A Taste of the Past

A Taste of the Past

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.... Show More

Episodes

July 8, 2020 49 min

This week we're presenting the first episode of Eat Your Heartland Out. Eat Your Heartland Out is a series dedicated to highlighting the rich, yet often overlooked, culinary depth of the American Midwest. Food is the storyteller while host Capri S. Cafaro serves as your audio tour guide through this region spanning 12 states.  

The show aims to weave a tapestry of cultural diversity, immigration history, migration patterns and a...

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May 7, 2020 50 min

Since ancient times societies have helped the hungry--those who had no access to food. Today we have food pantries, food banks, and soup kitchens. Linda talks to Stephen Henderson who has volunteered in soup kitchens around the world for the past ten years about the history of this system of feeding those in need.

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April 25, 2020 46 min

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “comfort food” is “food that comforts or affords solace;" It is the food people turn to in a crisis or time of uncertainty. And the current coronavirus pandemic has people eating those foods that evoke a psychologically comfortable state. Prof. Lucy Long speaks about the history and broader theories of comfort food.

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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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February 24, 2020 34 min

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 re...

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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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January 30, 2020 52 min

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, hi...

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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 ...

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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 abo...

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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 betwe...

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December 5, 2019 47 min

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...

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November 21, 2019 38 min

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 ...

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November 14, 2019 50 min

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...

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November 7, 2019 41 min

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, Nove...

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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 ...

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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 foo...

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October 3, 2019 47 min

“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.

A Taste of the Past...

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September 19, 2019 50 min

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...

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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 ...

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July 18, 2019 43 min

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 pic...

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