Rank #1: 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
Rank #2: 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
Rank #3: 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
Rank #4: 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
Nov 10 2011
Rank #5: 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
Rank #6: 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
Rank #7: 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
Rank #8: 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
Rank #9: 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
Rank #10: 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
Rank #11: 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
Rank #12: 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
Rank #13: 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
Rank #14: 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
Rank #15: 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
Rank #16: 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
Rank #17: 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
Rank #18: 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
Rank #19: 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
Rank #20: 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