Flavor

Since ancient times Chinese cuisine has been a reflection of cultural triumph and struggle. From political battles and famines to a proliferation of gastronomic arts, food has been embedded in the national psyche and evidenced in its eight great cuisines. The Chinese authors of China, The Cookbook describe the background and evolution of their country's culinary culture.

Nov 03, 2016
Episode 252: American Cake

Cakes in America aren't just about sugar, flour, and frosting. They have a deep, rich history that developed as our country grew. Cakes in some form or other have been around for millennia and were brought to America by the early settlers, primarily the English, Dutch and German. Author and cake historian Anne Byrn traces American cakes chronologically from dark, dense gingerbread and Martha Washington Great Cake to the modern California cakes of orange and olive oil.

Oct 20, 2016
Episode 251: What's In a Name: A Spirits History

In 1765 Richard Hennessy created the eponymous Cognac. Today, Maurice Hennessy, 8th generation, joins us to tell the story. And Kara Newman talks about the Negroni and other cocktail history from her new book, Shake, Stir, Sip.

Oct 13, 2016
Episode 250:Ten Restaurants that Changed America

Restaurants in America are as diverse as our population, and they speak volumes about our society according to Professor Paul Freedman, Author of Ten Restaurants That Changed America. From Delmonico's to Howard Johnson's, Freedman discusses the ten restaurants he profiles and tells how they had a sociological as well as gastronomical impact on our country.

Oct 06, 2016
Episode 249: Food and Memories

Elissa Altman, James Beard Award-winning writer of the blog and book, Poor Man’s Feast sits down with Linda to talk about food and memories and writing her latest memoir, Treyf: My Life as an Unorthodox Outlaw. So many of life's events are intrinsically tied to smells, tastes, or a particular meal and Elissa explains how she weaves it all into her writing.

Sep 29, 2016
Episode 248: Stroopwafels – How the Dutch Gave Us Our Cookies

The Dutch were some of the earliest settlers in America, yet many of their culinary contributions remain little known. Food historian Peter Rose, who is from the Netherlands, has devoted her career to writing and educating Americans about the Dutch foodways--and especially their penchant for sweets and talks with us about the history of the foods we consider American classics. And Tom Daly talks about a Dutch cookie taking America by storm: the stroopwafel.

Sep 22, 2016
Episode 247: Food Origins

Food history explores the origins of edible items, and Saveur magazine has joined the pursuit of interesting and perhaps unusual food origins. Editor-in-chief Adam Sachs shares the topics of the magazine's latest issue, The Origins Issue, which reveals some of the mysteries of the food world.

Sep 15, 2016
Episode 246: Meat Loaf & Casseroles: Food of the Great Depression

After WWI, America went from sending food to war-starved Europe to suddenly no longer being the land of plenty. Authors Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe discuss the culinary impact of that period which they chronicle in their new book, A Square Meal, A Culinary History of the Great Depression.

Sep 08, 2016
Episode 245: Funeral Food

On the season finale of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by Sarah Lohman, to look at the culinary traditions surrounding funerals throughout American history.

Dubbed an “historic gastronomist,” Lohman recreates historic recipes as a way to make a personal connection with the past. She chronicles her explorations in culinary history on her blog, FourPoundsFlour.com, and her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and NPR. Lohman’s first book, Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine, is due out with Simon & Schuster December 6, 2016.

Aug 18, 2016
Episode 244: Tastes Like Chicken

This week on A Taste of the Past – author and culinary historian Emelyn Rude traces the history of eating chicken, from the first domestication of the chicken nearly 10,000 years ago to its current status as our favorite meat.

Aug 04, 2016
Episode 243: Consider the Oyster

New York was once known as the oyster capital of the world, and was famous for the Blue Point Oyster that originated in the Great South Bay on Long Island. In 1938, that suddenly changed due to the New England hurricane known as "The Long Island Express." Inlets were cut through Fire Island, silting over oyster beds and exposing them to predators. After WWII, the wild population still hadn't recovered and the oyster industry lay dormant for decades. However, the "Blue Point" name lived on under questionable circumstances.

Fast-forward to the late 1990s, enter Chris Quartuccio. Chris grew up in West Sayville, just down the road from Blue Point. After disease wiped out much of the Eastern wild oyster population (causing the price of oysters to quadruple), the stage was set for Chris to start the first Oyster Farm on the Great South Bay in almost 80 years! This week on A Taste of the Past, Kat Johnson takes a trip to visit Chris at Blue Island Oyster Company's hatchery and nursery to learn more about the history of the oyster farming industry on the Great South Bay.

Jul 28, 2016
Episode 242: How Artisans Reclaimed America's Lost Flavors

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined via phone by Patric Kuh, the multiple-James Beard Award–winning restaurant critic for Los Angeles Magazine and author of Finding the Flavors We Lost: From Bread to Bourbon, How Artisans Reclaimed American Food.

Industrialization and mass production stripped many foods of their original flavors, but there's been a growing movement over the past 50+ years to get back to those flavors and restore the natural goodness of our food. In Finding the Flavors We Lost, Kuh profiles major figures in the so-called “artisanal” food movement who brought exceptional taste back to food and inspired chefs and restaurateurs to redefine and rethink the way we eat.

Jun 30, 2016
Episode 241: Food in the Gilded Age: What Ordinary Americans Ate

America's Gilded Age, the last quarter of the nineteenth century, is renowned for the excesses of robber barons and tycoons and their culture of conspicuous consumption. The lavishness of their tables impressed contemporaries and historians alike. But what about the eating habits of ordinary people at the time? Robert Dirks, author of Food in the Gilded Age, poses that question and discovers some surprising answers by peering through the lens of what then was a newly emerging science of nutrition.

Jun 16, 2016
Episode 240: Paletas and the History of Mexican Sweets

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by Fany Gerson. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Fany has worked in many kitchens, from the three-Michelin star Akelare in San Sebastian, Spain, to Eleven Madison Park and Rosa Mexicano in New York, where she developed her celebrated modern Mexican desserts. After returning from a long trip to her native Mexico to write her first book, My Sweet Mexico, she opened La Newyorkina to share and celebrate the amazing frozen treats and sweets of her homeland.

Also joining them in the studio is Rosio Sanchez, the former pastry chef of Noma who opened her own taqueria in Copenhagen, Hija de Sanchez.

Jun 09, 2016
Episode 239: Cooking of Spain's Basque Region

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by Chef Alex Raij.

Alex Raij and her husband Eder Montero are chefs and owners of Txikito, a love letter to the Basque country in Spain – a region whose cuisine is distinguished by excellence and simplicity in both ingredients and techniques. She is also the co-author, along with Montero, of The Basque Book: A Love Letter in Recipes from the Kitchen of Txikito.

Jun 02, 2016
Episode 238: Fast Food: The Big, The Bad and The Hungry

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by Andrew F. Smith, author of the book Fast Food: The Good, The Bad and The Hungry. He is also the editor of the Edible Series, a revolutionary new series of books on food and drink which explores the rich history of man’s consumption. Each book provides an outline for one type of food or drink, revealing its history and culture on a global scale.

Tune in to hear them discuss the history of the fast food industry, from the streets to the franchises.

May 26, 2016
Episode 237: How Coke Became Kosher, and other tales

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined by Roger Horowitz, an historian of American business, technology, and labor, and an expert on the nation’s food. He is the author of the book Kosher USA: How Coke Became Kosher and Other Tales of Modern Food (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History).

Horowitz traces the history and dramatic rise of kosher food products, specifically how they made their way into American food culture and were later popularized in the mass market of consumer products.

May 19, 2016
Episode 236: Foods of Alsace with Gabriel Kreuther

Chef Gabriel Kreuther joins us in the studio to talk about the cuisine of his native Alsace-Lorraine.

A Michelin-starred chef, Kreuther was born on a family farm in Alsace and raised on his mother's traditional Alsatian cooking. After attending culinary school and working in Michelin-starred kitchens throughout Germany, France and Switzerland, Kreuther arrived in New York City in 1997 to work as a sous-chef at La Caravelle restaurant.

He was named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs in 2003 and won a 2009 James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef: New York City.” Kreuther's eponymous restaurant offers an Alsatian-inspired dining experience overlooking Bryant Park.

May 05, 2016
Episode 235: Foodways and Cooking of Appalachia

Appalachian food has been sustainable and organic for generations. They have been offering “farm to table” fare forever, without needing to call it that. And the iconic dish of soup beans and cornbread is "culinary harmony," a perfect blend of the native beans with the rendered fat of the pig, an animal brought to the lower South by the Spanish in the 16th century and to the upper South by the English in the 17th. Fred Sauceman, Appalachia born and raised, tells the story.

Fred Sauceman is Senior Writer and Associate Professor of Appalachian Studies at Eastern Tennessee State University. His latest book is Buttermilk & Bible Burgers: More Stories from the Kitchens of Appalachia, published by Mercer University Press. He is also the author of the three-volume book series on Appalachian foodways, The Place Setting: Timeless Tastes of the Mountain South, from Bright Hope to Frog Level, published by Mercer as well. In addition, he is editor of Cornbread Nation 5: The Best of Southern Food Writing.

Apr 28, 2016
Episode 234: Cuban Cocktail History

On this week's A Taste of the Past, the tropical elegance and vibrant energy of Cuba's rich history and culture are recaptured in the stories of cocktails by two owners of the well known NYC rum bar, Cienfuegos – Jane Danger and Alla Lapushchik.

Apr 14, 2016
Episode 233: Ethnic Restaurateurs

On this week's episode of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by Krishnendu Ray, Department Chair of the Food Studies program at NYU. A food studies scholar, he is the author of The Migrant’s Table: Meals and Memories in Bengali-American Households (Temple University, 2004). He co-edited Curried Cultures: Globalization, Food and South Asia (University of California Press, 2012). His most recent monograph is The Ethnic Restaurateur (Bloomsbury 2016).

Apr 07, 2016
Episode 232: Modernizing Old World Mediterranean Jewish Recipes

On this week's episode of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio speaks with chef and cookbook author Joyce Goldstein. For twelve years she was Chef and Owner of the ground-breaking Mediterranean Restaurant, SQUARE ONE, in San Francisco. A consultant to the restaurant and food industries, Joyce’s areas of expertise are recipe development, menu design, and staff training. She is the author of Inside the California Food Revolution, and her latest book is The New Mediterranean Jewish Table: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home.

Mar 31, 2016
Episode 231: From Harissa to Berbere and Beyond: History of Hot Sauce

On this week's episode of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio speaks with "Pope of Peppers" Dave DeWitt, a food historian, award-winning author, and founder of the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show, which is now in its 25th year. DeWitt has written or coauthored more than thirty books on peppers and has edited two magazines on the subject. He is one of the foremost authorities in the world on chile peppers, spices, and spicy foods.

Mar 24, 2016
Episode 230: The CIA Then and Now

On this week's episode of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined by Dr. Tim Ryan, president of the Culinary Institute of America. Dr. Ryan has served as president of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) since 2001. He himself graduated from the CIA in 1977, and received bachelor's and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of New Haven. He earned his doctorate degree in education from The University of Pennsylvania. With the unique background of being a Certified Master Chef and Culinary Olympic Champion with an Ivy League doctoral degree, he is the first alumnus and faculty member to rise through the CIA to become president.

Mar 17, 2016
Episode 229: Italy: The Changing Food Culture

On this week's episode of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by author, food blogger, and design writer Elizabeth Minchilli, and Rolando Baramendi, founder of Manicaretti, an importer and seller of Italian specialty items. Tune in to hear them discuss the changing food culture in Italy, from cocktails and coffee to the price of a dish of pasta.

Mar 03, 2016
Episode 228: Long History of a Little Pea

On this week's episode of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined by Clifford Wright and Tim McGreevy. In recognition of the UN's International Year of Pulses, they discuss the history of pulses, from 10,000 years ago to their importance in today's farming and diets."Pulse” is a derivation from the Latin words puls or pultis meaning “thick soup.” Pulse crops are small but important members of the legume family, which contains over 1,800 different species.

Feb 25, 2016
Episode 227: Mac 'n Cheese: Black Chefs in The White House

Adrian Miller is a 'recovering' lawyer, soul food scholar, and former special assistant to President Clinton and today joins Linda Pelaccio on A Taste of the Past. Explaining that after President Clinton's second term, he found himself with extra time on his hands and ended up spending the next decade or so researching soul food. Specifically commenting on macaroni and cheese, Adrian shares how it began as a food fit for royalty dating back to the 1300s. From royalty to US Presidents, soul food has consistently had a place on the White House dinner table and Adrian goes on to recall tales of the influential African American chefs featured throughout presidential history. Tune in for a great episode!

Feb 11, 2016
Episode 226: How Big is Your Plate? Redesigning How We Eat

Ever wondered how plate size affects waist size? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is on the line with Brian Wansink, Professor and Director of the famed Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, where he is a leading expert in changing eating behavior – both on individual level and on a mass scale -- using principles of behavioral science. The author of Mindless Eating and Slim by Design as well as over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, tune in as Brian relays how we can change the way we eat in a fun, painless, scalable, meet-people-where-they-are way.

Feb 04, 2016
Episode 225: Evolution of Military Rations & Their Influence on Our Diet

Americans eat more processed foods than anyone else in the world. We also spend more on military research. These two seemingly unrelated facts are inextricably linked. If you ever wondered how ready-to-eat foods infiltrated your kitchen, you’ll love this week's episode of A Taste of the Past. Tune in as Linda Pelaccio is on the line with Anastacia Marx De Salcedo, author of the book, "Combat-Ready Kitchen: How the U.S. Military Shapes the Way You Eat," discussing the secret military history of practically everything you buy at the supermarket.

Jan 21, 2016
Episode 224: Folklore of Food

Folklore has long explored food as a core component of life, linked to identity, aesthetics, and community and connecting individuals to larger contexts of history, culture and power. It recognizes that we gather together to eat, define class, gender, and race by food production, preparation, and consumption, celebrate holidays and religious beliefs with food, attach meaning to the most mundane of foods, and evoke memories and emotions through our food selections and presentations. Today, A Taste of the Past host Linda Pelaccio welcomes Dr. Lucy Long to the show to elaborate on her books, The Food and Folklore Reader as well as Culinary Tourism, talking how these topics play into current food studies and much more.

Jan 21, 2016
Episode 223: Chicago: A Food Biography

You don't need anybody to tell you Chicago is a food city or to extol the virtues of chicken Vesuvio, deep dish pizza, a jibarito, South Side rid tips or a Vienna Beef hot dog (on a poppy seed bun, of course). Perhaps less well known is how Chicago's cuisine developed, or how the city became the first modern industrial food center, both of which are explored in Chicago: A Food Biography by Daniel R. Block and Howard Rosing. (Chicago Tribune)

A fascinating food history of Chicago, revealing the reasons, many unexpected, why this city’s cuisine is so diverse and rich. An essential read for anyone interested in food and culinary history. (Jennifer McLagan, the author of award winning Bitter:A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes)

An interesting foray into Chicago's influence on food and food's influence on Chicago. (Denese Neu, PhD, author of Chicago by the Pint: a Craft Beer History of the Windy City)

Anyone interested in American food history must know a lot about the indispensable heart: Chicago. The nation’s historic food production and commodity distribution center, home to every ethnic food in America, Chicago always has been an innovative culinary center. How this came about is told in Block and Rosing’s well researched and engagingly written work. A complex story very well told, it is the best survey to date. (Bruce Kraig, co-editor, Food City: The Encyclopedia of Chicago Food and Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America)

Chicago: A Food Biography is as much a history of today’s industrial food system as a story of the evolving food culture of Chicago. While Chicago has been a melting pot for today’s food industry, the city has remained a veritable stew of ethnic cuisine. The book is a good read for anyone interested in food and a must read for anyone interested in both food and Chicago. (John E. Ikerd, professor emeritus, University of Missouri Columbia)

Chicago’s food traditions are no less towering than the skyscrapers that define its skyline. Deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs loom large in the culinary landscape, as does the influence of Chicago chefs like Rick Bayless, Grant Achatz, and the late Charlie Trotter. In Chicago: A Food Biography, geographer Daniel R. Block and anthropologist Howard B. Rosing chronicle Chicago’s swift evolution from frontier town to food capital—a path paved by meat and corn, migration, and modern industrialization—and make a strong case for Chicago as the most American of cities. (Meryl Rosofsky, MD, writer and adjunct professor of Food Studies, New York University)

Dec 30, 2015
Episode 222: Sugarplums and Gingerbread: A History of Christmas Sweets

"While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads..." But, what exactly is a sugarplum? On the season finale of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is in studio with Michael Krondl and Cathy Kaufman discussing the history behind the sweets enjoyed throughout the holidays. Embarking on a great fruitcake debate, explaining the plethora of sweeteners used throughout the ages, as well as the origins of the infamous yule log and more, this episode covers it all!

Dec 17, 2015
Episode 221: Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio welcomes Lidia Bastianich to the studio discussing her newest book, "Lidia's Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Great Italian Cook." Teaching has always been Lidia’s passion, and in this magnificent book she shares the full benefit of that passion and of her deep, comprehensive understanding of what it takes to create delicious Italian meals. Lidia goes on to introduce the full range of standard ingredients—meats and fish, vegetables and fruits, grains, spices and condiments—and how to buy, store, clean, and cook with them. She also talks the comprehensive guide to the tools every kitchen should have to produce the best results. And she has even included a glossary of cuisine-related words and phrases that will prove indispensable for cooking, as well as for traveling and dining in Italy. There is no other book like this; it is the one book on Italian cuisine that every cook will need, and tune in to hear more straight from the source!

Dec 10, 2015
Episode 220: Savoring Gotham

On a special episode A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined by Cathy Kaufman, the managing editor of Savoring Gotham: Celebrating the Making of the Definitive Companion to New York City’s Food.

New York City boasts the world’s most diverse, fascinating, and ground-breaking food scene. Whether dining in iconic or trend-setting restaurants, noshing on vibrant street food prepared by new immigrants, or filling one’s basket at markets catering to ethnic heritage or gourmet aspirations, New York City’s opportunities for cosmopolitan eating are unparalleled. New York also has pioneered solutions to complex issues, from launching farmers’ markets and tilling urban gardens be they in vacant lots or on pristine rooftopsto politically-charged battles over licensing laws, school food and soda sizes.

Cathy Kaufman (Chair), aka, dictator-for-life, has been chair of CHNY since 2003. She is Senior Editor of Savoring Gotham and of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, and writes for many publications. She teaches culinary history at The New School and the Institute of Culinary Education and is the author of Cooking in Ancient Civilizations; she loves foie gras, but to atone for her gluttony, can be found in Chinatown twice a week, practicing tai chi.

Nov 30, 2015
Episode 219: Libyan Jewish Cuisine in Rome

In 1967, four-thousand Jews fled from Libya, each with one suitcase and the equivalent of $50; half of them settled in Rome. This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio welcomes guest Katie Parla who describes the bonds these settlers formed with their Roman ancestors’ who arrived in the 15th century and the cuisine that has survived and flourished in the restaurants of the Roman Jewish Ghetto. Tune in for a fascinating show!

Nov 19, 2015
Episode 218: New Orleans Food History

Using restaurants as a lens to observe the city’s cuisine, Lolis Elie talks about food, culture and customs of New Orleans on this week’s edition of _ A Taste of the Past _.


“There are at least two traditions in Louisiana gumbo. The New Orleans tradition, and that gumbo tends to be thinner, tends not to have as thick or dark of roux, and also, when I think of Creole gumbo I think of a mix of sausage, seafood, and occasionally some poultry.” [15:05]

–Lolis Elie on A Taste of the Past


Nov 12, 2015
Episode 217: Nordic Cuisine

From smoked arctic char, meatball stew and savory puffed pancakes to Swedish almond wreaths, cardamom braids and whipped berry pudding, tune in as _ A Taste of the Past _ goes Nordic with Darra Goldstein. Illustrating the glorious and diverse flavors of classic Nordic cooking, Darra’s recipes in the new book “Fire + Ice” have been tailored for home cooks of all abilities. As the foremost American authority on this region, she offers readers an opportunity to discover the history, lore, and rich culinary traditions of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden with deeply personal essays about each country, as well as information on the history of foraging, the iconic ingredients of the north, and regional cooking techniques. More than just a usable cookbook, Fire + Ice is a travelogue and love letter to Scandinavia, inviting readers and cooks alike on a guided exploration of this unique region, its people, and its culture.

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> "The land really offers up a lot of riches but you have to work for them. It’s not a climate where the soil is so rich with minerals and fertility that you can stick a seed in the ground and watch it grow.” [9:17]

"One of the most classic Scandinavian dishes that is now a high-end food is gravlax, but it comes from the Swedish word ‘gravadlax’ which is simply ‘buried salmon.'” [10:21]

–Darra Goldstein on A Taste of the Past

Nov 05, 2015
Episode 216: Frederick Douglass Opie on Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston is one of the most notable authors of the Harlem Renaissance. Her extensive ethnographic research on African American foodways throughout the state of Florida remains a critical historic resource to this day. Her work provides insight into meals such as pickled pig’s feet and their rise in the southern African American community as a staple, as well as many home remedies like parched rice and bay leaves for an upset stomach and recipes to cure “loss of mind.” From Floridian fried turtle to chicken pancakes, author Frederick Douglass Opie explores the lingering impact of Hurston’s work and Florida food while incorporating recipes that remain essential today.

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Oct 29, 2015
Episode 215: What America Ate Project – Food of the Great Depression

In an effort to preserve a period of America’s culinary history the National Endowment for the Humanities has funded the What America Ate Project to create an innovative website and online archive of culinary sources from the Great Depression. Materials include the far-flung papers of the WPA America Eats program, a collection of rare community cookbooks, and hundreds of food marketing and advertising materials from the 1930s.

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Oct 22, 2015
Episode 214: 100 Years of Pyrex: How it Changed the Way America Cooks

Look in your kitchen cabinet, there’s no doubt a Pyrex dish in there somewhere, whether it be a glass pie plate or the ubiquitous glass measuring cup with the red incremental markings.  This year marks the 100th anniversary of Pyrex, and Linda Pelaccio is celebrating on today’s episode of _ A Taste of the Past _ with guest Regan Brumagen of the Rakow Research Library at the Corning Museum of Glass.  As one of the curators of the “America’s Favorite Dish: Celebrating a Century of Pyrex” exhibit, Regan and Linda engage in a fascinating conversation from all things measuring cups to the vintage advertising to the product’s place in the emergence of home economics.  Tune in for more!

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Oct 15, 2015
Episode 213: What’s in a Name: Chinese Dishes

Take a trip to the Far East long ago as host Linda Pelaccio welcomes Kian Lam Kho to the studio for a brand new episode of A Taste of the Past.  Kian shares descriptive details on what banquets were like in China more than three-thousand years ago and how traditional Chinese cuisine was shaped by the worldly trading routes.  Through much culinary detective work, Kian goes on to share tantalizing facts about ancient dishes and cooking techniques used before discussing a special visit to the country that no doubt influenced his new book, “Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees.”  Tune in for a thorough explanation behind the poetic names of popular Chinese plates! To find out more, check out Kian’s website!

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> #### “Mugu gai pan, for example, the ‘pan’ in the end means that the chicken is sliced thinly, so the ‘pan’ refers to the cut.” [26:45]

“Once you know the techniques, you can adapt to your own flavor or local ingredients because I understand not everywhere can you find the exotic ingredients required for Chinese cooking.” [28:30]

–Kian Lam Kho on A Taste of the Past



Oct 08, 2015
Episode 212: The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African-American Cookbooks

Women of African descent have contributed to America’s food culture for centuries, but their rich and varied involvement is still overshadowed by the demeaning stereotype of an illiterate “Aunt Jemima” who cooked mostly by natural instinct. Toni Tipton-Martin describes her years of research amassing one of the world’s largest private collections of cookbooks published by African American authors, looking for evidence of their impact on American food, families, and communities and for ways we might use that knowledge to inspire community wellness of every kind.


“This idea that there is a ‘Jemima Code,’ for me it’s this idea that actions, thoughts, behaviors, opinions, are all crafted and generated out of this trademark image that was based on a myth.” [3:45]

–Toni Tipton-Martin on A Taste of the Past


Oct 01, 2015
Episode 211: Early American Heirloom Vegetables with William Woys Weaver

With the harvest season in bloom, A Taste of the Past host Linda Pelaccio welcomes food historian, author, and epicure William Woys Weaver for a thorough discussion on the significance of vegetables in the colonial and revolutionary period of early America from the gardens to the table.  William shares the plethora of vegetables grown during these eras and describes the process of maintaining the seeds of the heirloom plants, of which he has amassed over 4000 varieties.  Tune in for a fascinating show and learn why maintaining the seeds of history is essential!

A Taste of the Past

“The heirloom breeds of animals and vegetables are really where it’s happening at the moment.” [12:40]

“During the Victorian period, the breeders created round, smooth, red tomatoes which sort of became the ideal tomato.  The old ones didn’t look like that.  Over time the physical appearance of the plant or fruit changed because we imposed new criteria on them.” [14:30]

–William Woys Weaver on A Taste of the Past


Sep 24, 2015
Episode 210: Manuscript Cookbooks

A Taste of the Past is back for a new radio season with host Linda Pelaccio welcoming guest Stephen Schmidt to the studio for a thorough talk on manuscript cookbooks. Stephen is the Principal Researcher and Writer for The Manuscript Cookbooks Survey, which catalogs pre-1865 English-language manuscript cookbooks. An ongoing project, Stephen shares that the site aims to give culinary historians, food writers, and others enhanced access to these important, fascinating materials, which too often lie neglected in libraries, historical sites, and other public institutions. Have recipes really changed that much through the eras? Tune in for a fascinating discussion! This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 11.57.37 AM

“A manuscript cookbook is a cookbook that exists in a manuscript, meaning that it is hand-written.  These cookbooks go back to the fourteenth and thirteenth century.” [4:00]

“The truth about it is, the printed recipes reveal a much more sophisticated cooking than is done today in homes.” [23:15]

–Stephen Schmidt on A Taste of the Past


Sep 17, 2015
Episode 209: Scottish Cuisine: “Beyond Haggis” with Rachel McCormack

What is Scottish cuisine? Well, it’s certainly more than haggis. Travel to the UK’s northern-most country on a brand new episode of A Taste of the Past. Host Linda Pelaccio is joined by Rachel McCormack, an expert on the subject of Scottish cuisine. She is a regular panelist on BBC Radio 4s The Kitchen Cabinet since the first pilot programme. She has also broadcast on the station’s From Our Own Corespondent, the Food Programme and appeared as an expert guest on BBC Radio 2 on both the Simon Mayo show and the Chris Evans show. Rachel’s writing and broadcasting has covered a variety of topics from the politics of hunting, to tasting whisky in remote distilleries, to how to make Catalan doughnuts. She has written for, amongst others, the Evening Standard, the BBC Vegetarian Food Magazine, the New Statesman, the Financial Times, RED magazine and the Guardian. This program was brought to you by Heritage Foods USA

“We make everything with oats – we make drinks with oats, there’s porridge in the morning, etc.” [08:00]

–Rachel McCormack on A Taste of the Past

Jul 30, 2015
Episode 208: Sugar and Sweets Around the World

A sweet tooth is a powerful thing! This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is exploring the vast array of sweets across the globe with Darra Goldstein, the Editor in Chief of “The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets.” As Linda and Darra point out, the “science of sweet” is only the beginning of a fascinating story, because it is not basic human need or simple biological impulse that prompts us to decorate elaborate wedding cakes, scoop ice cream into a cone, or drop sugar cubes into coffee. These are matters of culture and aesthetics, of history and society, and we might ask many other questions. Why do sweets feature so prominently in children’s literature? When was sugar called a spice? And how did chocolate evolve from an ancient drink to a modern candy bar? Tune in to this intriguing episode and check out the Facebook page! This program was brought to you by Bonnie Plants.

“The plants that tended to be bitter would be toxic, or likely… the entire verge of survival depended on the sweet.” [6:00]

“They are making a fabric now of lightly sweetened green tea… it’s meant to be worn!” [23:25]

“Frisbee actually originated with a pie tin.” [24:20]

Darra Goldstein on A Taste of the Past

Jun 11, 2015
Episode 207: Cuban Cuisine

The food of the Cuban table has largely been reproduced in other countries primarily by those who left their home in an attempt to recreate the tastes and smells of their past. Now that relations are opening up again, author Ana Sofia Pelaez together with photographer Ellen Silverman traveled to Cuba to rediscover those flavors and history of the cuisine, documented in their book, The Cuban Table. Ana joins Linda today on A Taste of the Past to talk about her discoveries. This program was brought to you by Bonnie Plants.

“There’s a lot of focus on the ingredients so it was very much about having these vegetables, fruits, and spices that you put together quickly and you can walk away from it… it’s about the technique.”

“It always has to be sweet, sour, and savory – you want to hit all your points!”

Ana Sofia Pelaez on A Taste of the Past

Jun 04, 2015
Episode 206: Roman Food Culture

Elizabeth Minchilli has been eating her way through Rome since she was 12 years old. “Eating Rome,” is her homage to the city that feeds her, literally and figuratively. This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is getting Elizabeth’s personal story which is a quirky and deliciously entertaining look at some of the city’s monuments to food culture. Strolling through her favorite open air markets along with details of amazing coffee, pizza, artichokes and grappa are just the starting points for mouth-watering stories about this ancient city. If you are planning your first trip to Rome or if you’ve been a dozen times, tune in as Linda spends this episode traveling through the region with Elizabeth as the perfect travel guide. This program was brought to you by Bonnie Plants.

“The thinking is that the last thing in the world you would want after a big lunch [in Rome] is a big cup of warm milk, which is basically what cappuccino is… so they’ll give it to you but they’ll be very disapproving.” [8:22]

“These [farmer’s] markets which are only open on Saturdays and Sundays are really crowded. I think that shows a rebirth of this interest in buying quality food from the source.” [16:35]

Elizabeth Minchilli on A Taste of the Past

May 21, 2015
Episode 205: Man and his Bread

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio welcomes Eric Kayser, artisan baker, founder of Maison Kayser, and author of the book “The Larousse Book of Bread” to the show. Born into a family of French bakers, dating back four generations and recognized as one of the most talented artisan bakers of his generation, Eric Kayser has built his reputation on his passion for bread. The quality of his products and his incredible skill to combine authenticity and innovation in the world of French artisanal bakeries and tells Linda how he came up through the culinary world and his philosophy behind baking. With four shops in New York City (with three more on the way) and over eighty scattered across the world, Maison Kayser has an impressive training program for new shops opening paired with unique recipes that make each trip to Maison Kayser the best it can possibly be. Tune in for Eric’s trade secrets to amazing breads and highlights from his new book “The Larousse Book of Bread: 80 Recipes to Make at Home.” This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

“We say that a baker is an alchemist, you need to work with few ingredients.” [9:00]

“If you want to do a good bread, you cannot work with a machine, you need to do it by yourself. This is why we decided to write this book.” [24:31]

Eric Kayser on A Taste of the Past

May 14, 2015
Episode 204: Nordic Cuisine

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is taking listeners on a journey to Iceland! Welcoming guest Jody Eddy, author of the new cookbook “North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland,” to chat about one of the most beautiful and untouched places on Earth and its utterly unique and captivating food scene. Characterized by its distinctive indigenous ingredients, traditional farmers and artisanal producers, and wildly creative chefs and restaurants, Jody shares intriguing details of the Icelandic plate featuring chef Gunnar Gíslason’s Restaurant Dill. This book is Gíslason’s wonderfully personal debut: equal parts recipe book and culinary odyssey, offering an unparalleled look into a star chef’s creative process. But more than just a collection of recipes, “North” is also a celebration of Iceland itself—the inspiring traditions, stories, and people who make the island nation unlike any other place in the world. Tune in for highlights and more from Jody! This program was brought to you by Bonnie Plants.

“One thing that maybe confuses people about Nordic cuisine is, well, what is it? It’s just about appreciating the place, the ingredients and traditions.”

Jody Eddy on A Taste of the Past

May 07, 2015
Episode 203: The Middle Eastern Roots of Spices and the Early Globalization of Food

On this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio takes listeners on a vivid and far-ranging journey across time and space on the ancient spice trades with Dr. Gary Nabhan. Talking about his new book, “Cumin, Camels, and Caravans, A Spice Odyssey,” Gary draws on his own family’s history as spice traders, as well as travel narratives, historical accounts, and his expertise as an ethnobotanist, he describes the critical roles that Semitic peoples and desert floras had in setting the stage for globalized spice trade. Gary relays to Linda his travels along four prominent trade routes—the Silk Road, the Frankincense Trail, the Spice Route, and the Camino Real (for chiles and chocolate)—and follows the caravans of itinerant spice merchants from the frankincense-gathering grounds and ancient harbors of the Arabian Peninsula to the port of Zayton on the China Sea to Santa Fe in the southwest United States. His stories, recipes, and linguistic analyses of cultural diffusion routes reveal the extent to which aromatics such as cumin, cinnamon, saffron, and peppers became adopted worldwide as signature ingredients of diverse cuisines. With the idea that spices are viewed as political, religious, and cultural tools, Gary and Linda also touch upon how a more virtuous multicultural globalized society may be achieved in the future. Tune in to this fascinating episode! This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

Photo via US Library of Congress

“I think we have to learn of the costs embedded in our own history to get right the balance between local and global.”

Dr. Gary Nabhan on A Taste of the Past

Apr 23, 2015
Episode 202: Sugar and its Dark History

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is talkin’ sugar and its checkered, dark past with guest Andrew F. Smith, author of “Sugar: A Global History.” It’s no surprise that sugar has been on our minds for several millenia. First cultivated in New Guinea around 8,000 B.C.E., this addictive sweetener has since come to dominate our appetites-whether in candy, desserts, soft drinks, or even pasta sauces-for better and for worse. Offering highlights of the book and other historical factoids of this simultaneously beloved and reviled ingredient, Andy relays how sugar has held its incredible value as a global commodity up against its darker legacies of slavery and widespread obesity. Tune in to hear a layered and definitive tale of sugar and the many people caught in its spell-from barons to slaves, from chefs to the countless among us born with that insatiable devil, the sweet tooth. This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“The American Revolution is directly tied to sugar and molasses.”

“It wasn’t until the late 19th century that you had the granulated sugar and sugar cubes and things that we now know and and love.”

“Companies now have several different names for sugar so it doesn’t look like it’s the number one ingredient, which it is.”

Andrew F. Smith on A Taste of the Past

Apr 16, 2015
Episode 201: Live From the IACP: Anne Willan

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio takes listeners along to the recent International Association of Culinary Professionals Conference held in Washington, DC, and chats with the distinguished Anne Willan. Anne Willan has had an extraordinary career in the culinary arts and is recognized as one of the world’s preeminent authorities on French cooking and even founded École de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris in 1975. Inducted into the James Beard Foundation Awards Hall of Fame for her “body of work” in May, 2013, Anne has more than 50 years of experience as a teacher, author and culinary historian. She has written more than 30 books, including the influential La Varenne Pratique and the 17-volume, photo-illustrated Look and Cook series, showcased in a 26-part PBS program which she hosted. Her books have been translated into more than two dozen foreign language editions. Tune in asLinda speaks with this living culinary legend, live on the scene, about her new book “Secrets from the La Varenne Kitchen: 50 Essential Recipes Every Cook Needs to Know,” plus a lot more! This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

Apr 09, 2015
Episode 200: Italian Food & Feasts

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio welcomes Judy Witts Francini to talk all about the food of Italian feasts! Despite not being Italian herself, Judy has an impressive Italian culinary resume including Divina Cucina cooking classes and tours as well as a cookbook and smartphone app. Telling Linda how she initially fell in love with Italy and Italian cooking, her journey to culinary expertise has been nothing if not impressive. Going month to month featuring Italian holidays and festivals, Judy relays all the delicious details of the seasonal foods served plus more. This program was brought to you by Edwards VA Ham.

“It’s so much fun to be in a village for a festival, for a celebration; when I organize my culinary courses I like to organize it around a festival.” [15:30]

Judy Witts Francini on A Taste of the Past

Apr 02, 2015
Episode 199: Nowruz: Persian New Year Traditions

The vernal equinox is upon us and with it brings the start of spring! It is also the beginning of the ancient Persian New Year celebration of Nowruz, and on this week’s A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is talking to the “guru of Persian cuisine,” cookbook author, and culinary educator Najmieh Batmanglij all about the history and food traditions of the holiday. Having just baked a batch of baklava, Najmieh goes on to share the meaning behind certain dishes and that are vital to a proper celebration. After the break, Linda and Najmieh delve into the essential ingredients to Persian cuisine and how many date back thousands of years. Rounding out the show, it is discussed that Nowruz is not a secular holiday, rather a celebration of the Earth for everyone to enjoy. Tune in for a wonderful show! This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

Photos and recipe from Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies by Najmieh Batmanglij © 1986, 2015, courtesy of Mage Publishers, www.mage.com

“In Iran, food is an essential part of every ceremony.”

“Noodles represent the path of life and by eating them you unravel the difficulties of your life… you must eat noodles!”

“In Iranian, feasting your eyes is as important as your tastebuds.”

Najmieh Batmanglij on A Taste of the Past

Mar 19, 2015
Episode 198: Automat: The History, Book & Movie

Americans once sipped coffee and ate pie around communal tables, sharing their struggles and dreams with strangers at Horn & Hardart’s iconic Automat. This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is talking the history of the automat with Marianne Hardart, the great-granddaughter of Automat co-founder Frank Hardart; her father, Augustin, was the last of three generations of Hardarts to manage the Automats. But, what exactly is an Automat? Marianne explains it was a ‘fast food’ restaurant where hot foods and drink were served by coin-operated vending machines that were stocked by actual kitchens making items fresh. Talking about all things Automat, after the break, Linda welcomes Lisa Hurwitz, the Director and Producer of The Automat, The Horn & Hardart Documentary Film (check out the Kickstarter campaign here). Adding her thoughts on the topic and sharing why the Automat is an important piece of American culinary history, she relates how more than just entertainment, The Automat is a parable of how we once dined happily together before turning to the isolated and unhappy experience offered by today’s fast food, a bad deal that no amount of advertising can disguise. This program was brought to you by Bi-Rite Market.

“There was nothing automatic about it, which was sort of a joke in the beginning, it involved several people to get the food from one place in the restaurant to another. What it evolved into was this machine that you put in a nickel and opened a door and pulled out your meal.” [5:55]

Marianne Hardart on A Taste of the Past

“The Automat, for me, just had so much personality and character and for someone like myself who never experienced it first hand when I learned about the Automat I was extremely fascinated by the concept.” [18:45]

Lisa Hurwitz on A Taste of the Past

Mar 05, 2015
Episode 197: History of Food in India

From dal to samosas, paneer to vindaloo, dosa to naan, today’s A Taste of the Past is delving into the history of the food in India. Host Linda Pelaccio welcomes guest Colleen Taylor Sen, a culinary historian and writer who has specialized in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, to the show to dissect this country’s rich culinary traditions. The cuisine differs from north to south, yet what is it that makes Indian food recognizably Indian, and how did it get that way? To answer those questions, Colleen and her recently released book “Feasts and Fasts: History of Food in India” examine the diet of the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years, describing the country’s cuisine in the context of its religious, moral, social, and philosophical development. After the break, Colleen talks about India’s beliefs in food as medicine as it pertains to Ayurveda plus much more. This program was brought to you by Underground Meats.

“One vegetable that’s played a key role in Indian cuisine is the eggplant…in my research I kept coming across the eggplant, probably because of its ability to absorb flavors.” [4:05]

“Very few Indians are vegans, so dairy products are always a part of people’s diets.” [14:10]

“Someone could write book after book on Indian sweets!” [26:20]

Colleen Taylor Sen on A Taste of the Past

Feb 26, 2015
Episode 196: History of Dining on the Trans

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is taking a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway with author Sharon Hudgins. Sharon has traveled along this particular railway numerous times and worked for University of Maryland University College for 20 years, primarily as a professor in the university’s programs in Germany, Spain, Greece, Japan, Korea, and Russia. She also served as UMUC’s program administrator at two universities in Siberia and the Russian Far East, and today chats with Linda about the evolution of the Trans-Siberian Railway dining car from the initial journeys to the practice today. After the break, Sharon shares facts about the food vendors that passengers would see across the long journey via station stops and also how the train line has endured through historic events like both World Wars, the Cold War, as well as the current political environment in Russia. Ever wondered the background behind the term ‘mystery meat?’ Tune in to find out and hear all about this legendary train trek. This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“There wasn’t a single train called the Trans-Siberian Express, a whole lot of people think there was this one great big legendary train, but it was the route was legendary.” [14:00]

“The real point of the the Trans-Siberian Railway is that it was the only way to get across Russia… all the way across the country.” [16:55]

Sharon Hudgins on A Taste of the Past

Feb 19, 2015
Episode 195: How the Other Half Ate: Working Class Meals of 1900

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is delving into the pages of culinary history, wondering how the working-class ate at the turn of the century. Dr. Katherine Leonard Turner joins Linda via phone, adding to the discussion interesting facts and thoughts brought up in her book “How the Other Half Ate: A History of the Working-Class Meals at the Turn oft he Century.” She explains that at this time, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, working-class Americans had eating habits that were distinctly shaped by jobs, families, neighborhoods, and the tools, utilities, as well as size of their kitchens—along with their cultural heritage. Tune in for a thorough look at food and meals for the common man. This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

Photo via Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market

Lewis Hine, Library of Congress

“Certainly working class people’s cooking facilities were much much behind at this time. When the middle class had gas stoves the working class had wood and coal burning stoves… It’s a lot of upkeep and maintenance just to run coal stoves, and their kitchens aren’t separate from their homes.” [10:00]

“Urban working people are eating on the street, bar, push cart, cafeterias that sound more like where Americans eat today.” [20:00]

Dr. Katherine Leonard Turner on A Taste of the Past

Feb 12, 2015
Episode 194: Preserving Traditional Italian Cuisine

Ciao! This week on a brand new episode of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is chatting with one of America’s foremost authorities on Italian food, Julia della Croce. She is the author of over 13 cooking and travel books, notably “Italian Home Cooking: 125 Recipes to Comfort Your Soul” and “The Classic Italian Cookbook.” In the past decades, traditional Italian home cooking has seemingly gone to the wayside with dining in restaurants in Italy today being much different than traditional home cooking. True Italian food differs from region to region, says Julia, who emphasizes that this is imperative to the cuisine as a whole and that the food is truly tied to the land. After the break, Julia gives her thoughts on the ‘authenticity’ of Italian recipes as well as the cooking classes she leads. Tune in for a wonderful episode! This program has been brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“Italian cooking really is home cooking. The traditions I’m talking about began in the home, not in the restaurants. The restaurants just carried out the recipes found at home… The restaurant is a relatively new concept in Italy.” [4:19]

“Traditional Italian cooking is all about two things: ingredients, which are local… and the other thing is the skill of a homemaker who today would be a great grandmother.” [8:15]

“Here I am in this little town in Puglia that no one goes to, off the beaten path, and I can’t find parsley but I can find all the Pringles I want!” [17:30]

Julia della Croce on A Taste of the Past

Feb 05, 2015
Episode 193: Women Behind the Food Sections

This week on a brand new episode of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio kicks off 2015 talking to Dr. Kimberly Wilmot Voss, author of “The Food Section: Newspaper Women and the Culinary Community.” Linda and Kim discuss how food blogs are everywhere today but that for generations, information and opinions about food were found in the food sections of newspapers in communities large and small. Until the early 1970s, these sections were housed in the women’s pages of newspapers—where women could hold an authoritative voice. The food editors—often a mix of trained journalist and home economist—reported on everything from nutrition news to features on the new chef in town. The food sections actually helped make James Beard and Julia Child household names as the editors wrote about their television appearances and reviewed their cookbooks. Tune in to this interesting episode to learn all about the evolution of food journalism and more! This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“The food sections in the 1950s and 1960s show that we had a more complex relationship with food than had previously been described.” [2:15]

“At the heart, many of these women were journalists… many were actually very poor cooks and some journalists didn’t want to be considered cooks.” [24:10]

Dr. Kimberly Wilmot Voss on A Taste of the Past

Jan 15, 2015
Episode 192: Chef Boyardee

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio welcomes Anna Boiardi of the infamous Chef Boyardee empire. Anna is the granddaughter of Mario Boiardi, a man who along with his two brothers (including the chef himself, Hector Boiardi) launched a canned pasta empire that now pumps out 2.5 million cans of pasta a day. Anna gives Linda the story behind how the family business came to be, including the first supermarket to sell the Chef Boyardee sauce. Between timing, great product, and a little bit of luck, Anna’s family was shot into the food stratosphere and even contributed to the wartime effort, providing food for soldiers’ rations in World War II. After the break, Linda chats with Anna about her book “Delicious Memories: Recipes and Stories from the Chef Boyardee Family,” and she divulges that it was important to include the family stories and recipes as a way to preserve her rich family history. This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“They were really introducing customers to Italian food. At the time, people didn’t even know the proper way to cook pasta.” [6:00]

“At the heart, Italian food is not really overly complicated food. It’s about really fresh ingredients, starting with good olive oil.” [26:00]

Anna Boiardi on A Taste of the Past

Dec 18, 2014
Episode 191: Eating Delancey: Jewish Food Memories

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is delving into some delicious food memories, using theJewish cuisine on Delancey Street in New York City, as a guide. Welcoming Aaron Rezny, Jordan Schaps, Arthur Schwartz and Cara De Silva to the show, they are the authors and contributors to the book “Eating Delancey: A Celebration of Jewish Food.” Delancey Street conjures up an entire world of Yiddishkeit, or, “the quality of being Jewish; the Jewish way of life or its customs and practices.” Delancey, and the streets that cross it in the Lower East Side—Ludlow, Essex, Orchard, Rivington, and its “sister” street to the north, Houston Street—are the historical home of Jewish immigrants and thus a cradle of that unique Jewish experience. The group discusses how all the foods that were brought to America in the early 20th century by Jews during the great emigration from Europe came to the Lower East Side: knishes, bagels, lox, pastrami, whitefish, dill pickles, kasha, herring, egg creams, and much more. It is an area that continues to undergo rapid change but Eating Delancey hopes to capture forever the Jewish cuisine of the Lower East Side. Tune in to hear the book’s background details by those who know it best. This is a wonderfully informative and lively show! This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

“Food is about the most powerful identity market that there is.” [16:50]

Cara De Silva on A Taste of the Past

“My favorite memory of Ratner’s is seeing a table of six nuns!” [28:25]

Jordan Schaps on A Taste of the Past

Dec 11, 2014
Episode 190: Longevity Food

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is headed to the Grecian Island of Ikaria where inhabitants seemingly forget to die! Chef, author, and Greek food expert Diane Kochilas joins Linda to talk about this amazing place via her new book, “Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die.” Diane explains that Ikaria is mythical, beautiful, enigmatic and a place where residents live unaccountably long lives. Part cookbook, part travelogue, filled with gorgeous photography, stunning recipes, and interviews with locals, and packed with the often quirky secrets to a long life that Ikarians are spoon-fed at birth, this book is Diane’s ethno-culinary paean to this magical island. Tune in for a relaxing episode all about the culinary life on Ikaria and wonderful highlights from the book. This program was brought to you by Rolling Press.

“Their diet is the Mediterranean diet of fifty years ago. It’s completely reliant on very fresh, seasonal food – most of it completely local.” [10:10]

“We’re Greeks! We like to feed people!” [16:25]

Diane Kochilas on A Taste of the Past

Dec 04, 2014
Episode 189: Turkey, An American Story

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is feeling festive, talking the history of the turkey with food historian Andrew Smith. Teaching food history at the New School in NYC, he is also the author of numerous books and hundreds of articles on food and history. Speaking on the the centerpiece of family Thanksgiving reunions, the turkey is a cultural symbol as well as a multi-billion dollar industry. As a bird, dinner, commodity, and national icon, the turkey has become as American as the bald eagle. Sitting down with Linda, Andrew discusses how this new world bird landed on the world’s tables starting with the bird’s origins and first recipes, before bringing up the topic of pickled turkey. After the break, Andrew explains how the turkey overcame the traditional goose holiday dinner, variations of stuffing throughout the years, and the preservation of heritage turkey breeds. Tune in for this timely episode! This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“Wild turkeys tend to taste very different depending on what they’ve consumed.” [13:45]

“Serving turkey [on Thanksgiving] did not become universal until the late nineteenth century, though it was certainly on the menu.” [26:20]

“In order to save the heritage turkeys you need to eat them.” [30:00]

Andrew Smith on A Taste of the Past

Nov 20, 2014
Episode 188: Brunch: A History

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio welcomes Farha Ternikar, professor of sociology at Le Moyne College to talk about the history of every New Yorker’s favorite meal: brunch. Author of the book “Brunch: A History,” Farha explains that when Americans think of brunch, they typically think of Sunday mornings swelling into early afternoons; mimosas and bloody Marys; eggs Benedict and coffee cake; bacon and bagels; family and friends. Her book presents a modern history of brunch not only as a meal, but also as a cultural experience. Relying on diverse sources, from historic cookbooks to Twitter and television, “Brunch: A History” is a global and social history of the meal including brunch in the United States, Western Europe, South Asia and the Middle-East. Brunch takes us on a tour of a modern meal around the world. While brunch has become a modern meal of leisure, its history is far from restful; this meal’s past is both lively and fraught with tension. Here, Farha tells Linda of the gendered and class-based conflicts around this meal, and provides readers with an enlightening glimpse into the dining rooms, verandas, and kitchens where brunches were prepared, served, and enjoyed. This program was brought to you by The International Culinary Center.

“Brunch is a pretty modern meal as we think of it – it wasn’t really invented until the 1890s.” [3:40]

“I think in the 20s and 30s it was still a meal of the elite.” [8:35]

Farha Ternikar on A Taste of the Past

Nov 13, 2014
Episode 187: 187

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio welcomes one of Greece’s foremost cooking authorities, Aglaia Kremezi to the show. Author of the new book, “Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts,” she lives on the island of Kea, Greece, and also runs a cooking school there. Talking to Linda about the meaning of “nose to tail” vegetarian cooking, Aglaia explains that when she was growing up in Greece, no aspect of food was wasted. Also inspired from her many travels around Greece and the surrounding countries, today she uncovers the history and evolution of many nearly forgotten Mediterranean recipes. Tune in to hear wonderful highlights from the new recipe book, “Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts,” and to learn to make the most with the ingredients around. This program was brought to you by The International Culinary Center.

“These are recipes that I grew up eating, basically.” [2:24]

“One of the most expensive ingredients [in Greece] is wood to burn in the oven because there are no forests and just a few shrubs.” [10:08]

Aglaia Kremezi on A Taste of the Past

Nov 06, 2014
Episode 186: Mexico’s Culinary Heritage

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined by Margarita Carrillo Arronte to discuss the traditional foods for Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations as well as her research of some of Mexico’s historical forgotten recipes, plus where they originated from. Margarita is a teacher, chef, cookbook author, entrepreneur, and culinary activist who has spent her life researching, teaching and cooking Mexican cuisine. She is also the author of “Mexico: The Cookbook,” published by Phaidon, which is truly an encyclopedia of the country’s rich history of food. Tune in to hear Margarita’s take on Mexico’s regional and culinary heritage. This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

Photos from: Fiamma Piacentini-Huff & Copetevic

“The book is just the tip of the iceberg. Mexico has such a huge wealth in its cuisine.” [9:13}

“Mexican traditional authentic cuisine is very complex, it’s nourishing, and it’s healthy.” [16:54]

Margarita Carrillo Arronte on A Taste of the Past

Oct 30, 2014
Episode 185: Baby Food: A Cultural History

Were you a Gerber baby? This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is talking the history of baby food with Amy Bentley, Food Historian and Associate Professor of Food Studies at New York University. She is also the author of the book, Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health, and the Industrialization of the American Diet. Tune in to hear all about the past, present, and future of this family necessity. This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

“At some point 90% of babies were being fed commercial baby food.” [16:35]

Amy Bentley on A Taste of the Past

Oct 16, 2014
Episode 184: Vegetarian Flavors

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio welcomes Karen Page, author of many books but most recently The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, to talk all about eating vegetarian. With the popularity of cutting out meat in the past decade, Karen Page brings some great dishes to light in the new book. Notably, Karen and her author/photographer husband, Andrew Dornenburg, became vegetarians in 2012. Talking to Linda about the history of vegetarianism, Karen mentions that in the United States, this style of eating actually had religious roots prior to being hailed as a healthy way of living. After the break, Linda and Karen discuss the varying reasons why people choose to change their diets in such a way as well as Karen’s reason for becoming a vegetarian. This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

“Why do these flavor combinations we know as classics come to be? It’s because people started playing with the ingredients that they had locally.” [6:05]

“Vegetables are being embraced by chefs of all stripes [17:48]

“People always say how do you get your protein and I say, well, I eat plants. Plants have protein!” [31:18]

Karen Page on A Taste of the Past

Oct 09, 2014
Episode 183: Colonial Drinks: Shrubs, Flips, & Rattle

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is talking shrubs, flips, and rattle-skulls – aka colonial drinks! Welcoming food writer and author of Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England Corin Hirsch via phone to brief Linda on this interesting topic, they start off the show talking about how prevalent alcoholic beverages were in the times of our founding-fathers. As it turns out, cider was a very common drink for all to enjoy – even children! Having to do with poor water quality at the time, alcoholic drinks were considered safer to drink than most other drinks at the time. After the break, Linda is joined in the studio by Michael Dietsch, author of the book Shrubs: An Old Fashioned Drink for Modern Times. Continuing the colonial chat, Michael shares historical tidbits about shrub: the name of different, but related, acidulated beverages. He goes on to elaborate about each type of shrub and how the beverage basically disappeared from the market, though is seeing a comeback in recent years. Tune in to hear all about the drinks that Colonial Americans loved! This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“Alcohol consumption, as robust as it was before the war began, it just reached its peak in the decades after the war.” [10:05]

Corin Hirsch on A Taste of the Past

“Shrub was one of the first things that the British navy used to fight scurvy.” [29:03]

Michael Dietsch on A Taste of the Past

Oct 02, 2014
Episode 182: History of the Potato Chip

What is it about salty snacks? What is it, in particular, about the potato chip? Learn about the history of the iconic snack with Dirk Burhans, author of Crunch!: A History of the Great American Potato Chip. Dirk traces the history of the chip back to its origins and gives listeners some great fun-facts and cultural anecdotes. Potato Chip lovers unite! This program was brought to you by Fairway Market.

“The idea of making a super thin fried potato and putting it in oil is nothing we can’t do on our own.” [04:00]

–Dirk Burhans on A Taste of the Past

Sep 25, 2014
Episode 181: Bread with Lionel Vatinet

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio kicks off the new radio season welcoming Lionel Vatinet, master baker of La Farm Bakery in Cary, North Carolina and author of the book A Passion for Bread: Lessons from a Master Baker. Lionel shares with Linda that his passion for bread was first nurtured when he joined France’s prestigious artisans’ guild Les Compagnons du Devoir as an apprentice at age 16. Emerging 7 years later with the distinguished and hard-earned title of Maitre Boulanger (Master Baker), Vatinet pledged to devote his life to teaching, sharing and preserving the ancient art and science of bread baking. Rather than propagate secrets, Lionel’s mission through the years has been to demystify baking and enable more bakers to produce high quality, handcrafted breads. This mission can without a doubt be seen demonstrated throughout his book’s recipes as well. Tune in for a master lesson in bread and to hear what Lionel’s plans are for the future! This program has been brought to you by Cain Vineyard and Winery.

“To be a teacher, to share, I think every culinarian should share what they know. You cannot feel like you have a secret.” [20:19]

Lionel Vatinet on A Taste of the Past

Sep 11, 2014
Episode 180: The Food History Reader

It’s that time of year again – students are headed back to school! Linda Pelaccio gets in the spirit on a academic themed episode of A Taste of the Past with guest Ken Albala, Professor of History at the University of the Pacific, USA. He is the author or editor of 17 books including Eating Right in the Renaissance, The Banquet and Beans: A History. He has also coauthored two cookbooks, The Lost Art of Real Cooking and The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home. With the proliferation of food history courses and avid interest among scholars and the general public, the need for a solid comprehensive collection of key primary texts about food of the past is urgent. His latest book, The Food History Reader, is that collection. Tune in as he urges researchers to focus on primary sources and gives listeners some insights into the world of food history. This program was brought to you by Fairway Market.

“I think we need fewer encyclopedias and more original research and it won’t happen unless a generation of students is raised on the original sources and not the rehashes of information.” [12:00]

“People eat certain things as expressions of who they are and who they want to be.” [16:00]

–Ken Albala on A Taste of the Past

Aug 28, 2014
Episode 179: Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie

What is Midwestern cuisine? We may not ever know, but we get closer to understanding the food of the Midwest on a new episode of A Taste of the Past. Host Linda Pelaccio is joined by Peggy Wolff, author of Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie. With its corn by the acre, beef on the hoof, Quaker Oats, and Kraft Mac n’ Cheese, the Midwest eats pretty well and feeds the nation on the side. But there’s more to the midwestern kitchen and palate than the farm food and sizable portions the region is best known for beyond its borders. It is to these heartland specialties, from the heartwarming to the downright weird, that Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie invites the reader. Tune in and get some brilliant insight into an often overlooked region and its impact on the way we eat in America. This program was brought to you by The Greenhouse Tavern.

“Wisconsin is a huge cherry growing region but nothing beats northern Michigan.” [20:00]

“When you criss cross the midwest and hit the farmers markets you see, what I call, real food. You’re gonna see a nod to the housewives back in the 50’s with homemade pickles and preserves.” [23:00]

“I think the Midwest can claim the roots of fast food. Where we would be without the whole notion of fast food?” [25:00]

–Peggy Wolff on A Taste of the Past

Jul 03, 2014
Episode 178: The Donut with Michael Krondl

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda tackles the delectable topic of the donut with food historian, Michael Krondl, and author of The Donut: History, Recipes, and Lore from Boston to Berlin. Tracing the donut through the years, Michael details the various types of fried dough that ultimately led to the donut that we all know and love today, including the popular cronut. However, when did donuts start being filled with sweets? Where did the donut originate? Where is the donut headed in the future – Linda predicts the up and coming biznut. Tune in to find out more about this beloved treat as well as other derivatives of donuts found around the world. This program has been brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

“I have a theory… that donuts do well in times of economic crisis. If you look at the depression, donuts were big, if you look at the 1970’s, donuts were big, and if you look at the last ten years, once again, donuts become huge.” [27:19]

“Donuts have a street cred that cupcakes will never have.” [28:43]

Michael Krondl on A Taste of the Past

Jun 26, 2014
Episode 177: Food Obsessed Metropolis

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda welcomes Cindy Lobel to the program. Cindy is an assistant professor of history at Lehman College, a cultural historian with interests in urban development and consumer culture as well as the history of New York. Today she and Linda discuss her book, Urban Appetites: Food and Culture in Nineteenth-Century New York. Was New York City the first in the country to have a restaurant? What was the first restaurant to open in New York City? Surprisingly, it seems as though present day New York food scene is not so different than it was in the 1800s. Tune in as Cindy takes us through the beginnings of restaurants in New York City and how the now flourishing industry evolved through the years. This program has been sponsored by Cain Vineyard and Winery.

“People think that New York was born with the Zagat Guide, and that of course is not the case… free standing restaurants have a history in New York.” [5:40]

“The rise of restaurants is really tied to the growth of the city.” [8:10]

Cindy Lobel on A Taste of the Past

Jun 19, 2014
Episode 176: Ramen: The Untold History

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio talks about the history of ramen in Japan and the United States with George Solt, author of The Untold History of Ramen. Tune into this episode to learn how international relations and trade agreements allowed ramen to evolve in Japan using non-traditional ingredients. How do ramen noodles different from other Japanese noodle soups like soba? How did ramen preparations change in order to satisfy the caloric needs of the Japanese population. Tune into this program to learn more about the first instances of instant ramen, ramen museum, and the dish’s nutritional value! Are ramen shops in Japan as popular as their equivalents in the United States today? Tune in to find out! Thanks to our sponsor, S. Wallace Edwards & Sons. Music by Pamela Royal.

“Until the introduction of Western food culture en mass in the 19th Century, the Japanese didn’t eat much meat; it was much more of fish and vegetable type of eating culture… It shows how politics, international relations, and trade affect food culture.” [6:50]

“The pushcart is really the site that the ramen phenomenon came from.” [9:20]

George Solt on A Taste of the Past

Jun 12, 2014
Episode 175: History of Food in Italy with Fabio Parasecoli

How does one begin to encapsulate the varied cuisine of Italy? On this episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined by Associate Professor at the New School, Fabio Parasecoli. Recently, Fabio released Al Dente, a book about the history of food in Italy. Learn how a desire for modernization suppressed the interest in Italian heirloom ingredients. Find out how economic conditions shaped Italian cuisine today. Why is Italian food so regionally diverse, and how do Italians express their local pride through food? How did Italians incorporate agricultural products from other areas into their culinary identity? Find out on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past! Thanks to our sponsor, The International Culinary Center. Music by Idgy Dean.

“There was this idea of being ‘modern’ rather than ‘Italian’, and that allowed for the spread of products throughout the country, and many of them were industrialized food products.” [9:30]

Fabio Parasecoli on A Taste of the Past

Jun 05, 2014
Episode 174: The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook

Linda Pelaccio welcomes Josh Kilmer-Purcell and his husband Brent Ridge, who are known as The Fabulous Beekman Boys, to this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past! The Beekman Boys describe themselves as “Two NYC guys who bought a farm and are sharing their experiment in living better lives, season by season, neighbor by neighbor.” They are the stars of The Fabulous Beekman Boys, a reality TV show now broadcasting on The Cooking Channel, and have many other endeavors, including running a farm, a mercantile, writing cookbooks and many more. Their new Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook is a delectable yearlong trip through the Beekman vegetable bounty and is packed with simple, delicious, and seasonal vegetable-forward recipes that will have readers counting down the months to green shoots every year. This program was sponsored by Fairway Market.

“This idea of growing your own crops and appreciating heirloom varieties is very important to us. [10:00]

–Brent Ridge on A Taste of the Past

“Whenever you meet an unfamiliar vegetable – know that anything can be roasted. Toss it in olive oil put in an oven bake it at 400 degrees until its soft and see how it tastes.” [15:00]

–Josh Kilmer-Purcell on A Taste of the Past

May 29, 2014
Episode 173: Food Trends with David Sax

David Sax is an expert of food trends and author of Save the Deli and most recently The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy For cupcakes But Fed Up With Fondue. Linda and David talk about how food trends come about, how they spread across the world, and how they come back decades later. Tune in to hear about trends such as Asian BBQ and cupcakes! This program has been sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons. Today’s music provided by Pamela Royal.

“Everything’s so interconnected. We share our food culture now online and in media so much more easily and so much more widespread.” [21:45]

–David Sax on A Taste of the Past

May 22, 2014
Episode 172: Real Pasta with Maureen Fant

You think you know pasta? Think again! This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio chats with author and pasta expert Maurren Fant who dispels many common myths around everybody’s favorite carb. From cooking times to salting water, Maura breaks down pasta from A-Z and leaves listeners with a much better understanding of the potential, history and variations of pasta. She talks about the process of writing her award-winning book, Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way, and describes what real Italians do when it comes to cooking pasta. The pasta police are definitely patrolling the airwaves – that means no cream in your alfredo, no tomato sauce and angel hair and definitely no overcooked spaghetti! This program was sponsored by Bonnie Plants.

“People believe that pasta exists as a vehicle for sauce – it’s quite the opposite. The pasta is the main attraction.” [14:00]

“The only way to eat angel hair or tortellini is in broth!” [21:00]

“There is no cream in fettuccine alfredo!” [26:00]

–Maureen Fant on A Taste of the Past

May 08, 2014
Episode 171: Beyond Bratwurst

German cuisine is often thought of as brats and not much else. Ursula Heinzelmann is here to change that perception and she’s this week’s guest on A Taste of the Past. Ursula is an acclaimed German food and wine writer, a sommelière and a gastronome. She’s written numerous books on the subject of German cuisine and has twice been awarded the annual Sophie Coe Prize in Food History at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, most recently in 2006. Her latest book is called Beyond Bratwurst: A History of Food in Germany. Tune in to this program to get an in depth look at the culture, cuisine and traditions of Germany. This program was sponsored by Bonnie Plants.

“If I had to define German food – it would be diversity, always.” [14:00]

“Food is all about meeting people, getting to know their food and sharing it.” [30:00]

–Ursula Heinzelmann

May 01, 2014
Episode 170: Pretzel History with Hans Röckenwagner

Pretzel history is this week’s topic on A Taste of the Past. Linda interviews Hans Röckenwagner, owner and founder of Restaurant Röckenwagner, James Beard Award winner, pretzel expert and more, about pretzels: where they came from, where they’re made, how they came about, and much more. This program has been sponsored by Whole Foods Market. Today’s music provided by The California Honeydrops.

“What I love about a pretzel is it has a distinct burstiness.” [12:00]

–Hans Röckenwagner on A Taste of the Past

Apr 17, 2014
Episode 169: Delmonico’s Restaurant

In 1827, before Delmonico’s opened, diners ate at cafes and boarding houses (inns), where the food was simply the food available that day from the farms. Diners had no choice of dishes, but ate the food that was served. Delmonico’s changed all of that. Today’s guest is Billy Oliva, graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and currently the Executive Chef at Delmonico’s. This program has been sponsored by Heritage Foods USA. Today’s music provided by Pamela Royal.

“[Delmonico’s] is history. And when you walk through the door you feel that way.” [5:15]

“Ireland is not really known for food but that has changed so much.” [28:00]

–Billy Oliva on A Taste of the Past

Apr 10, 2014
Episode 168: The History of Knives with Peter Hertzmann

Peter Hertzmann is an author, instructor, blogger, historian, and occasional butcher. Today, Peter’s expertise that shines through the rest is that of knives. Linda interviews him about the origins of the chef’s knife, which actually didn’t even exist a mere 50 years ago! Tune in to hear more about how knives have evolved! This program has been sponsored by The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Today’s music provided by Obey City.

“If you look at the year 1855 as a dividing point…they did have steel before that, but that really made modern production of steel possible.” [13:55]

“The Japanese style handle with a western style blade can be very comfortable.” [35:30]

–Peter Hertzmann on A Taste of the Past

Apr 03, 2014
Episode 167: Foods of The Silk Road

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda explores the history of Rhubarb and other foods of The Silk Road with Laura Kelley, author and food historian. Laura tells us about how so many foods were originally used as medicine, and the lines between food and medicine have become much more clear over the years. This program has been sponsored by Rolling Press. Today’s music provided by Pamela Royal.

“Most cinnamon we see on the shelves today labelled cinnamon isn’t really cinnamon.” [15:00]

“You have to really try to kill a chili plant.” [24:30]

–Laura Kelley on A Taste of the Past

Mar 27, 2014
Episode 166: Darina Allen: 30 Years at Ballymaloe

Darina Allen joins us on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past, to tell us about Ballymaloe Cookery School located in southern Ireland, of which she is the founder. Linda asks her about real Irish cuisine, and she explains how many people in Ireland were so slow to realize the great benefits of using local food. This program has been sponsored by The International Culinary Center. Today’s music provided by Pamela Royal.

“The whole image of irish food, particularly over here [in the U.S.] in no way reflects what’s happening in Ireland.” [9:00]

Darina Allen on A Taste of the Past

Mar 20, 2014
Episode 165: Turmeric

Turmeric: health benefits, flavor, dyes, and more. This spice is used in many eastern cuisines, such as Thai and Malaysian. This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda interviews food historian and spice expert Colleen Sen, who tells us all about The Wonder Spice. This program has been sponsored by Heritage Foods USA. Today’s music provided by Obey City.

“Like many ingredients, the health benefits are intensified by using it with other spices.” [5:50]

–Colleen Sen on A Taste of the Past

Mar 13, 2014
Episode 164: Anne Northup: Northern Creole Cookery

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda’s guest is culinary historian, storyteller, and Soul Food authority, Tonya Hopkins. Linda and Tonya talk about American master cook Anne Northrup (wife of Solomon Northrup) and the significance she had on American cuisine and in particular, soul food. This program has been sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery. Today’s music provided by Plexophonic.

Image from Accessible Archives

“People think of ham as cooked and salted, but people made their own ham back then.” [26:00]

Tonya Hopkins on A Taste of the Past

Feb 20, 2014
Episode 163: American Icons: Chocolate Chip Cookies and SPAM

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda explores the origin of the chocolate chip cookie. Her guest Carolyn Wyman is the author of The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie, among other books that document the history of America’s most iconic foods. Later, Linda and Carolyn discuss the history of SPAM. This program has been sponsored by Fairway Market. Today’s music provided by Plexophonic.

“Cookies are not on the dessert menu for most restaurants; it’s more of a home food.” [23:45]

Carolyn Wyman on A Taste of the Past

Feb 13, 2014
Episode 162: Is Candy Food?

This week on A Taste of the Past: is candy food? Linda Pelaccio interviews Samira Kawash, author of Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure. Samira explains to us how difficult it was to make candy back in the 1800s, and how technological innovations allowed the candy industry to boom. Later, she and Linda discuss society’s perception of candy, how many other foods and beverages are less healthy, yet candy can be an easy scapegoat. This program has been sponsored by Many Kitchens. Today’s music provided by Takstar.

“The tradition in the 19th century was candy was a luxury, and it was for special occasions.” [9:40]

“I think it’s easy to look at candy and see it as really the scapegoat of our anxieties around the role of sugar in our diet and the dangers of eating foods that are far away from the farm.” [17:25]

Samira Kawash on A Taste of the Past

Feb 06, 2014
Episode 161: History of Salmon as Food with Nic Mink

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda talks to Nic Mink, professor at the Center for Urban Ecology at Butler University, President and co-founder of Sitka Salmon Shares, and author of Salmon, A Global History. Nic tells us about the various evolutionary mechanisms that salmon have developed to survive. Later, Nic and Linda discuss the developments in catching and storing salmon – from wild to farm-raised, line caught and canned. Tune in to hear the whole discussion! This program has been sponsored by Fairway Market. Today’s music provided by The Hollows.

“Salmon was kind of nature’s first convenience food.” [10:40]

“If you ever see on a menu ‘Wild Atlantic Salmon’, that restaurant is either doing something incredibly bad, or they are mislabeling their menu.” [24:45]

“The best thing to do for a wild salmon actually is to eat one!” [34:05]

Nic Mink on A Taste of the Past

Jan 30, 2014
Episode 160: Andrew Smith

This week on A Taste of the Past, the subject is New York City food. Linda speaks with Andrew Smith, author of New York City: A Food Biography, about the history of food in New York City. Andrew brings us back thousands of years, and describes what the food culture were like throughout time. After the break, they discuss some specific food establishments such as the automat and the supermarket that imposed varying levels of change on the food industry in New York and nationwide. This program has been sponsored by Whole Foods Market. Today’s music provided by Four Lincolns.

“From about the 1830’s on, New York City became the major sugar refinery not just for the north but for the entire country.” [15:25]

“New York is really the beginning of what we think of as bagels.” [20:25]

Andrew Smith on A Taste of the Past

Jan 23, 2014
Episode 159: Gustavo Arellano & Taco History

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio welcomes guest Gustavo Arellano to discus the history of the taco. Gustavo is the author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, an editor at OC weekly, and a contributing editor to the LA Times. Linda and Gustavo discuss the evolution of the meal we now know as the taco, and how the taco differs around the U.S. This show has been sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons. Thanks to Pamela Royal.

“There’s a time for every taco and a season for every torta.” [12:35]

Gustavo Arellano on A Taste of the Past

Jan 16, 2014
Episode 158: History of Refrigeration

“A cold chain is a supply chain that transports and stores temperature sensitive perishable goods. The most visible manifestation of the cold chain is the electric household refrigerator.” – Jonathan Rees

The world was changed by the innovation of refrigeration. This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined by Dr. Jonathan Rees. Dr. Rees is a professor of history at Colorado State University – Pueblo, and the author of Refrigeration Nation. Tune in to hear about the origins of the ice industry and ice boxes, and learn about ‘the cold chain’. Find out how compression refrigeration developed during the Civil War era, and why the marketing of refrigerators in the 1940s relied on size. Learn why cold storage was a controversial political issue, and how refrigeration was essential to the development of the supermarket. How were frozen foods received upon their arrival? Find out on this week’s edition of A Taste of the Past! This program has been sponsored by Regional Access. Music by Jack Inslee.

“Ice was something that all classes were interested in, whether or not all classes could afford it.” [5:50]

“Producing food and having it spoil is just as harmful to the environment as refrigeration.” [17:10]

Dr. Jonathan Rees on A Taste of the Past

Jan 09, 2014
Episode 157: Alice Ross on the History of Christmas Dinner

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio explores the roots of the Christmas celebration. She brings in guest Alice Ross, a distinguished culinary historian who recreated the recipes for a modern version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Dinner”. Alice brings us through history, explaining where countless Christmas food traditions come from. This program has been sponsored by Heritage Foods USA. Music provided by Pamela Royal.

Image from AliceRoss.com

“Even though we think of turkey as an American bird, it was brought over to Europe and propagated there.” [20:15]

Alice Ross on A Taste of the Past

Dec 19, 2013
Episode 156: Robert Sietsema on The History of Pizza

This week on a thrilling episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio brings in features writer for EaterNY.com, Robert Sietsema. Robert educates us on the history of pizza, and enlightens us about where many aspects of modern pizza originated. After the break, they discuss more in depth how pizza and the pizza industry spread throughout Italy and the U.S. This program has been sponsored by Heritage Foods USA. Music provided by Pamela Royal.

“Totonno must have made one hell of a flatbread.” [13:50]

“In Naples when you get a piece of pizza, you know what you drink? You drink that great old American beverage, Coca-Cola.” [21:45]

Robert Sietsema on A Taste of the Past

Dec 12, 2013
Episode 155: Open Hearth Cooking

Imagine having to cook Thanksgiving dinner over an open fire! This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by historical interpreter Carolina Capehart. Carolina is a hearth-cooking expert, and prefers to cook all types of food over an open flame. Tune into this episode to learn what tools were used in the 1800s to boil vegetables, roast meat, and bake breads. Hear why Carolina is so dedicated to historical accuracy. Carolina explains how the colonialists pioneered local and seasonal eating- out of necessity! Learn about the founding ideals of the United States as an agrarian society. How does the language of the 1800s confuse the recreation of historic recipes? Collect some firewood and slaughter a hog; it’s time for this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past! This program has been brought to you by White Oak Pastures. Music by Pamela Royal.

“Anything you can cook these days, you can cook oven an open fire. It’s just about learning a different system.” [3:45]

“These days, everyone says that you need to eat seasonally and locally. Back in the 1800s, they did that, but mainly because they had to!” [20:20]

“90% of people back then were farmers. That was Jefferson’s ideal- an agricultural society.” [23:10]

Carolina Capehart on A Taste of the Past

Nov 21, 2013
Episode 154: The Vegetarian Crusade

Adam Shprintzen discusses 19th Century vegetarianism in his book, The Vegetarian Crusade. This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio talks with Adam about the roots of meat abstention in the 19th Century with the British Bible Christians. How was vegetarianism related to the American Reform Movement and the murmurings of temperance? Tune into this episode to find out how the American Vegetarian Society organized disparaging groups of non-meat eaters. Have vegetarians faced vitriol throughout history? Learn how food entrepreneurs like Harvey Kellogg and Sylvester Graham helped spur on the spread of vegetarianism. What are the parallels between 19th Century vegetarianism and its form in the modern day? Find out all of this and more on this week’s edition of A Taste of the Past! Thanks to our sponsor, Consider Bardwell. Music by Obey City.

“The 19th Century was not only a time when people were thinking about reform, but also a time when people were thinking about ways to live a better life. People were abstaining from alcohol, rethinking sexual relationships with the ‘free love’ movement… It only makes sense that people were also considering changing their diets.” [6:00]

“Today, vegetarianism is marketed in a very personal way!” [31:25]

Adam Shprintzen on A Taste of the Past

Nov 14, 2013
Episode 153: Invention of the American Meal

This week on A Taste of the Past, Abigail Carroll joins host Linda Pelaccio via phone for a discussion on the American meal. Abigail Carroll is the author of Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, where she upends the popular understanding of our most cherished mealtime traditions, revealing that our eating habits have never been stable—far from it, in fact. Whether we’re pouring ourselves a bowl of cereal, grabbing a quick sandwich, or congregating for a family dinner, our mealtime habits are living artifacts of our collective history—and represent only the latest stage in the evolution of the American meal. Tune-in for a historical context on how the dinner table became an evening ritual, and how this has caused with the rise of processed foods and snacking, associated problems as well. This program has been sponsored by Fairway Market. Thanks to The California Honeydrops for today’s music.

“We’re talking about food in our society almost more than ever, and all these foods trends. But I don’t see people talk about how we eat – the social context of food, the family meal, and the value of that.” [22:15]

Abigail Carroll on A Taste of the Past

Nov 07, 2013
Episode 152: Halloween History

It’s Halloween on A Taste of the Past at the HRN studios! Host Linda Pelaccio welcomes historic gastronomist and blogger, Sarah Lohman, and together they talk about the history of Halloween, trick-or-treating, superstitions, costumes, Halloween cakes, and more! Learn more about the origins behind the Halloween tradition as Sarah takes us through the history from the very beginning. Also tune-in to learn about trick-or-treating, and how the custom has changed in recent years. Lastly, find out how those small treats known as candy corn (which Sarah makes at home) have become a tradition, and even how to make a batch for yourself! This program has been sponsored by International Culinary Center.

“The pre-text of this holiday was a night for people to loosen up a little bit.” [12:00]

“Halloween is this holiday of pure fun. It’s about going and having fun whether you’re a child or an adult.” [16:30]

Sarah Lohman on A Taste of the Past

Oct 31, 2013
Episode 151: Fried Chicken: Tracing the African Roots with Michael Twitty

On today’s episode of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio talks about the huge craze that surrounds fried foods: fried chicken! The guest on today’s show is Michael Twitty, culinary historian of African and African American foods. What makes each fried chicken dish so special? Learn more about the history behind fried chicken, it’s many cultural influences, and what truly makes fried chicken the comfort food for so many. Also find out about Michael’s latest project, The Cooking Gene, which aims to promote greater awareness of African American contributions to the development of Southern cuisine, promote community service and development, support the local economies of Southern communities and African American food producers, and encourage a dialogue that leads to racial reconciliation and healing in communities whose history and culture is a legacy of slavery and the slave trade. Lastly, Tonya Hopkins, The Food Griot, talks about Edna Lewis, and how she has inspired American cuisine today. Also listen to a recent panel at the New School, discussing Chef Edna Lewis at the link below. ( http://youtu.be/J0A3Ba9OhtA) This program has been sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons

“When I make chicken, for me it’s always a transformative, transcendent and ritual experience.” [8:43]

“That’s the thing that excites me. We just don’t tell these stories enough.” [22:35]

Michael Twitty on A Taste of the Past

“Griot means storyteller. I see the world through the lens of food, and therefore I am food storyteller, or the food griot. [25:10]”

Tonya Hopkins on A Taste of the Past

Oct 24, 2013
Episode 150: Cuisine & Empire with Rachel Laudan

Rachel Laudan is taking a culinary approach to world history in her book, Cuisine & Emire! This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio talks with Rachel about the influences of medicine, politics, and religion on cuisine throughout the ages. Learn about humorism, and how this system of belief affected the food that ancient people ate. Find out what agricultural products different religious groups relied on across Eurasia. Why are most cuisines based in grain? Tune in to learn about the New World exploration, and how that inequitable culinary exchange altered the food ways of continents. Where does the United States fit into the culinary landscape? Find out all of this and more on this week’s edition of A Taste of the Past. This program has been sponsored by Heritage Foods USA. Music by SNOWMINE.

“We now expect only one cuisine to every nation. All you have to do is look at the cookbook section in the bookstore to get this idea.” [4:45]

“Everybody now can eat the same kinds of cuisine. In the past, there was a huge distinction between high and humble cuisines.” [15:10]

Rachel Laudan on A Taste of the Past

Oct 17, 2013
Episode 149: Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking

On today’s episode of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio welcomes Anya Von Bremzen, author, journalist, food writer, and contributing editor of Travel + Leisure magazine, into the studio for a talk about food, and the history of traditional Soviet dishes. Anya also talks about her latest book, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing. In the book, Anya tells the gripping story of three Soviet generations—masterfully capturing the strange mix of idealism, cynicism, longing, and terror that defined Soviet life. On the show, Anya and Linda also welcome Anya’s mother, Larisa Frumkina, as she speaks about food history, Russian literature, and various traditional dishes. Tune-in for a truly interesting episode into the history of the USSR and the Russian dishes. This program has been sponsored by Heritage Foods USA.

“Bread was something was almost always available. It was something almost sacred.”

Anya Von Bremzen on A Taste of the Past

“For me, food history starts with Russian literature.”

Larisa Frumkina on A Taste of the Past

Oct 03, 2013
Episode 148: Mollie Katzen on Vegetables

On today’s episode of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio speaks with special guest Mollie Katzen, known throughout the culinary world as one of the best-selling cookbook authors of all time. A 2007 inductee into the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame—and largely credited with moving plant-based cuisine from the fringe to the center of the American dinner plate—Katzen has been named by Health Magazine as one of The Five Women Who Changed the Way We Eat, and she has been a member of the faculty at Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives, the groundbreaking annual symposium co-hosted by The Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard School of Public Health, since its inception. Today’s topic on the show includes the evolution of vegetarian cuisine, and how Mollie has taken the rise of vegetarian popularity to even further heights. Her latest cookbook, The Heart of the Plate, completely reinvents the vegetarian repertoire, unveiling a collection of beautiful, healthful, and unfussy dishes — her “absolutely most loved.” Whether it’s a salad of kale and angel hair pasta with orange chili oil or a seasonal autumn lasagna, these dishes are celebrations of vegetables. Tune-in to learn more! This program has been sponsored by Fairway Market.

“A lot of vegetarian food isn’t actually about vegetables. In some ways it’s actually about meat, and how you swap things out.” [9:50]

“It’s so much easier to make a dish that is focused on the vegetable. It’s so enjoyable!” [23:50]

Mollie Katzen on A Taste of the Past

Sep 26, 2013
Episode 147: The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook

Linda Pelaccio visits The Fabulous Beekman Boys at their farm to discuss The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past! Tune into this program to learn about the nostalgic properties of family recipes, and what makes an “heirloom” dessert. Hear how Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell relied on their hometowns in North Carolina and Wisconsin for regional inspiration. Find out about the history of Beekman, New York, and why it’s the perfect setting for a new handmade culinary resurgence! Hear about some of the specific recipes from the book, as well as the Beekman Boys’ artisanal production endeavors! To learn more about Linda’s visit with The Beekman Boys, visit HandPicked Nation. Thanks to our sponsor, BluePrint Cleanse.

“What family doesn’t have that one dessert that your mother or grandmother makes that everyone loves?” [2:00]

“With Southern recipes, you don’t actually cook anything. You take Nilla wafers, cover them in whipped cream, and put them in the fridge for two hours!” [4:55]

The Beekman Boys on A Taste of the Past

Sep 05, 2013
Episode 146: Who Was Betty Crocker?

Betty Crocker is not, and never was, a real person – but that doesn’t change the effect she had on generations of people in America. Learn more about the history of the iconic Betty Crocker on this episode of A Taste of the Past! Linda Pelaccio is joined by Susan Marks, author of Finding Better Crocker. Discover the many faces of the marketing genius that is Betty Crocker – from her early radio and television personalities, to her picture cookbooks. Hear how her image shifted from motherly to friendly as General Mills tried to ensure that the masses would feel comfortable with Betty. If you’ve ever leafed through a Betty Crocker cookbook or made cake with the famous mix, tune in and hear the entire story behind the fictitious homemaker. This program was sponsored by Whole Foods. Thanks to The California Honeydrops for today’s break music.

“Betty Crocker was on the cutting edge of radio, and was on television too. There were always contests and coupons – especially if you wrote to Betty. If you had a question for Betty, it was guaranteed that it would be answered.” [11:00]

“Real people are fallible- corporate icons are not. Real women have egos- and sometimes, like in the case of Martha Stewart – they even end up in jail.” [21:00]

— Susan Marks on A Taste of the Past

Aug 29, 2013
Episode 145: Housewives’ Paradise: History of Supermarkets

Learn about the social and economic implications of the supermarket on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past. Linda Pelaccio talks with University of Minnesota History Professor Dr. Tracey Deutsch about “building a housewives’ paradise.” Tune into this program to learn about the inception of the supermarket as an American institution in the 1930s. Find out how supermarkets aimed to appeal to women through their interior design, layout, and overall aesthetic. How did local food pricing regulations cause some grocery stores to fail, and others to thrive? Tune into this episode to learn how issues of gender, class, and race are tied up in the success of the American supermarket. This program has been brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery. Today’s music has been provided by Pamela Royal.

“The very first supermarkets did feature super low prices… They were hugely popular, but then many of them went out of business. If you cut your prices too low, you’re not going to be able to stay in business!” [11:10]

“Having predictable sales became more important to these larger stores.” [26:15]

Dr. Tracey Deutsch on A Taste of the Past

Aug 22, 2013
Episode 144: Breakfast History

Most of us eat breakfast every day, but we rarely think of the the origins behind the meal. From etymology to cultural history – go deeper behind breakfast on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past as Linda Pelacchio is joined by author of “Breakfast, A History”, Heather Arndt Anderson. Hear how the grab-and-go approach for breakfast has maintained over time and why grains have proven to be so important not only in the meal but in human evolution at large. Discover the early days of the Kellogg brothers as they searched a product that was easy to chew and ended up revolutionizing the way we eat breakfast. From corn to dairy and coffee to cocktails, dig deep into breakfast on A Taste of the Past. This program was sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons. Break music provided courtesy of Cookies.

“Breakfast was always a grab and go meal and that’s a trend that’s maintained over time.” [6:00]

“In the Renaissance, egg cookery was a pretty big deal. They found hundreds of new ways to cook eggs.” [21:00]

“Because of poor water quality in the Middle Ages, small beer was the most common beverage during breakfast.” [24:00]

–Heather Arndt Anderson on A Taste of the Past

Aug 15, 2013
Episode 143: Kitchen History with Tori Avey

What foods were historical figures like Emily Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, and Leonardo Da Vinci eating during their lifetimes? On this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio chats with Tori Avey- author and food writer- and the editor and curator of TheHistoryKitchen.com! Tori, who also serves as the chair for the IACP Food History Section, became interested in history through her grandparents, and was always fascinated by the kitchen. Hear how Tori combined her two loves by researching Jewish cuisine, and how that research fueled TheHistoryKitchen.com. Later, hear Linda and Tori talk about the importance of referencing primary sources in culinary history. Follow the recipe below to bake one of Emily Dickinson’s favorite cakes! This program has been sponsored by White Oak Pastures. Thanks to Four Lincolns for today’s music.

“It’s really important that the research be solid on the site. I have open comments; I want readers to be able to interact with the content.” [9:45]

“One of the things that really fascinates me is connecting to a historical person and seeing what they were eating or cooking.” [12:50]

Tori Avey on A Taste of the Past


Emily Dickinson’s Coconut Cake

2 cups flour

1 tsp cream of tartar + 1/2 tsp baking soda OR 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and cream of tartar + baking soda OR baking powder. I used my antique sifter to get in the “Emily Dickinson” mood.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together till the mixture is light and fluffy, and the sugar is well incorporated into the butter. I did this by hand, the old fashioned way, like Emily Dickinson would have. It took several minutes. You can do it much faster with an electric mixer.

Mix in the eggs, then the milk.

Add liquid ingredients to dry and stir till just incorporated. A thick batter will form. Do not overmix.

Fold in the shredded coconut. If your shredded coconut is dry (not fresh), rehydrate it with a little warm water and drain well before mixing it into the batter. Again, don’t overmix.

Spread the batter into a small loaf pan.

Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes on the middle rack of your oven till cooked through and golden brown around the edges. Test with a skewer or toothpick for doneness in a few places– if the toothpick comes out clean (no wet batter sticking to it), it’s done.

The cake is not overly sweet, which was perfect for me (I don’t like my desserts too sweet). If you want to sweeten it up, use a bit more sugar, or use sweetened coconut instead of regular coconut. Enjoy!

Aug 08, 2013
Episode 142: Antarctic Cuisine

Learn about the history of Antarctic exploration and cuisine on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past. Linda Pelaccio is talking with Jason Anthony, author of the recent Hoosh. But what is ‘hoosh’? Antarctic explorers used ingredients like pemmican and melted snow to create a stew that they named hoosh; find out how a diet of hoosh lead to vitamin deficiencies on the cold continent. Tune in to hear about Jason’s seasons in Antarctica, and what food he packed for a hundred-day excursion into the center of the continent. What foods are most desired by Antarctic explorers? Also, tune in to hear about early explorers’ roasted penguin recipes, and find out how Jason and his colleagues preserved fresh produce in their sleeping bags! This program has been sponsored by Whole Foods. Thanks to Idgy Dean for today’s music.

“Antarctica went from being an unknown blank spot on the map to a known blank spot on the map.” [7:00]

“Explorers knew from Arctic exploration that you needed more calories in cold temperatures, but the problem was that they were unable to bring enough supplies to Antarctica on their ships to sustain themselves.” [8:50]

“I think the unstated thesis of my book is: the worse the food, the better the story!” [15:55]

Jason Anthony on A Taste of the Past

Aug 01, 2013
Episode 141: A History of Food in 100 Recipes

William Sitwell, author of A History of Food in 100 Recipes, joins Linda Pelaccio for this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past to talk about the evolution of the food industry over hundreds of years. Tune in to hear William talk about the initiation of fast food and supermarkets, and how the idea of self-service mechanized the business of eating. From Mesopotamia to Mario Batali, William highlights and reproduces important recipes in order to transport the reader to specific time periods. How do different foods denote status? Learn about William’s literary lineage, and how that inspired his writing. How did William decide to outline his book, and why does food history research require primary sources? Find out all of this and more on this week’s edition of A Taste of the Past! Thanks to our sponsor, Hearst Ranch, and thanks to Plexophonic for today’s break music.

“Food is a wonderful subject for journalists because it touches on so many aspects of everyone’s lives.” [3:30]

William Sitwell on A Taste of the Past

Jun 27, 2013
Episode 140: Coffee History

Mark Pendergrast comes into the studio this week on A Taste of the Past to talk about the history of coffee! Mark Pendergast is an American independent scholar, and author of six books, with his most recent titled, “Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World”. Telling the story of coffee from its discovery on a hill in ancient Abyssinia to the advent of Starbucks, Mr. Pendergrast is an expert when it comes to the history, craft, and production of coffee. Learn how coffee was able to sober up Europe, how coffee first became a traded product through the growth of the railroad industry, and the truth behind the health benefits of coffee. Think you know a lot about coffee? Listen to this program and we’re sure that you’ll expand your knowledge even further. This program has been sponsored by Rt. 11 Potato Chips.

“It’s inevitable that we’re going to continue having a boom in coffee.” [18:05]

“One of the things that’s revolutionized coffee is the one way valve.” [25:03]

“A great way to make coffee: 2 teaspoons of ground coffee and 6 ounces of boiled water.” [31:05]

Mark Pendergrast on A Taste of the Past

Jun 20, 2013
Episode 139: Darina Allen & Irish Traditional Cooking

Darina Allen is an Irish chef, food writer, TV personality, and founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Schanagarry, County Cork, Ireland. In this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past, Darina explains the current state of Irish food and culture in our society today, bringing us back to the history of Irish culture from the beginning. Darina also talks about founding the Ballymaloe Cookery School, the only cookery school in the world located in the middle of its own 100-acre organic farm. As a result, the school is completely self-sufficient, and people can come for a simple afternoon cooking class, or a full course designed to take the amateur cook further in his or her studies. Hear about Darina’s book, Irish Traditional Cooking (published by Kyle Books), and how she hopes to reconnect us with the cooking skills that have been forgotten for generations. This program has been sponsored by Bonnie Plants.

“Its not just about economics, it’s about the whole quality life – an appreciation for the quality of life.” [16:50]

“We need to be able to cook, to sit down around the table again.” [23:10]

Darina Allen on A Taste of the Past

Jun 13, 2013
Episode 138: Roman Chefs Look to the Past

Katie Parla is in love with the contemporary Roman food scene! On this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio invites Katie into the studio to talk about restaurant trends in Rome. Find out why so many Roman chefs look to their city’s history for culinary inspiration. Hear about the resurgence of ancient grains on many restaurant plates and inside craft beer bottles. Learn more about famed Roman chefs such as Arcangelo Dandini and Gabriele Bonci! What esoteric ingredients are these chefs using in their recipes? Find out all of this and more on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past! Thanks to our sponsor, White Oak Pastures. Thanks to PEELS for today’s music!

“In general, chefs in Rome don’t travel, so they look at what they have already done. At times, this leads to fantastic results.” [4:45]

Katie Parla on A Taste of the Past

Jun 06, 2013
Episode 137: Dione Lucas: Television’s First Celebrity Chef

Who was television’s first cooking star? If you guessed Julia Child, you must be forgetting Dione Lucas! This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by Australian author and food historian Jill Adams to talk about the life of Dione Lucas. Also in the studio is Margaret Happel Perry, the president of the New York chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier. Tune into this episode to find out why Dione Lucas has not necessarily been remembered favorably. How did Dione Lucas help popularize television in Australia? Learn how the advertising schemes of the 1950s have made it impossible to syndicate Dione Lucas’ cooking shows. This program has been sponsored by Bonnie Plants. Thanks to The California Honeydrops for today’s musical break.

“She absolutely insisted that the food be genuine. It was great, and something our readers really connected with.” [8:45]

Margaret Happel Perry on A Taste of the Past

“I think that you tell a great story by dragging things out of the closet. There are a lot of things unknown about Dione Lucas.” [12:50]

Jill Adams on A Taste of the Past

May 30, 2013
Episode 136: Babylonia and Beyond: History of Iraqi Cuisine

Nawal Nasrallah joins Linda Pelaccio in the studio to celebrate the new edition of her book, Delights from the Garden of Eden. This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda and Nawal delve into the history of Iraqi cuisine and the Sumerian people. Learn about some of the world’s oldest recipes written on cuneiform tablets. Learn about the importance of stews in the Iraqi diet! How did traditional, medieval-influenced Iraqi recipes change with the discovery of the New World? Tune into this episode to learn more about cooking techniques for masgouf! Find out how Nawal blends ancient, medieval, and modern recipes in her book! This program has been sponsored by Hearst Ranch. Thanks to SNOWMINE for today’s musical interlude.

“I wanted people to see the other side of Iraq- the culture, the food- the bright side! This was my chance.” [3:00]

“We had a revolution in our kitchens in the 19th century when the tomato was introduced.” [25:40]

Nawal Nasrallah on A Taste of the Past

May 23, 2013
Episode 135: Lynne Olver & FoodTimeline.org

Lynne Olver is a reference librarian with a passion for food! This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio calls Lynne to talk to her about food history and her website, FoodTimeline.org. How does Lynne’s library science background inform the way she researches and references recipes, food origins, and more? Learn how studying food prices can reveal further information about the economy of a certain time period. How does one become a food historian? Learn the methods that Lynne uses to research any topic, and what resources Lynne trusts. Find out why Lynne is not interested in corporate food history, and how her beliefs on information are influenced by her passion and profession. This episode has been sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery. Thanks to Four Lincolns for today’s music.

“What I’m trying to do here with FoodTimeline.org is give a starting point for an individual’s research.” [8:00]

Lynne Olver on A Taste of the Past

May 09, 2013
Episode 134: Food Gangsters

Did you know that gangsters controlled nearly all of the food distribution in Depression-era New York City? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio invites Andy Coe to talk about racketeering in New York City food history. Learn how something as innocent as an egg cream was the cause of major crime. Find out what products were controlled by specific gangsters, and how the food rackets weren’t eliminated from the Big Apple until the days of Giuliani! Learn about Murder Inc., and how competition was dealt with in the 1940s. Calling all fans of The Godfather: you don’t want to miss this installment of A Taste of the Past! This program has been sponsored by The Heritage Meat Shop. Music has been provided by SNOWMINE.

“Today we have supermarkets and bodegas, and the food appears on the shelves and we don’t really know where it comes from… Back then, food distribution was much more spread out.” [7:45]

Andy Coe on A Taste of the Past

May 02, 2013
Episode 133: History of Vegetarianism

Learn about the history of vegetarianism and veganism with Rynn Berry. Rynn joins Linda Pelaccio in the studio to talk vegetables, raw food, and animal rights. Rynn is a historical adviser to the North American Vegetarian Society and is on the Advisory Board of Earth Save. In his lectures, articles, and books, he has specialized in the study of vegetarianism from an historical perspective. Tune into this episode to hear Rynn and Linda discuss the cultural and religious significance of a plant-based diet. Why has vegetarianism become popular in the past fifty years? Learn about the historical link between vegetarians and abolitionists, and the health considerations of a meat-heavy lifestyle. Listen in to learn about some famous vegetarians throughout history! This program has been brought to you by Whole Foods.

“Vegetarianism often has a religious impetus; it is not entirely a secular movement.” [12:25]

“People have been consuming raw food for eons. Cooking food was not financially expedient until recently.” [24:50]

Rynn Berry on A Taste of the Past

Apr 11, 2013
Episode 132: Easter Sweets & Ancient Rites of Spring

Michael Krondl is talking Easter sweets on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past! Michael joins Linda Pelaccio in the studio to shed some light on some confusing Easter mythology. Why do we give chocolate bunnies at Easter time? Why are rabbits and eggs Easter symbols? Also, listen in to learn the history behind eating sweet bread during the Easter holiday. Hear about other ancient spring celebrations, and find out what foods were eaten to improve fertility. How do desserts differ across Europe, and how do their traditions help distinguish desserts from everyday breads? Celebrate Easter on today’s episode of A Taste of the Past! This program has been sponsored by Hearst Ranch.

“Bread has a very complicated meaning (in fertility holidays). In Christianity, bread represents the body of Christ. The idea of having these breads for Easter ties in with Christianity, but it probably came before Christianity in Europe.” [4:00]

“Sweet things used to be rare and expensive. They used to be associated with the priest class.” [27:20]

Michael Krondl on A Taste of the Past

Mar 28, 2013
Episode 131: Clodagh McKenna

Getting excited about St. Patrick’s Day? Tune in to A Taste of the Past this week as Linda Pelaccio hosts Irish chef, TV personality, cookbook author and director of a new cookery school, Clodagh McKenna. Coming all the way from Dublin, Clodagh shares stories of growing up in Ireland and how she uses Guinness for a slow roast and pin-head oats in her soda bread. Listen in as she discusses the evolution of Irish cuisine since the 1970’s and the growing trend towards local sourcing and farmers markets. Clodagh has seen it all! She has her hands in everything, so tune in and hear about her passion for Irish farmers markets, traditional Irish cuisine, and her recent collaboration with Chef Chris Bradley at Untitled restaurant in the Whitney Museum! This program was sponsored by White Oak Pastures.

“And now in West Cork, this small area has more arts and producers than anywhere in Ireland.” [17:00]

“[The cookbook] is kind of selfish really, its my companion in the kitchen.” [28:00]

–Clodagh McKenna, Chef and Owner of Clodagh’s Kitchen on A Taste of the Past

Mar 14, 2013
Episode 130: Kubee Kassaye

How did an Ethiopian immigrant become an award winning chef in NYC? Find out today on A Taste of the Past as Linda Pelaccio hosts Ethiopian native and chef of the Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan, Kubee Kassaye as well as Marsha Palanci of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the International Legacy Awards. Kubee describes her journey from Ethiopia to New York City as a child, attending the New York College of Technology, and eventually becoming a chef tournant at the Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan. Her culinary expertise won her the Les Dames d’Escoffier International Legacy Award presented by Marsha Palanci and Kubee has accepted it with enthusiasm! You can find her cooking up authentic Ethiopian cuisine, teaching young culinary students, and participating in volunteer programs for sustainable foods and nutrition. Tune in and hear about this exciting and talented chef and her plans to one day open an Ethiopian and Italian restaurant! This program was sponsored by Hearst Ranch.

“I was so excited I couldn’t believe I had won…the scholarship opened my eyes to see the culinary world in a bigger perspective.” [11:23]

“I want something different, to start a restaurant, I like Italian food and Ethiopian food, they complement each other.” [14:00]

–Kubee Kassaye, Chef at Peninsula Hotel on A Taste From the Past

Mar 07, 2013
Episode 129: Farm To Table: Financial Pathways of Food

Kara Newman explains The Secret Financial Life of Food on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past. Linda Pelaccio invites Kara into the studio to talk about her book and the history of food commodities. What foods are traded on the commodity market, and how did commodity markets develop? Hear about the role of “the Butter & Egg Man” in food history and society, and learn about urban development in relation to food trading. How do commodity prices affect prices in the supermarket? How did items like pork belly and onions almost take down the Chicago Mercantile Exchange? Find out on this week’s installment of A Taste of the Past! This program has been brought to you by Fairway Market.

“In terms of what makes for a commodity from a food perspective- either it’s important for our survival, or something that we hold close to us emotionally.” [11:30]

“The butter and egg man was the modern Wall Street hotshot.” [14:25]

Kara Newman on A Taste of the Past

Feb 28, 2013
Episode 128: Southern Cooking with Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart

Master the art of Southern cooking today on A Taste of the Past! This week, Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart, co-authors of the book Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking. Both Nathalie and Cynthia have had storied careers in the food world. How has the landscape changed for women in the kitchen? Hear Nathalie and Cynthia talk about the defining ingredients and flavors of Southern food, and the importance of eating real food. How do the foods in different regions of the South fit together into a concise cuisine? Learn more about the cooking techniques, recipe testing, and creativity that went into Nathalie and Cynthia’s book! This program has been brought to you by White Oak Pastures.

“That’s what I call ‘the new Southern cooking movement’ – when you take the fresh ingredients around you and use them in a classic way, or you use new vegetables in classic ways.” [9:40] — Nathalie Dupree on A Taste of the Past

“If you eat real food in modest portions, you’re going to be so satisfied. It’s when we restrict ourselves, go on crazy diets- that’s when we get unsatisfied; you can’t really satisfy that hunger.” [15:00]
Cynthia Graubart on A Taste of the Past

Feb 21, 2013
Episode 127: Chocolate: From Pre

It’s Valentine’s Day, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by indulging with some luxurious chocolate! This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by Clay Gordon. Clay authored the book Discover Chocolate, is the moderator of The Chocolate Life, and host of HRN’s Straight From the Source. Learn about the origins of chocolate south of the equator, and learn some chocolate terminology. How does one define a ‘single origin’ chocolate bar? How did the Industrial Revolution and mechanized production shape the chocolate tastes of the world? Hear Clay talk about his recent trip to Peru, and explains how different types of cacao beans ferment. What distinguishes ‘good’ chocolate from ‘bad’ chocolate? Tune into this special Valentine’s Day edition of A Taste of the Past! This program has been brought to you by The International Culinary Center.

“The closer you get to more genetic diversity, the closer you get to the place of origin.” [6:10]

“Every part of the human condition you can connect to chocolate in a meaningful way.” [20:40]

Clay Gordon on A Taste of the Past

Feb 14, 2013
Episode 126: Found Food: Lewis & Clark with Mary Gunderson

Mary Gunderson chronicles the journey and food of the Lewis & Clark expedition in her book, The Food Journal of the Lewis & Clark: Recipes for an Expedition. This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is talking with Mary about the trials and troubles of the Lewis & Clark exploration, and how they ate along the way. Hear how the explorers reacted to seeing buffalo, and how they prepared and preserved buffalo meat. What fruits and greens were available to Lewis & Clark? Learn about the provisions that the explorers brought with them, and why modern American cuisine owes a lot to this one, special trip. Are Lewis & Clark responsible for instant soup? Check out Mary’s website, History Cooks, for more information on American expedition and food! This program has been sponsored by Bi-Rite Market.

“Food was survival, and it wasn’t always delicious.” [22:45]

Mary Gunderson on A Taste of the Past

Feb 07, 2013
Episode 125: Nancy Harmon Jenkins, Learning Culture through Food

Mediterranean cuisine, olive oil, and food writing are the topics of the day on A Taste of the Past! Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by food writer Nancy Harmon Jenkins. Nancy has written for The New York Times, and is the author of books such as The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, The Essential Mediterranean, and an upcoming untitled book about olive oil. Hear how Mediterranean food changes from region to region, and learn why authenticity in food and food writing is so nebulous. Listen in to hear about Nancy’s upcoming olive oil excursion, and how to determine olive oil quality. What food cultures excite Nancy? Visit Nancy’s website, and find out on this week’s installment of A Taste of the Past! This episode has been sponsored by 360 Cookware.

“What I resent more than anything else are people who go to a place and spend three weeks, and grab a bunch of recipes, and go home to write about it or set themselves up as an expert. [20:00]

“One of the worst things that has happened in the world of food media has been the entrance of the blogger.” [22:00]

Nancy Harmon Jenkins on A Taste of the Past

Jan 31, 2013
Episode 124: A Taste of Russia with Darra Goldstein

With all of the focus on ethnic and regional cooking in the modern food movement, why is Russian cuisine so often neglected in the foodie canon? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio sits down with Darra Goldstein, Professor of Russian at Williams College. Darra is also the founder and former Editor in Chief of Gastronomica, and the author of two books- A Taste of Russia and Georgian Feast. Tune into this episode to learn about the staples of Russian cooking. Why did Russian peasants crave sour foods? Learn how Peter the Great Westernized Russian cuisine for the upper classes. Tune in to hear Linda and Darra discuss some traditional Russian beverages such as vodka, kvass, and kefir. Listen in to learn about traditional Russian aversions to ocean fish and bears! This program has been brought to you by Bi-Rite Market.

“The new Russia is so fascinating… The capital cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg- you would hardly be able to recognize them if you lived there when it was the Soviet Union. There are many foreign chefs working there.” [7:00]

“One thing that distinguishes Russian cuisine is the stove’s falling temperature.” [22:50]

Darra Goldstein on A Taste of the Past

Jan 24, 2013
Episode 123: Making a Case for Home Ec

“The kitchen anchors the country’s economic, social, and political life.” Christine Baumgarthuber revives the dying discipline of home economics on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past. Christine is a writer and blogger for The Austerity Kitchen, and she’s talking with Linda Pelaccio about the history of economical cooking. Learn about Juliet Corson, the woman who spread the good word of nutrition and wrote about meals on a budget. Hear how Juliet Corson’s writings became political, and ultimately threatened the wages of the working class. How does home ec empower individuals? Listen in to hear Christine and Linda talk about the relationship between home economics education and understanding the food industry. This program has been sponsored by White Oak Pastures.

“I truly believe that revolution does begin at home. What people cook at home can be a model more mindful means of consumption.” [21:15]

Christin Baumgarthuber on A Taste of the Past

Jan 17, 2013
Episode 122: Drinking History with Andrew F. Smith

This week on A Taste of the Past, Andrew F. Smith once again joins Linda Pelaccio in the studio! Andy teaches food history at the New School in New York City, and is the author and editor of numerous books on culinary history. On this episode, Andy talks about his newest book called Drinking History: Fifteen Turning Points in the Making of American Beverages. Hear about water quality during the Colonial period, and how it led to the proliferation of alcoholic beverages. Why did beer not succeed initially in the New World? Learn about the gendered considerations of specific drinks, like tea and alcohol. Listen in to find out some surprising facts about Prohibition, and how the movement directly related to the outcome of World War I. This program has been sponsored by 360 Cookware.

“Food is even more important than food. You can go for weeks without food, but you need to take in water every couple of days.” [5:40]

“People think that we drink a lot of alcohol now, but we don’t drink as much as if it were earlier times.” [10:30]

“New Yorkers never believe Prohibition was for them. The upper classes drank from the beginning to the end.” [29:40]

Andrew F. Smith on A Taste of the Past

Jan 10, 2013
Episode 121: Donuts: America’s Obsession

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is investigating the recent donut trend! Tune in to hear some interviews from customers of The Vault in Chicago conducted by correspondent Whitney Henry-Lester. Later, Linda calls up pastry chef and cookbook author George Geary. Recently, George authored the book 150 Best Donut Recipes: Fried or Baked– a comprehensive donut-making guide. Find out why donuts have holes, and how donuts became popular during war times. Learn how to cook all kinds of donuts – fry, bake, cake, and yeast! Hear about the rise of donut franchises like Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme, and why gourmet donuts are becoming fashionable in U.S. cities! This episode has been sponsored by 360 Cookware.

“The only main problem around making donuts at home is that the shelf life is so low versus all of the horrible ingredients that they put in donuts at normal donut shops.” [32:40]

George Geary on A Taste of the Past

Dec 13, 2012
Episode 120: Soy Sauce History with Chef Helen Roberts

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio delving into the history of soy sauce with Helen Roberts, the Publicity Manager and Creative Culinary Director at Kikkoman USA. Soy sauce has a rich history, dating back to 500 B.C. in China! Learn about the brewing processes that are used to make soy sauce! Tune in to learn about the Japanese standards for soy sauce, and why many soy sauces in the United States would not pass as authentic in Japan. Helen also shares some alternative uses for soy sauce; learn how to brine your turkey and make chocolate with soy sauce! Hear about the rich family history of the company, and its horizontal operating ideology. Check out the Kikkoman USA documentary trailer on their website. “Make haste slowly” – it’s the Kikkoman way! This episode has been brought to you by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons.

“People haven’t learned how to use soy sauce properly. A lot of times, it seems too salty because they have used way too much. You should use soy sauce as an umami ingredient to increase the flavors of everything else.” [10:30]

Helen Roberts on A Taste of the Past

Dec 06, 2012
Episode 119: A History of Peanut Butter with Author Jon Krampner

Everyone has heard about George Washington Carver, and his famous peanut preparations. But did you know that he did not actually invent peanut butter? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is setting the peanut butter record straight with author Jon Krampner. Jon recently wrote Creamy & Curnchy, a book all about the history and evolution of peanut butter! Learn about the most popular peanut varieties, and whether or not they can be turned into good peanut butter. Hear about the five major changes that have occurred in peanut butter production throughout the years. How do preferred flavors and textures of peanut butter change throughout different areas of the the United States? Learn about the important cultural role that peanut butter plays in the United States, and why it proved to be useful in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. This episode has been sponsored by White Oak Pastures.

“I think the [return to natural peanut butter] is part of a broader trend of Americans just wanting to eat in a more healthy and natural way, and reject some of the corporate foods that have been foisted upon them.” [24:00]

Jon Krampner on A Taste of the Past

Nov 29, 2012
Episode 118: Thanksgiving’s Roots with Food Historian Sandy Oliver

Linda Pelaccio begins today’s episode of A Taste of the Past by taking a moment to spread the word about Family-to-Family, a relief organization that allows a group of people to sponsor a family who has been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Thanksgiving has always been accompanied by charitable spirit; check out Family-to-Family, and get involved with the hurricane relief efforts. Today, Linda is speaking with food historian Sandy Oliver about the roots of Thanksgiving! Sandy is also the author of the book Saltwater Foodways, a history of Yankee cooking and New England eating traditions, and the recent Maine Home Cooking. Tune into this episode to learn about the religious considerations of Thanksgiving, and how it came to be a national holiday. What foods were most likely on the table during the first harvest feast? Sandy and Linda share some dishes that you may not recognize! Hear about the history of Thanksgiving commercialism! This program has been sponsored by Rolling Press.

“Most of us don’t recognize mincemeat for the preserve that it is. It is a way of preserving meat along with apples and other kinds of fruits. It also was convenience food.” [14:05]

Sandy Oliver on A Taste of the Past

Nov 15, 2012
Episode 117: Antonin Careme: “King of Chefs and Chef of Kings” with Eric Lanlard, British Celebrity Pastry Chef

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined by
celebrity pastry chef to the stars Eric Lanlard who has recently
published several recipe books for baking at home. He discusses the
origins of baking and the history of prominent bakers who worked under
harsh conditions and the comparison to baking today. Hear chef Lanlard
talk about early recipe creation and baking for the Queen of England
and her passion for food. He discusses the history of Antonin Careme’s
baking for royal courts as well as his own cooking for celebrities.
His most recent book is a selection of recipes for home baking called
“Tart It Up!” This program was sponsored by Whole Foods Market.

“I wanted to put [savory baking] back in fashion.” [2:01]

“I know what it’s like to put something on the table and get the wow
factor.” [2:03]

“I like giving more tips, I like getting more flavors.” [2:04]

“Baking is like chemistry.” [2:05]

“I want to make [baking] accessible.” [2:05]

— Eric Lanlard, Pastry Chef on A Taste of the Past

Nov 08, 2012
Episode 116: What the Musketeers Drank with David Lincoln Ross

What spirit were the Three Musketeers drinking back in the 17th century? Armagnac! On this episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by David Lincoln Ross, a food writer and armagnac expert. Learn about the ancient roots of the spirit in Egypt, and the differences between cognac and armagnac. Learn about the regional grapes used to make traditional armagnacs, and the importance of oak from the Mon Lunzon forest in the aging process. How does one choose a bottle of armagnac? Learn about the different characteristics of armagnac that can be used to determine what quality spirit to buy. How does armagnac pair with food? Learn about the culinary landscape of Gascony, France, and how armagnac plays a significant role in its food culture. This program has been brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“Cognac, in the most simple terms, is distilled twice. It yields a more refined spirit with a higher level of alcohol when it comes out of the still. It’s called double distillation. Armagnac has a simpler or continuous distillation process so the spirit that comes out after the distillation process is at a lower proof, but because it has only been distilled once, it has a more fragrant and flavorful result.” [6:40]

David Lincoln Ross on A Taste of the Past

Oct 25, 2012
Episode 115: Cucina Ebraica

On today’s episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is talking about Jewish Italian food, or Cucina Ebraica, with a panel of experts. Jayne Cohen is a food writer and cookbook author involved with preserving the culinary roots of Jewish cooking. Her most recent cookbook is entitled Around the Passover Table and Cooking for Jewish New Year. Cara De Silva is a food historian who writes about food and culture, and has authored In Memory’s Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin– a book featuring recipes from women in a Nazi concentration camp. Alessandra Rovati is a Jewish Italian food writer who also authors the blog Dinner in Venice. Tune in to hear how and when Jewish people immigrated to Italy, and how the various neighborhoods where they resided influenced their cooking. Learn why Jewish cuisine helped to popularize certain vegetables in Italian food, such as the tomato and the eggplant. What substitutes were used by Jews in the pork-heavy Italian diet? Hear about how ethnic tradition and cultural food survives through holiday meals. What Jewish foods have become part of everyday Italian cuisine? This program has been sponsored by Route 11 Potato Chips.

“The number of things that went into making Italian Jewish cuisine… created a cuisine of incredible variety- even though it was all Jewish in some way. There were also issues whether or not some of these dishes came to be associated with Jews- and that was sometime the case- but most of these dishes were brought by Jewish people.” [6:50]

“There has been fusion since there have been borders!” [15:00]

Cara De Silva on A Taste of the Past

“One thing that is notable about Jewish Italian cuisine is that it was influenced by so many immigrants, sort of like Jewish food in the United States.” [11:20]

Jayne Cohen on A Taste of the Past

Oct 18, 2012
Episode 114: Betty Fussell, The Accidental Food Historian

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

Oct 11, 2012
Episode 113: Burmese Cuisine with Naomi Duguid

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined by Canadian food writer Noami Duguid, who has authored seminal books such as “Seductions of Rice” and “Burma: Rivers of Flavor”. Tune in and hear what it’s like being an outsider in a foreign land and how Noami navigates cultures and communities to learn about the cuisine that lives amongst them. Find out how the politically oppressed people of Burma operate in their kitchens what makes their food simultaneously accessible and unique. From fish paste to garlic, discover the layered flavors of Burma and the delicious dishes that come from them. This program was sponsored by Hearst Ranch.

“I’m always a beginner – wherever I am. I will never be an expert. All I’m trying to do is get my head in a place where I have some understand of what grows there, how people think about their food, how things are made, what’s important to them and what’s not important of them.” [3:43]

“I didn’t want to talk about the people of Burma as victims because we think of victims as less than whole.” [9:00]

“In Burmese culture, people use tea leaves in salad. They ferment them, use them fresh or dried.” [21:00]

“My problem with breakfast in Burma is there are so many things I want to eat!” [26:50]

“Food is an entry point – it’s a way of understanding how things work.” [28:30]

— Noami Duguid on A Taste of the Past

Oct 04, 2012
Episode 112: Cider with Ben Watson

What’s more American than apple pie? Answer: apple cider! On this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is talking with “apple evangelist” and author of Cider, Hard and Sweet, Ben Watson. Where did the tradition of American cider originate? Hear about how grafting has caused the amount of apple varieties to diminish, and learn about the role of the Industrial Revolution in cider’s popularity. Find out how cider stacks up against beer and wine in terms of alcohol content, and learn what varieties of apples make the best cider. Also, learn what differentiates hard cider from apple jack. Also, Sara Grady calls in from Glynwood to talk about their new initiative, The Apple Project. Learn about the importance of hard cider and apple spirits to the regional economy! This program has been brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“Almost any apple makes decent cider because when you press it, you get different qualities. Is it sour? It’s going to have bitterness and astringency to it that adds body- just like wine.”

“Apples provided another way to create a beverage that was plentiful and easy to produce.”

Ben Watson on A Taste of the Past

Sep 27, 2012
Episode 111: Whole Grains

Grains take center stage on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past as host Linda Pelaccio is joined by Bruce Weinstein, cooking instructor and author of “Grain Mains: 101 Surprising and Satisfying Whole Grain Recipes for Every Meal of the Day”. Tune in for a lively discussion on grains and their place in culinary history. From quinoa to millet, learn about how whole grains were essential in early China and how they differ from refined grains. From health benefits to culinary applications, Bruce gives listeners plenty to digest on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past. This program was sponsored by White Oak Pastures.

“Millet was the grain of China before rice. Some of the oldest pastas found in China were made of millet flour.”

“If you eat whole grain cereal for breakfast you’ll be less hungry later than you would if you ate regular sugary cereal.”

“Seasonings and flavors have been dumbed down across the board. As a society – we’ve grown accustomed to more tasteless food that’s been over-processed.”

“Grains are for everybody – they’re not just for the vegans and vegetarians among us!”

–Bruce Weinstein on A Taste of the Past

Aug 30, 2012
Episode 110: The Rise and Fall of Tuna

Did you know that most Americans did not eat tuna until the 20th century? On this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio sits down with Andrew F. Smith, a food historian and author of the recent book, American Tuna: The Rise and Fall of an Improbable Food. Learn about how Mediterranean immigrant populations popularized the fish in the United States, and how the Japanese made it a staple of culinary culture. Hear about how American preferences in terms of tuna preparation have changed over the decades, from canned to raw. With all of the media attention concerning methylmercury, is tuna still safe to eat? Tune in to learn more about the different varieties of tuna, population levels, and the role of sport fisherman in the tuna industry. This episode has been brought to you by Hearst Ranch.

“Once you remove the oil from it, it’s actually a very mild-tasting fish. You can use it as a substitute in pretty much all of your chicken recipes.”

“80% of the Bluefin tuna stock that was around in the 1970s is now gone. The thought used to be if we restricted catching, then we would give the population an opportunity to recover… There’s no evidence that supports that.”

Andrew F. Smith on A Taste of the Past

Aug 09, 2012
Episode 109: Alice Medrich, First Lady of Chocolate

Cooking with chocolate is the theme on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past, as Linda Pelaccio is joined by “The First Lady of Chocolate”, businesswoman, baker and cookbook author Alice Medrich. Alice explains how she found her way to baking and chocolate, and how she’s adapted to thinking in terms of home cooking instead of complex kitchen baking. Learn some tips for making world class desserts at home, and find out how sugar balance is essential for delicious and wholesome taste in sweets. This program was sponsored by White Oak Pastures.

“When I sold my business, I became a home cook again and started to realize that for a home cook and entertainer, it was not so easy to make complex desserts…so increasingly I’ve started to think more and more about the home cook who may have a limited kitchen, less time and less experience.”

“One of the things that’s consistent in my career is that I want to taste the ingredient more than the sugar.”

— Alice Medrich on A Taste of the Past

Jul 19, 2012
Episode 108: Herbs: A Global History

What differentiates an herb from a weed? And what historical significance do herbs hold? Today’s episode of A Taste of the Past is a culinary history of herbs. Linda Pelaccio is joined by Gary Allen, herbalist and author of the recent book, Herbs: A Global History. Tune in to hear the difference between herbs and spices. Learn about extinct herbal plants and their ancient uses. Hear about the exchange of regional herbs, and how it has changed the culinary landscape and the food we eat today. Culturally, herbs are symbols for for memory, love, and fidelity. How did these associations come to be? Find out this, and so much more on this week’s A Taste of the Past. This episode has been sponsored by Whole Foods.

“Technically herbal teas are not teas- they are infusions. True tea is only the tea plant: camellia sinensis.”

“All foods are fusion foods, because every time anyone runs into anyone from anywhere they adapt their dishes to new ingredients and new circumstances.”

“Rosemary is often associated with memory because its scent lingers for so long.”

Gary Allen on A Taste of the Past

Jun 28, 2012
Episode 107: Remembering Craig Claiborne with Tom McNamee

This week’s episode of A Taste of the Past is a dedication to Craig Claiborne, legendary New York Times restaurant critic. Linda Pelaccio is talking with Tom McNamee, author of the recent Craig Claiborne-focused book, The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat. When Craig Claiborne began his career, there was no outlet for critical review of restaurant and food culture. Tune in to hear about how Craig Claiborne transformed The New York Times’ food coverage into the critical lens that it is known to be today. Hear about how he brought the star rating system for restaurants to the United States, and how he introduced American households to multitudes of ethnic cuisines. If you think some restaurants are extravagantly priced, listen in to hear about a meal that Mr. Claiborne shared with chef Pierre Franey that cost roughly $20,000 in today’s currency. Hear more about the fascinating life and work of Craig Claiborne in this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past! This episode was sponsored by White Oak Pastures

“I think it’s important to realize what the American context was at the time. It was just shortly after World War II, and industrialized food was in a huge upsurge… it was an absolute wasteland in American food!”

“He was bringing strange things to The New York Times’ readership immediately in his first column.”

“He kept constantly bringing in the ‘outer world’, and therefore a lot of things that we take for granted [he introduced in our culture].”

Tom McNamee on A Taste of the Past

Jun 21, 2012
Episode 106: Historic Menus

On this episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by Rebecca Federman of the Culinary Collections at the New York Public Library. Today, they are discussing the NYPL’s old menu collection and the new What’s on the Menu? program. Hear about old menus from the inauguration of President McKinley to the dedication of the Statue of Liberty. Help out the NYPL by helping to digitize some of these menus to create a searchable database! Tune in to learn about some of the more obscure NYC menu items, as well as the role of midday lunch in building the restaurant business in the city. This episode has been brought to you by White Oak Pastures.

“There are the everyday menus that I find very graphically beautiful and interesting. Or there are children’s menus that I find really adorable.”

Restaurants are such a huge part of our social history, that to not have these documents is such a loss.”

Rebecca Federman on A Taste of the Past

Jun 14, 2012
Episode 105: Giuliano Hazan

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is on the phone with Giuliano Hazan, cooking instructor and author of a new book entitled Hazan Family Favorites. Giuliano comes from a tradition of fine Italian cooking. His mother, Marcella Hazan, is a famous Italian cookery writer. Tune in to hear Giuliano recount stories of frying with his grandmother, and being teased because of his Italian school lunches. Giuliano’s book includes unpretentious recipes designed to inspire home cooking. Hear about Giuliano’s favorite pasta dish, why he loves to teach, and the importance of cooking with family. Hear some of Giuliano’s heirloom recipes on this episode of A Taste of the Past. This episode has been brought to you by Whole Foods.

“My mother and father could put up with a lot of things, but not bad food…”

“I think a lot people have a misconception that fried food is always going to be greasy and heavy, but fried properly it’s really a wonderful way to cook because it seals the natural flavors of the food inside with this crispy exterior. It’s almost the purest way of enjoying something when it’s very well fried.”

“The act of cooking together creates a bond within a family.”

Giuliano Hazan on A Taste of the Past

May 31, 2012
Episode 104: Origins of the Modern Cookbook

On this episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is talking with cooking instructor, author and founder of LaVarenne Cooking School, Anne Willan. Anne’s cookbook, The Cookbook Library, includes cooking instructions from four centuries of recipe history. Tune in to hear about cooking instructions from all over Europe throughout the ages, the history of dining utensils, and the role of illustrations in cooking manuals. Hear about some of the difficulties involved with recreating dishes from the 15th or 16th century. Anne has collected over 5,000 cookbooks, and you can find some excerpts of these gems of cookbook history in The Cookbook Library! This program has been brought to you by White Oak Pastures.

“It’s wonderful because the whole of Europe was interested in writing down and recording what they were eating.”

“The oldest recipes were the most difficult to recreate because hard to know just what ingredients tasted like and what people were getting, so it was kind of a bit of a guess. What I wanted to do was to present something that’s feasible in a modern kitchen.”

Anne Willan on A Taste of the Past

May 24, 2012
Episode 103: Ancient Grains

On this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is talking about ancient and whole grains with Maria Speck, IACP award winning author of the NYTimes notable book Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. Topics include Maria’s upbringing with whole grains, the health benefits of eating grains, and why ancient grains have become fashionable in the food world. Quinoa has been back on the scene for a while, but learn about some lesser known grains such as emmer, kamut- and the most ancient of them all- einkorn. Maria’s book includes grain dishes for all of your courses- appetizers, meals, and deserts! Listen to this episode, and you will be an ancient grain expert. This episode is sponsored by Cain Vineyard and Winery.

“The key and my passion is to tell people that whole grains can taste really good.”

“In average supermarkets, grain selections are becoming bigger and bigger.”

“A big trend in baking is that bakers are looking for local grains and freshly-milled flour.”

Maria Speck on A Taste of the Past

May 17, 2012
Episode 102: Sake

On this episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is in the studio with Tim Sullivan, sake educator and founder of the site UrbanSake.com. Tune in to hear about how rice processing and milling determines sake quality, why sake is more similar to beer than wine, and why sake is unlikely to give you a hangover. Did the tsunami affect sake quality and production in Japan? Is the sake contaminated by nuclear material? Tim says that sake production is monitored by the Japanese government and is completely safe! Sake doesn’t necessarily need to accompany traditional Japanese food; it suits all types of cuisines and can compliment any meal. Learn more about the history of sake, and try some with your next dinner. This program has been brought to you by Hearst Ranch.

“Sake today can be very elegant. There’s a lot of nuance. That’s a modern phenomenon. That is something that has only been around for the last forty or fifty years. Sake itself has been around for 2,000 years.”

“The more you mill down [the rice], the higher the quality. All the rice we eat is brown; if you’re eating white rice, it has been milled.”

Tim Sullivan on A Taste of the Past

May 10, 2012
Episode 101: Julia Child’s 100th Birthday

This week marks the 100th episode of A Taste of the Past; congratulations to our hostess, Linda Pelaccio! To celebrate her 100th episode, Linda is remembering Julia Child’s 100th birthday with food writer and author of Julia Child: A Life, Laura Shapiro. Julia was one of the most natural television personalities, and her joy for teaching cooking was more than apparent. Linda and Laura recall Julia’s accessibility, and her ability to motivate and communicate great cooking methods. They also discuss Julia Child’s influence on culinary culture in the 1950s and 60s – making good food accessible to all, and breaking gender barriers. This episode has been brought to you by Edwards.

“She was going straight into the world of very distinguished cooking, and she didn’t look like anyone on television… She was completely unapologetic; she made it fun because it was fun for her.”

Laura Shapiro on A Taste of the Past

“Her talent was cooking, her medium was food, but the way she did everything with that food- that was her character.”

Linda Pelaccio on A Taste of the Past

May 03, 2012
Episode 100: Preserving the Past

“Each time a good cook dies without passing down recipes, family dishes become suddenly lost forever.” – Unknown. This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio talks with food writer Donna Pierce about preserving the past through cuisine and recipes. Donna Pierce started Skillet Diares, a website dedicated to “remembering, preserving, and passing down the flavors of home.” Tune in to hear Linda and Donna discuss the importance of digital media in preserving recipes, the necessity for oral traditions, and the variations in recipes from region to region. Also, check out Donna’s other site, Black American Cooks, which is all about preserving an African American cultural history through generations of recipes. This episode has been brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“When I grew up, I clung to everything about my grandmother and parents’ past, and the creole food that they loved.”

“I really understand the importance of [cookbook style and design]. Sometimes it’s more important than the written description- and that’s a hard thing for a writer to say.”

Donna Pierce on A Taste of the Past

Apr 26, 2012
Episode 99: Milk Through the Ages

Is milk “nature’s perfect food”? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined by cookbook historian Anne Mendelson to debunk this myth. Anne is the author of Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages, a cookbook and overview of milk’s history. Learn about milk’s volatile chemistry, the differences between different mammals’ milks, and Anne’s thoughts on the raw milk debate. Also, Anne explains the beginnings of the pasteurization and homogenization processes, and how it changed the lives of urban dwellers in the late 1800s. Hear about modern pasteurization processes, from small to large scale. This program has been brought to you by Cain Winery.

“It [milk] is intended to be supplied in one particularly way, and one alone…under those circumstances it is quite safe to drink, even if it’s raw. But if you divert it, if you interrupt that closed system… it changes as soon as you divert it into the outside world; you’ve already interrupted nature the moment you do that.”

“Raw milk’s sales allow farmers to sell directly to consumers without a middle man. And it’s one of the ways that farmers can sell their product for a price so that they can make a living.”

Anne Mendelson on A Taste of the Past

Apr 19, 2012
Episode 98: Sheilah Kaufman and Turkish Cuisine

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio talks with Sheilah Kaufman, author of The Turkish Cookbook: Regional Recipes and Stories.The Ottoman Turks controlled areas from Egypt to Austria, and all of the foods of these regions are incorporated into the Turkish palette. Tune in to hear how history and conquest has shaped Turkish cuisine; here’s fish from the Aegean, pistachios from Anatolia, and bananas from the Mediterranean. Listen to Linda and Sheilah discuss the home cooking traditions in Turkey, and why Turkish food is so easy to make. What do yogurt, coffee, and tulips have in common? They all originate in Turkey! This program is sponsored by White Oak Pastures.

“The Turks were culinary plunderers. Where ever they conquered, they went looking for the best ingredients and the best recipes.”

“In Turkish cooking, there are no unusual ingredients. You can go into any supermarket in this country and find what you need to make very easy Turkish dishes.”

Sheilah Kaufman on A Taste of the Past

Apr 12, 2012
Episode 97: The Manioc Route

What staple food feeds over 500 million people, and is gluten-free? Answer- the manioc root, and it’s this week’s topic on A Taste of the Past. Linda Pelaccio sits down with Teresa Corção, chef/owner of O Navegador restaurant and co-founder of Instituto Maniva- a group that promotes the heritage root called manioc. She is an active governing member of Slow Food Brazil, and has been honored by IACP with a Humanitarian of the Year award. Sara B. Franklin is also in the studio. A writer, oral historian, and multi-media storyteller, Sara is co-writing The Manioc Route cookbook with Teresa. Also joining Linda is Margarida Nogueira, co-founder of Instituto Maniva with Teresa, and founder of Slow Food Brazil. Tune in to hear about the upcoming cookbook, The Manioc Route, and how it combines cooking with history, culture, and emotion. Did you know that the manioc has been in the upper Amazon Valley since 7,000 B.C.E.? Or that the manioc is naturally poisonous? All these facts and more on this week’s A Taste of the Past. Be sure to get more information about the Manioc Route and visit their Kickstarter on Facebook. Watch a clip from Seu Bené Vai Pra Italia, a film about manioc flour producer Benedito Batista da Silva. This program is sponsored by Hearst Ranch.

“There’s so much cultural history around this root, and it’s delicious.”

Sara B. Franklin on A Taste of the Past

“Food is affection, culture, and heritage.”

“Peruvian people had brought all types- over 2,000 varieties- of potatoes and today in Lima you can find lots of varieties of potatoes, and maybe this can be an example of how you can take an underestimated a staple and make it a gourmet food.”

Teresa Corção on A Taste of the Past

“When I discovered the Slow Food Movement on the Internet, I fell in love with the philosophy” —

Margarida Nogueira on A Taste of the Past

Apr 05, 2012
Episode 96: Jay Buchsbaum & Kosher Wine

In this episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio talks kosher wine with Jay Buchsbaum of the Royal Wine Corp. Tune in to hear Linda and Jay define kosher wine, the history of wine in Israel, the caliber and standards for kosher wine and its place among wine connoisseurs. Forget what you know about Manischewitz; these are some high-quality wines! Listen in as Linda samples three of the wines that Royal Wine Corp. distributes. This program was sponsored by Hearst Ranch.

“Wine is an integral part of every part of Jewish life- Friday nights, every celebration, etc. And the only grapes were available were of the Labrusca variety, and they need sugar to make them palatable. So that’s when the tradition- in fact, it’s a new tradition, only 100 years old- of [sweet] kosher wine started.”

Jay Buchsbaum on A Taste of the Past

“The producers invariably want to be judged by the quality of the wine, not whether or not it’s kosher. That’s first and foremost.”

Jay Buchsbaum on A Taste of the Past

Mar 29, 2012
Episode 95: William Rubel and a History of Bread

This week on A Taste of the Past we’re talking about the history of bread with hostess, Linda Pelaccio, and her guest, William Rubel. William authored the hearth-cooking book The Magic of Fire, and now has a new book called Bread: A Global History. Listen in as Linda and William discuss the ancient roots of bread making, the social and class implications of certain types of flour and bread, and bread’s place in different religious traditions and texts. This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

“Bread is a staple that allowed for the accumulation of material culture, the building of cities. It allowed for the accumulation of surplus, which lead to craft.” — William Rubel on A Taste of the Past

Mar 22, 2012
Episode 94: Hummus Wars

How do you indigenize a food? What are the hummus wars? Tune in to a food identity themed episode of A Taste of the Past as Linda Pelaccio chats with Ari Ariel, Assistant Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at NYU. Tune in to learn how cuisine is shared and sometimes protected in different countries and cultures. Learn what makes a dish “authentic” and how hummus has caused such a fuss between nations. This program was sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“Migration provokes changes in foodways.”

“I think in America we all understand that nothing is truly authentic.”

“The word hummus is just the Arab word for chick pea, it has nothing to do with preparation.”

–Ari Ariel, Assistant Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at NYU on A Taste of the Past

Mar 15, 2012
Episode 93: Downton Abbey

Hooked on Downton Abbey? Curious what food was like during the Edwardian Period? Tune in to an especially historic episode of A Taste of the Past with Linda Pelaccio as she is joined by Cathy Kaufman, chair of the Culinary Historians of New York. Find out why English food has a rich tradition and why it gets such a bad reputation these days. Learn about early haute cuisine, table settings, cookbooks and the important of the dining room as it relates to the period of time featured on Downton Abbey. This program is sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“English food at that time [The Edwardian Era] had fabulous butter, cream and meats. The houses all had wonderful gardens. There was no reason for the food not to be good. English food gets its bad reputation because of the true hardships with food rationing that the population underwent after World War I, The Great Depression and World War II.”

“In England unlike in the US, while you would have some flowers and silver candelabra, it would not be overly profuse. I think there’s an interesting juxtaposition between American and English tables at this time. The American table is rather gaudy by comparison.”

–Cathy Kaufman, Chair of the Culinary Historians of New York on A Taste of The Past

Mar 08, 2012
Episode 92: Linsanity & Taiwanese Cuisine

It’s Linsanity on A Taste of the Past!! Tune in as Linda discusses the cuisine and culture of Taiwan with Jessica Chien and Joanne Liu, freelance pastry chefs. Learn the differences between China, Japan and Taiwan when it comes to food and hear what makes Taiwanese cuisine stand out from the rest. From their bountiful produce and livestock options to the creative cultural dishes, listeners will come away with a new found knowledge and respect for the food from this Asian-Pacific island. This program was sponsored by Whole Foods Market.

“What makes Taiwanese food unique is that the country is self sustaining. There’s plentiful amounts of agriculture, seafood, poultry, pork and beef. In mainland China, there are provinces where you can only have one type of vegetable or livestock. It’s not as bountiful as Taiwan.”

–Freelance Pastry Chef, Author and Food Blogger Jessica Chien on A Taste of the Past

Mar 01, 2012
Episode 91: Cracking the Jemima Code

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined by food writer and journalist Toni Tipton-Martin for a discussion on imagery, stereotypes and African American cuisine and culture as it relates to the famous and controversial image of Aunt Jemima. Learn more about the history behind the trademarked character and hear what Toni thinks “soul food” actually means in the context of African American cooking. This program was sponsored by Fairway Market.

“There is quite a bit of debate now over whether the woman being depicted as Aunt Jemima ever existed at all.”

“I think there’s an expectation as an African American cook or chef to conform to an image that has been constructed in the trademark of Aunt Jemima.”

“Soul Food is a definition that emerged out of the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960’s, at a time when African American dance, music and other artistic expressions were being reclaimed and identified by the term ‘soul’. For that particular period of time, [soul food] is a suitable definition for what was coming out of the kitchen.”

“I’m hoping we can look at these women free of gender and racial biases and just look at the work they did at the time.”

–Journalist and Author Toni Tipton-Martin on A Taste of the Past

Feb 23, 2012
Episode 90: Fabio Parasecoli

From food culture in 800BCE to the present day, this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past will take you there. With the help of New School professor of food studies, Fabio Parasecoli, host Linda Pelaccio takes you on a world tour of food globalization throughout major world time periods. Parasecoli, who has also edited an encyclopedic 6-volume tome on the subject– A Cultural History of Food— discusses the rise of food scholarship in major learning institutes around the world as well how food, not just eating, is taking an ever-expanding presence in every aspect of daily life. This episode is sponsored by Fairway Market

“Food has become very important in social and political debates. So my question is were those debates already there at the Roman times, what happened in the middle ages? For example, is the family meal really an institution or did we create it 100 years ago and we just pretend its been there forever?”

–Fabio Parasecoli on A Taste of the Past

Feb 16, 2012
Episode 89: Monica Bhide

This week on A Taste of the Past host Linda Pelaccio talks with food writer and interviewer Monica Bhide who has written on a variety of subjects from Indian cooking to her latest venture into the world of e-publishing with her newest e-book, “ In Conversation with Exceptional Women”. Learn about her tips for gaining inspiration in both cooking and writing, her views on authenticity and Indian cooking, as well as where she sees the realm of digital publishing heading. This episode is sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“It really raises the question of what is real cooking and what is real food. And, to me, anything that is prepared with love and that is intended to nurture the people that it’s prepared for is real cooking.”

–Monica Bhide on A Taste of the Past

Jan 26, 2012
Episode 88: Rick Ellis

This week on A Taste of the Past get ready to dive in to the re-emerging world of “table-scaping” –ie. how to set and visually design a dinner table setting– with host Linda Pelaccio. Joined by esteemed guest, food stylist, and historian Rick Ellis, the two delve into rich the history of table setting and food service originating in Europe as well as the research it requires to bring food alive on the silver screen for period pieces. Tune into learn about the difference between “service a la Francaise” and “service a la Russe” as well as some of Rick’s favorite historical source material for food styling. This episode is sponsored by Cain Vineyard.

Service à la française [is where] elaborate tables were set in 2-3 courses all the plates down at once, very symmetrical arrangements, often the food was cold at that point.”

“Keeping food looking beautiful and fresh is our biggest challenge.”

–Rick Ellis on A Taste of the Past

Jan 19, 2012
Episode 87: Dining Out in Early Gotham

How did restaurants become such a staple in American culture? Tune in for a lively discussion with historian and professor Cindy Lobel on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past. Linda and Cindy chat about the history of restaurants in New York, and explain how our foodways were urbanized and colonial taverns evolved into the modern day restaurant. From Delmonico’s to boarding houses, learn more about the emergence of the restaurant and our gastronomic growth. This episode was sponsored by Fairway Market

“The growth of restaurants in New York is directly related to the growth of New York.”

–Historian Cindy Lobel on A Taste of the Past

Jan 05, 2012
Episode 86: Benedictine Liqueur

This week on A Taste of the Past we take a trip to the Abbey of Fecamp in Normandy where the Benedictine monk Dom Bernardo Vincelli created the liqueur Benedictine in the 16th century. With the help Benedictine brand ambassador Martin Duffy, learn all about the history of this ancient libation as well as some delicious holiday drinks that will keep you warm all winter long. This episode is sponsored by Heritage Foods USA

“Putting a little Benedictine in your hot chocolate is sure to ‘warm your cockles’.”

–Martin Duffy on A Taste of the Past

Dec 22, 2011
Episode 85: The History of the Christmas Feast

Get ready to loosen up your belt a notch or two because A Taste of The Past is having a Christmas feast. Host Linda Pelaccio is joined accomplished food historian Clifford Wright who explains history of holiday feasts from the origin of the real St. Nicholas to the significance sweets at the holidays for the poor. This episode is sponsored The Barterhouse.

“We take it for granted, but there was a time when people couldn’t afford food and (Christmas) was the one time of the year you could have visions of sugar plums” – Historian Clifford Wright on A Taste of the Past

Dec 15, 2011
Episode 84: The Lost Art of Real Cooking

This week on A Taste of The Past it’s time to rediscover The Lost Art of Real Cooking with Ken Albala who has written a book on just that. Learn how our liberation from the kitchen in the ’70s has lead to our over-consumption of pre-made and pre-packaged foods. From government subsidies to food deserts, tune in to learn something new about how to recover this lost art. This episode is sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons.

Dec 08, 2011
Episode 83: Feeding Gotham: History of Urban Provisioning

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio explores the history of public markets and meat supplies in New York City with Gergely Baics, Assistant Professor of History and Urban Studies at Barnard College. Tune in to learn about food provisioning and local markets and how policy and seasonality play into the proteins made available to the public in urban areas. This episode was sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

Dec 01, 2011
Episode 82: Heritage Foods USA

When it comes to food, what exactly does Heritage mean? How did Slow Food’s Ark of Taste help launch Heritage Foods USA and bring pasture raised pork and Heritage breed turkeys and chickens to the dinner plates of thousands of Americans? Hear the Heritage story from Patrick Martins himself, the man who founded Slow Food USA, Heritage Foods USA, Heritage Radio Network & The Heritage Meat Shop. This episode was sponsored by Hearst Ranch.

Nov 17, 2011
Episode 81: Liquid Gold: The Impact of Olive Oil on Western Civilization

Three million tonnes of liquid gold have been produced this year and no we’re not talking about bullion, we’re talking about olive oil. From it’s first sightings on ancient Egyptian pyramids to the many different styles and pressings today, olive oil has been a staple of life for thousands of years. With the help of oil importer and expert Tony DeMarco, Linda Pelaccio takes you on an organoleptic retrospective of one of the worlds oldest delicacies. From it’s early uses helping sustain traveling Roman Armies to the recent discoveries of its health benefits and uses in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, this week’s A Taste of The Past will provide you with an encyclopedic view of this amazing but hard to grow tree crop. Also, tune in for a live tasting of some of the best olive oils in the world at the end of the show! This episode is sponsored by
Fairway Market.

Nov 10, 2011
Episode 80: Julia Child and the Rise of Food TV

This week A Taste of The Past investigates the rise in popularity and power of TV cooking shows. Host Linda Pelaccio looks into the origins that have resulted in today’s obsession with food TV, with hundreds of shows on a multitude of dedicated food and cooking networks, they find the catalyst in the impossibly original and witty Julia Child. With the help of NYU Cinema Studies professor Dana Polan, who has written a book about the subject, discover how Julia transformed America’s views of home cooking and made us enamored of French cuisine. From her refusal to use any product placement to harnessing the power of PBS, learn about this food icon and the food media empire she help give birth to. This episode is sponsored by Whole Foods Market.

Nov 03, 2011
Episode 79: The Silver Spoon

This week A Taste of the Past recreates a classic master cookbook of the Italian vintage “The Silver Spoon” with the help of the editor Emilia Terragni of Phaidon Press. Emilia expounds on the challenges that face a culinary historian in translating a 60 year old cookbook from Italian into English; from recipes where much was assumed and thus lacking direction, to differences in stoves, measurements and more. This episode is sponsored by Hearst Ranch.

Oct 27, 2011
Episode 78: History of American Wine

We all know and love French and Italian wines, and of course California is known for it’s interesting varietals and grapes but what about wine in other parts of America? Did you know Virginia used to make award winning wine? Tune in to an informative and historical episode of A Taste of the Past with Linda Pelaccio as she explores the history of American wine with Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, authors of “The Flavor Bible”, “What to Drink with What You Eat”, “Becoming a Chef”, “The New American Chef, Culinary Artistry”, and the just released “Food Lover’s Guide to Wine”. This episode was sponsored by Hearst Ranch.

Oct 20, 2011
Episode 76: Jacques Pepin

This week On A Taste of the Past, Linda is joined by a very special guest who is not only a chef who has cooked for Charles de Gaulle and has 11 cookbooksbut who is also an Emmy Winner, a recipient of France’s highest honer: Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a painter, and a poet. Any guesses??? It’s Jacques Pepin! The two chat about Jacques beginnings in his parents’ kitchen to his time at Le Pavillion to his newest cookbook coming out in October: The Essential Pepin. And if you’re in the area there’s still time to get tickets to catch Mr. Pepin at this year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival. This episode is sponsored by The Hearst Ranch.

Sep 29, 2011
Episode 75: The Art of Eating with Ed Behr

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda is joined by Ed Behr, the man behind The Art of Eating, an in-depth periodical about the best food and wine. Linda and Ed discuss everything from subjective taste to food pleasures. Find out what you can learn from The Art of Eating and why food writing is as good as ever. Also, tune in and discover why great food doesn’t have to be expensive! This episode was sponsored by Fairway Market

Ed Behr's Art of Eating

Sep 22, 2011
Episode 74: A Southerly Course

This week on A Taste of The Past goes south to Mississippi with James Beard Award-winning cookbook author Martha Hall Foose who was also the food stylist for the critically acclaimed move ‘The Help’, set in Mississippi in the ’60s. Martha discusses the process she went through to recreate historically-accurate meals and foodstuff for the film and how sometimes she had to learn to let go of her modernist aesthetics in order to remain faithful to the time. From classic bridge party food and to her take on peanut chicken this is an episode not to miss. This episode is sponsored by Fairway Market.

Sep 15, 2011
Episode 73: Barry Estabrook & Tomatoland

This week A Taste of the Past has a serious talk about tomatoes with James Beard award recipient Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. The discussion goes into the dark side of American farming in Florida where labor and human rights have been reported in some places to harbor slave-like working conditions. Find out about the Campaign for Fair Food why it is buying locally is more than just a fad or trend. If you care at all about where you’re food comes from or curious why it is important to tune into this episode of A Taste of the Past, brought to you by the The NOFA-NY Locavore Challenge.

Sep 08, 2011
Episode 72: Hot Dogs

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda explores the history of the hot dog with Bruce Kraig, Ph.D, author of “Hot Dog, A Global History”. Bruce has traveled the world tasting hot dogs and shares some very interesting variations including Korean batter-dipped dogs. Learn how the frankfurter found its way into American culture, where it got its silly name from and how it helped define our “on-the-go” meal philosophy in this country. This episode was sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

Sep 01, 2011
Episode 71: Eat Your Words: A Culinary History of the English Language

What do beat, bean, and leek all have in common with each other? Find out on this week’s episode A Taste of The Past where Linda goes into the history of food and culinary etymology with Ina Lipkowitz teacher of English literature and Biblical Studies at MIT and author of Words to Eat By. Discover the semantic shift in the word meat, the influence of the ancient Romans on plant breeds, and how much religious symbolism is based off food. Listen and become aware about how much food words have an impact on us. This episode is sponsored by The Hearst Ranch.

Aug 18, 2011
Episode 70: The Great American Debate: No National Dish

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda is joined by author and teacher Megan Elias, author of the forthcoming book “Taste of the Nation: American Cookbooks and Culture”. Linda and Megan explore the history of American recipes, cuisine and cookbooks and ask the question “what is America’s national dish?”. Tune in to learn how our “stop and go” culture has influenced our cuisine and how our food ideas trickle down into many different outlets. This episode was sponsored by Cain Five.

Aug 04, 2011
Episode 69: Food Preservation’s History and the 21st Century Root Cellar

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda explores the history of food preservation with Jack Kittredge, homesteader, instructor and Policy Director of NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association). This episode was sponsored by The Smallholding Festival.

Jul 07, 2011
Episode 68: What is That thing? Antique Cooking Utensils

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda is joined by kitchenware collector and creator of The Brooklyn Kitchen, Harry Rosenblum. Harry and Linda discuss the lineage of some familiar kitchen items and celebrate the nostalgia of antique utensils. Tune in to hear some interesting thoughts on modern cookware as it relates to functionality and efficiency and learn more about the tools that we rely on to create our meals. This episode was sponsored by Camp Bacon.


Jun 30, 2011
Episode 67: Voices from the Food Revolution

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda is joined by journalist and creator of the “Voices From the Food Revolution” oral history project at NYU, Judith Weinraub to discuss how we came to this food renaissance in America. Tune in to learn what we share with our culinary ancestors and why oral history is so important in passing down recipes, traditions and ideas. This episode was sponsored by Fairway Market – like no other market.

Jun 23, 2011
Episode 66: Reconstructing Historic Royal Kitchens: The Tudor Kitchens of Henry VIII and the Newly Discovered Kitchens of George III

Jun 16, 2011
Episode 65: Cast Iron Cookware

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda sits down with cookware historian/collector Joel Schiff and author/poet Stacey Harwood to talk about the history of cast iron cookware. Joel traces the material’s early beginnings in ancient China to its resurgence in popularity today. Then Stacey shares some of her favorite recipes to cook in cast iron molds. This episode was sponsored by Fairway Market.

Jun 09, 2011
Episode 64: Italian Food: The Empire Strikes Again

John Mariani, Esquire food critic, noted journalist and author of “How Italian Food Conquered the World”, is this week’s guest on A Taste of The Past. Linda & John trace the history of Italian and Italian American cuisine from the days where pizza ovens were a sign of low class cuisine to the recent artisanal pizza explosion in the culinary world. This episode was sponsored by Fairway Market – like no other market.

Jun 02, 2011
Episode 63: The Evolving Cuisine of Israel

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda explores the culinary history and traditions of Israel, both old and new, with Janna Gur. Janna Gur is the author of “The Book of New Israeli Food” and founder and editor of Tel Aviv’s top food and wine magazine. Learn what makes Isreali breakfast unique, why Friday dinner is mandatory and why Isreali coffee is so good. This episode was sponsored by Fairway Market – like no other market.

May 26, 2011
Episode 62: Ice Cream with Laura Weiss

Linda Pelaccio gets ready for summer as she explores the history of ice cream with noted journalist and author Laura Weiss on A Taste of the Past. Laura traces the history of ice cream, from it’s icy and innovative roots to its worldwide popularity today. Learn about ice houses, the big business of ice cream and it’s many variations across the globe. Laura’s latest book is Ice Cream: A Global History, and is available where all books are sold. This episode was sponsored by Hearst Ranch, the nations largest single-source supplier of grassfed and grass-finished beef.

May 19, 2011
Episode 61: Salt with Mark Bitterman

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda is joined by salt expert and author of “Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral”, Mark Bitterman. Tune in to learn more about salt, the mineral that is essential for animal life and elemental in our diets. Hear more about the history of salt from salt mining to iodization and find out how certain salts get such incredible color. This episode was sponsored by Whole Foods Market.

May 05, 2011
Episode 60: Jiro Dreams of Sushi

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda invites filmmaker David Gelb and editor Brandon Driscoll-Luttringer to talk about their new film, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”. Currently playing at the Tribeca Film Festival, this documentary follows master sushi chef Jiro Ono on his quest for sushi perfection. Jiro shares his idea of the five basic attributes to being a good chef and the constant strive for improvement every sushi master must take on in the vast world of sushi in Japan. To find out more about the film check out their Facebook page.. This episode was sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Son. For more information visit www.SurryFarms.com.

Apr 28, 2011
Episode 59: The Potato: How it Changed the World

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda invites food historian and noted author Andy Smith to the program to explore and dissect the history of the most popular tuber and a staple of most diets – the potato. Did you know there are over 200 varieties of potatoes? Find out more about the history evolution of the potato on this especially informative episode of A Taste of the Past. This episode was sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery

Apr 21, 2011
Episode 58: Royal Weding Feasts

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda explores the decadent feasts behind royal weddings. Joined by food historian and period cookery instructor Ivan Day, she predicts what might been seen on the plates of guests at Prince William’s wedding and reveals the history behind wedding cakes, decorative dishes & marriage ceremonies. Sponsored by Fairway Market – like no other market.


Apr 14, 2011
Episode 57: An American Icon Turns 125

Join Linda Pelaccio as she celebrates the 125th anniversary of one of the most recognizable brands and products in the world – Coca-Cola. She is joined by Coca-Cola Company archivist Jamal Booker who takes us on a tour of the heritage of America’s most popular soft drink. Find out how the drink started, why it’s recipe is so guarded and secretive and why consistency is the most important element of what we know as “Coke”. This episode was sponsored by Barterhouse Wines. For more information visit The Barterhouse.

Apr 07, 2011
Episode 56: Joan Nathan

Award winning cookbook author, documentarian and TV personality Joan Nathan is Linda Pelaccio’s guest on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past. Joan talks about her latest book “Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France”, and traces the history of Jewish cuisine as it’s traveled across the globe. Learn more about how food traditions are gained, lost and kept throughout history. This episode was sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons. For more information visit www.SurryFarms.com

Mar 31, 2011
Episode 55: America’s Vanished Foods

Linda Pelaccio explores America’s Vanished Foods on this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past with Andrew Beahrs, author of Twain’s Feast: Searching for America’s Lost Foods in the Footsteps of Samuel Clemens. Tune in to hear about some of the original “heritage” foods of America including raccoon, oysters and terrapin soup. Learn about the food history and culture that can be drawn from the writings of Mark Twain and find out why things have changed drastically since those times. This episode was sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery. For more information visit www.CainFive.com

Mar 24, 2011
Episode 54: Vegetarian Cooking with Deborah Madison

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda is joined by Deborah Madison, “The Julia Child of Vegetarian Cooking”. Linda & Deborah dispel some of the stigmas and misconceptions surrounding vegetarian diets and explore ways to overcome the idea of a “centerless plate”. Tune in to learn about the Meatless Mondays initiative and find out which cultures are best with vegetarian dishes! This episode was sponsored by The Museum of Food & Drink. Learn about the “Get the Ball Rolling” fundraiser here.

Mar 10, 2011
Episode 53: Jessica B. Harris

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio welcomes author, culinary historian, journalist and African American foodways expert Jessica B. Harris to the show. Jessica discusses some of the history included in her latest book “High on the Hog”. Tune in to find out where the title came from and how it relates to the culinary journey from Africa to America. Learn more about the integral role slavery played in our American culinary roots and why oral history supersedes any other in the African American culture. This episode was sponsored by Whole Foods Market.

Mar 03, 2011
Episode 52: American Cooking with Molly O’Neill

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda explores the roots and current state of American Cooking with cookbook author and former NY Times columnist Molly O’Neill. Molly talks about our culinary and recipe traditions in the United States and explores the intertwined worlds of food and class structure. Tune in and find out why, in the end, we are just One Big Table. This episode was sponsored by Whole Foods Market.

Feb 24, 2011
Episode 51: Secrets from the White House Kitchens

To celebrate President’s Day, Linda invites author and former visiting White House Chef Jack Hanny to the studio to talk about his latest book, “Secrets from the White House Kitchens”. Jack goes into the history of cuisine at the Oval Office, chronicling everything from JFK’s favorite clam chowder, to FDR’s nightmares with former chef Henrietta Nesbit. Learn more about the tastes of presidents past on an entertaining an informative episode of A Taste of the Past. This episode was sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons. For more information visit www.surryfarms.com

Feb 17, 2011
Episode 50: Chocolate: a divine obsession

Valentine’s Day may have been intended to celebrate love, but we all know what’s really on our mind around this time – chocolate! Tune into A Taste of the Past to learn more about one of the most commonly appreciated and seriously misunderstood treats. Learn about the history of the “the food of the gods” from chocolate expert Alexandra Leaf and find out why “real” chocolate might not be what you think it is. This episode was sponsored by Whole Foods Market. For more information visit wholefooesmarket.com

Feb 10, 2011
Episode 49: Chinese New Year Food Traditions

This week on A Taste of The Past, Linda explores the gastronomic history and traditions of the Chinese New Year with culinary instructor and author of RedCook.net, Kho Kian Lam. They discuss the symbolism behind food items such as fish and dumplings, explore the differences between northern and southern Chinese cuisine and unveil some preparation methods for sticky cake. This episode was sponsored by Fairway Market – like no other market.

Feb 03, 2011
Episode 48: The Ancient Legacy of the Mediterranean Diet

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda is joined by Moroccan born author and cooking instructor, Kitty Morse. Kitty’s latest book, “A Biblical Feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Today’s Table”, is as much a history book as it is a cookbook. Tune in and learn more about how and what people ate in Biblical times, the origins of fish sauce, and what makes real Ezekiel bread. This episode was sponsored by The Barterhouse. For more information visit www.thebarterhouse.com

Jan 27, 2011
Episode 47: The Evolution of the Modern Kitchen: 100 Years of Design

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda explores the history of the modern kitchen. Joined by food journalist and culinary historian Meryle Evans, Linda tells the story of the kitchen from its basement beginnings to its growth into a “perfect work triangle”. Tune in and hear the stories behind some of the most commonly used and overlooked kitchen tools such as Tupperware, Chemex & ice cream scoops. This episode was sponsored by Route 11 / Tabard Inn. For more information visit www.rt11.com

Jan 20, 2011
Episode 46: Origins of Curry

This week’s discussion on A Taste of the Past focuses on curry, one of the most widley used – and misused – terms in the culinary lexicon. Joining Linda is Colleen Taylor Sen, a food historian and journalist specializing in the cuisine of India. Linda and Colleen trace the history of curry, from the East India Trading Company to British fast food chains. Tune in and learn what should and shouldn’t be considered curry and how curry leaves differ from curry powder. This episode was sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery. For more information visit www.cainfive.com

Jan 13, 2011
Episode 45: Good Luck Round Foods for the New Year and Mochi making with Hiroko Shimbo

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda is joined by trained sushi chef, restaurant consultant, cooking instructor, and cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo. Linda and Hiroko discuss the tradition of “good luck round food” for the new year along with the ceremonious pounding of the mochi. Tune in and learn more about Japanese cuisine and its role in Western culture. Also find out whether or not lobster should be eaten on New Years Eve. This episode was sponsored by Cochon555 – learn more at www.cochon555.com

Jan 06, 2011
Episode 44: Punch: The Delights and Dangers of the Flowing Bowl

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda welcomes historian, master mixologist and author David Wondrich back to the show. David’s latest book, “Punch: The Delights and Dangers of the Flowing Bowl”, explores all things related to punch; from its cloudy origins to its varied techinques and variates. David and Linda discuss the book and taste a two-year aged Norfolk Milk Punch on-air. Tune in to learn more about the incredible story of the most important social beverage of our time. This episode was sponsored by Cain Five Vineyard & Winery. For more information visit www.cainfive.com

Dec 23, 2010
Episode 43: Origins of Malaysian Flavors

Explore the history of Malaysian food this week on A Taste of the Past with Linda Pelaccio. Linda is joined by guest Susheela Raghavan, author of Flavors of Malaysia: A Journey Through Time, Tastes, and Traditions. Susheela discusses the history of Malaysia and how food ties into the everyday life of the Malaysians. Tune in and find out why not all Malaysian food is hot and spicy, and why the vendor is such an important part of Malaysian culture. This episode was sponsored by Tekserve & The Lower East Side Ecology Center’s “E-Waste Events”. Find out everything you need to know about recycling your old electronics by clicking here!

Dec 16, 2010
Episode 42: Heritage of Chinese Cooking: The Wok

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda is joined by author and wok master Grace Young. Her latest book is Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, a book that explores everything from the origins and health benefits of stir-frying to the technique’s great economy of time and fuel. Linda and Grace discuss the history of both stir-frying and the wok, and how American culture has reshaped how we see both. Tune in to learn which cookware is the best to stir fry with, how immigrants adapt when they can’t find ingredients of their native cuisine and what happens when Chinese and Jamaican chefs work side by side. This episode was sponsored by the good people at Fairway Market, like no other market!.

Dec 09, 2010
Episode 41: Potato Latkes and the Food of Hanukkah

Celebrate Hanukkah on a special episode of A Taste of the Past! Linda is joined by Rabbi, historian and author Gil Marks, author of The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Gil gives a brief history of Hanukkah and explains how it came to become a prominent and celebrated holiday in modern times. He also takes us on a historical tour of some traditional dishes such as latkes and matzoh. Tune in for some truly encyclopedic knowledge on Jewish food. This episode was kindly sponsored by our friends at 360 Cookware. Find out more about their vapor technology and green product line at www.360cookware.com

Dec 02, 2010
Episode 40: Rozanne Gold

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda sits down with multiple James Beard award winner and author of over a dozen cookbooks Rozanne Gold. They discussed Rozanne’s new book “Radically Simple”, a cookbook that focuses on clean, neat, healthy, and simple recipes, some of them approaching revolutionary in their simple treatment of some classic dishes. Tune in to learn how to make a perfect roast chicken with only one ingredient (chicken). This episode was sponsored by Cabot Cheese of Vermont, Dairy Farm Family owned since 1919.

Nov 18, 2010
Episode 39: Thanksgiving and Historic Recipes

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda tackles Thanksgiving, and journeys back to discover some of the original recipes used when the Plymouth Crew and the locals got together to celebrate the harvest. Joining Linda on this trip through the past is Sarah Lohman, an artist, author, and “historic gastronomist”: one who re-creates recipes from days of yore exactly as they were, essentially engaging in taste-time-travel. Tune in for some surprising revelations about the history of Turkey Day and what people enjoyed eating long, long ago. This episode was sponsored by Acme Smoked Fish: a culinary mainstay in NYC for over 55 years.

Nov 11, 2010
Episode 38: Wild Food

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda speaks to master forager Connie Green. Recommended by Martha Stewart Living and co-author of “The Wild Table: Seasonal Foraged Food and Recipes”, Connie knows a thing or two about foraging. Learn how Connie is spreading the word about why foraging is not the scary undertaking some think it is. Learn why chanterelles are simultaneously universally sought and yet, in a way, not hard to find. Also learn about TheWildTable.net, your source for mycological and foraging info on the internet. This episode was sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons.

Nov 04, 2010
Episode 37: Apples

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda talks all things apple with Erik Baard a writer and an advocate for Newton Pippin apples, long considered the Cadillac of apples. Baard explains how the Pippin–fairly gross when eaten off the tree–sugars after a month or two, making it perfect for today’s exporters or yesterday’s original US colonists. Lauren Soutiere, a pastry chef at the Northern Spy Food Co., calls in to talk apple pie, including how to choose the best pie-worthy apples. This episode was sponsored by Acme Smoked Fish: a culinary mainstay in NYC for over 55 years.

Oct 28, 2010
Episode 36: Truffles

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda delves into the luxurious world of the truffle, and speaks to Vincent Jeanseaume of Sabatino Tartufi. Vincent and Linda take a look at the many varieties of truffle available (or not-so-available), why truffle oil is only a half-accurate moniker, and the many delicious things Vincent and others can do with this versatile fungus. Linda also relates a personal experience involving a hundred dollar stinky Italian truffle. This episode was sponsored by White Oak Pastures.

Oct 21, 2010
Episode 35: Our Obsession with Diets with Susan Yager

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda speaks to Susan Yager, author of “The Hundred Year Diet”, an examination of America’s obsession with dieting, going back over a hundred years. Susan took a look at “fad” diets from the past and present; everything from an old timey obsession with extreme mastication to the recent Atkins, South Beach, and other diets that briefly made headlines only to fade into obscurity. This episode was sponsored by Edwards of Surry Virginia.

Oct 07, 2010
Episode 34: Some Spicy History with Michael Krondl

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda talks salt, pepper, and spice: currency, commodity, and culinary aid. Author and culinary historian Michael Krondl breaks down the roles that specific spices played in their respective empires; the English and Dutch colonies that were built to trade it, Venice as a spice-stuffed world financial hub, and how many peppercorns made a nickel. Plus Krondl reveals that the cinnamon in your cupboard is an impostor. This episode was sponsored by Fairway: like no other market.

Sep 30, 2010
Episode 33: Eataly with Joe Bastianich & Lidia Bastianich

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda speaks to Joe Bastianich & his sainted mother Lidia Bastianich for a discussion about Eataly. The largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in the world, Eataly is the brainchild of Mario Batali, the Bastianichs, and Oscar Farinetti, founder of the original Eataly in Turin. Tune in to find out how the project came together and for a break down of the immense scope of this wildly successful undertaking. Find out how Joe is handling selling everything from cookware to crudo to beer from a brewery on the roof, all in one place. This episode was sponsored by Heritage Foods USA.

Photo 1: The B&B Family, Photo 2: Eataly layout

Sep 23, 2010
Episode 32: Tailgating with Dave Joachim

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda explores the very American tradition of tailgating. Follow tailgating from the chuck wagon to the station wagon as Linda looks back as far as the Civil War to find the roots of the tailgate. Joining her is Dave Joachim, author of “A Man, A Can & a Plan” and “Mastering the Grill”, a tailgate enthusiast and expert who revels in the ingenuity and community of tailgaters and their technology (eg. parking lots with outlets for each space). This episode was sponsored by Hearst Ranch: purveyors of fine grass-fed beef from the coast of CA.

Photo: an example of mass-tailgating

Sep 16, 2010
Episode 31: “Hoppin John” Taylor

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda spoke to “Hoppin John” Taylor, master of “low-country” cooking. The low country is the coastal area of the Carolinas originally settled by wealthy plantation owners from Barbados. After French Huguenots and Mediterranean Jews settled along with an influx of West African slaves, a cultural and culinary melting pot resulted, giving the US its first taste of a huge range of foods and dishes. This episode was sponsored by Fairway: like no other market.

Photo 1: John Hoppin Taylor, Photo 2: South Carolina “Low Country”

Aug 19, 2010
Episode 30: Holley Bishop, Brandon Hoy & Eddie Diaz

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda sat down with Holley Bishop. Bishop wrote “Robbing the Bees”, a book about the history of beekeeping and her own experience helping bee-keepers “rob” hives of honey. For some further bee-keepery Linda and Holley were joined by Roberta’s own Eddie Diaz and Brandon Hoy, who have been keeping bees in Williamsburg and Bushwick for well over a year now (and well before its current status as a legal hobby kicked in). Tune in for an engrossing look at the surprisingly complex world of bees, honey, their rich past and their uncertain future. This episode was sponsored by Fairway: like no other market.

Aug 12, 2010
Episode 29: Kara Newman

This week, author Kara Newman, author of “Spice and Ice”, stops by to announce the second golden age of the cocktail. She and Linda wade through mixed drink mythology to discuss the first cocktail, the origin of household drink names,dilution, infusion, and the tiki aesthetic. The show heats up as they break out the sangritas and talk about adding spice to your drink and your evening. This show is brought to you by Hearst Ranch.

Photo: Spice & Ice by Kara Newman

Aug 05, 2010
Episode 28: Steven Raichlen

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda spoke to Barbecue Bible (blog and book series) author Steven Raichlen about the only international food “woven into our human fabric”: BBQ. Steven has traveled the world investigating, written eight books about, and hosted his own show on PBS regarding BBQ, and knows a thing or two about a thing or two regarding grilled meat and the “slow and low”. Tune in for an illuminating look at BBQ’s history, future, and how our local traditions have grown from and melded with international versions of the ‘cue. This episode was sponsored by Hearst Ranch: purveyors of fine grass-fed beef.

Jul 22, 2010
Episode 27: Jane Ziegelman

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda spoke to Jane Ziegelman, author of the book “97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement”. The focus of the show was the process by which American palates have benefitted from the cookbooks immigrants brought over from native lands at the turn of the last century. For many immigrant families, compiling family recipies and passing them down from generation to generation was a time honored tradition, and thanks to dedicated home cooks and a myriad of archival resources we can all benefit from this combined mass of international, intercultural knowledge. This episode was sponsored by Whole Foods.

Jul 15, 2010
Episode 26: Jimmy Carbone

Jimmy Carbone spoke to Linda about beer’s history as a medicinal aid, German purity laws and why they can help or hinder international beer, and how the next generation of kids growing up with the burgeoning craft beer movement will push the art of brewin

Jun 24, 2010
Episode 25: Seamus Mullen

This week on Taste of the Past Linda spoke with Seamus Mullen of Boqueria & Boqueria Soho. They discussed the many regional cuisines of Spain and why its no longer cooler to get your food Fed-Ex from far off lands than from a small farm upstate.

Jun 10, 2010
Episode 24: Amy Cotler

Linda talks about the trials and tribulations of the devoted Locavore with Amy Cotler, author of “The Locavore Way”. Amy speaks about tried and true techniques to deal with the more confounding issues linked to locavorism, and why its worth the trouble.

Jun 03, 2010
Episode 23: Gabriel Ross

Linda speaks to Gabriel Ross, chef and charcoutier at Dickson’s Farmstand Meats in Chelsea Market, NYC. Get the skinny on bacon and the history of cured and smoked meats here and abroad!

May 27, 2010
Episode 22: Ice Cream with Jon Snyder & Jeri Quinzio

This week on A Taste of the Past Linda spoke with two masters of frozen delights. Jon Snyder of Il Laboratorio del Gelato and Jeri Quinzio, author of “Of Sugar and Snow” stopped by with some delicious insight into the history and future of ice cream.

May 20, 2010
Episode 21: Heirloom Seeds with Amy Goldman

Linda sits down with author, horticulture legend and the worlds premiere vegetable gardener Amy Goldman. Amy also serves as the Board Chair for Seed Savers exchange, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving heirloom plant varieties.

May 13, 2010
Episode 20: Trevor Gulliver

Trevor Gulliver of St John stops by to talk Nose To Tail Philosophy, and preview some of the new projects that he and Fergus Henderson have planned.

May 06, 2010
Episode 19: Mitchell Davis

Linda talks with Mitchell Davis, Vice President of the James Beard Foundation about the Worlds 50 Best Restaurants and the James Beard Awards.

Apr 29, 2010
Episode 18: Rice with Renee Marton

This week’s theme is rice, as Linda is joined by author and chef Renee Marton.

Apr 22, 2010
Episode 17: Bread Baking with Jim Lahey

Linda sits down with Jim Lahey, the owner of Sullivan St Bakery. They talk about the origins of bread baking, and what makes “artisinal” bread.

Apr 15, 2010
Episode 16: Jake Dickson

Linda sits down with Jake Dickson of Dickson’s Farmstand meats. They discuss the recent trend towards traceable and sustainable meats.

Apr 08, 2010
Episode 15: BBQ History with Zak Pelaccio

Zak Pelaccio talks about the history of BBQ and discusses the philosophy behind his newest venture, Fatty ‘Cue

Apr 01, 2010
Episode 14: Passover Cuisine with Jayne Cohen

Jayne Cohen talks about Passover cuisine and her books “Jewish Holiday Cooking” and “The Gefilte Variations”.

Mar 25, 2010
Episode 13: Asian Food Culture with Danielle Chang

Sponsored by Dickson’s Farmstand Meats. Linda talks with Danielle Chang about Asian food culture and upcoming festivals in New York City.

Mar 18, 2010
Episode 12: Maple Syrup

This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda tells us all about the origins and uses of maple syrup.

Mar 11, 2010
Episode 11: Television Cooking Show History with Kathleen Collins

Kathleen Collins, author of Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows, talks about the past, present and future of food television.

Mar 04, 2010
Episode 10: Peter Kaminsky & Donna Gelb

Linda speaks to Peter Kaminsky and Donna Gelb about the book, “Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way”.

Feb 23, 2010
Episode 9: Joanne Lamb Hayes

Author Joanne Lamb Hayes talks about wartime culinary trends, victory gardens & meat Substitutes.

Feb 18, 2010
Episode 8: Italian Cuisine Traditions with Michele Scicolone

This week, Michele Scicolone comes by to talk about croc pots, Italian cuisine traditions and her latest book “The Italian Slow Cooker”.

For more information visit www.michelescicolone.com

Feb 11, 2010
Episode 7: Chinese Food with Andrew Coe

This week on A Taste Of The Past, Linda Pelaccio talks with author and culinary historian Andrew Coe about the cultural history of Chinese food in America.

Feb 04, 2010
Episode 6: Toni Lydecker

On this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda welcomes author Toni Lydecker to the studio to discuss her book “Seafood Alla Siciliana: Recipes & Stories from a Living Tradition”.

Jan 26, 2010
Episode 5: Jewish Delicatessens with David Sax

On this week’s episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda interviews David Sax, author of Save the Deli, about the history of Jewish Delicatessens in America, their recent struggles to stay afloat, and the rising prices of meat.

Jan 21, 2010
Episode 4: Mesopotamian Cuisine with Cathy Kaufman

On this week’s A Taste of the Past, Linda welcomes Cathy Kaufman, professional chef and food writer to the studio to make sense of Mesopotamian cuisine, its birth, development, and the records we have of its recipes.

Jan 11, 2010
Episode 3: History of the Hamburger with Andrew Smith

On this week’s A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio hosts famed food writer Andrew Smith to talk about the history of the hamburger and the emergence of McDonald’s, one of Smith’s thirty most important food moments in American history.

Jan 03, 2010
Episode 2: Punch with David Wondrich

On this week’s A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio takes us on a journey through time to trace the origins and development of punch, with special guest and drink scientist David Wondrich.

Dec 17, 2009
Episode 1: William Grimes: A History of New York Restaurants

On the pilot episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio takes us on a journey through the history of New York City restaurants, from the big boarding house taverns to the Bijou-style eateries.

Dec 10, 2009