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A Taste of the Past

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Thursdays at 12:00PM EST Theme song by Bohemia 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. Learn more at: www.culinaryhistoriansny.org Linda Pelaccio is a former producer of talk radio and TV food shows, and is a member of Culinary Historians of New York, New York Women's Culinary Alliance, Les Dames d'Escoffier, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). Heritage Radio Network. All Rights Reserved.




Culinary Historians of New York P.O. Box 3289 New York, NY 10163 (718) 497-2128


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.

Duration: 00:47:39

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.

Duration: 00:48:30

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.

Duration: 00:49:29

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.

Duration: 00:52:51

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...

Duration: 00:50:55

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.

Duration: 00:56:14

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.

Duration: 00:43:41

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.

Duration: 00:36:38

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...

Duration: 00:27:58

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.

Duration: 00:45:01

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...

Duration: 00:42:21

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...

Duration: 00:35:30

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...

Duration: 00:37:25

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.

Duration: 00:47:22

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.

Duration: 00:34:56

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.

Duration: 00:45:15

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...

Duration: 00:32:02

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...

Duration: 00:31:50

Episode 217: Nordic Cuisine

From smoked arctic char, meatball stew and savory puffed pancakes to Swedish almond wreaths, cardamom braids and whipped berry pudding,...

Duration: 00:39:34

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...

Duration: 00:33:48

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