300 episodes

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.

A Taste of the Past Heritage Radio Network

    • Food
    • 4.1, 243 Ratings

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.

    History of Soup Kitchens

    History of Soup Kitchens

    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.

    • 50 min
    Comfort Food

    Comfort Food

    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.

    • 46 min
    The Food Supply Chain and History of Beans

    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.

    • 50 min
    Golden Arches in Black America

    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.

    • 34 min
    Darra Goldstein: Seeking The Flavors of Russian Cooking

    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.

    • 48 min
    Poison Squad: Founding of the FDA

    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.

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
243 Ratings

243 Ratings

lyn828 ,

Southern cuisine

The guest talks too fast and runs his words together. Hard to digest.

hjaski ,

Fascinating Topics but Hit or Miss

There are a lot of fascinating topics brought up in this podcast. In the past few days I’ve really enjoyed some older episodes like Eat Your Words (about the linguistic and historical changes that some of our food names in English have undergone), the one about Mark Twain’s favorite American foods, and the one about the Libyan Jewish cuisine in Rome. I’ve learned fun and interesting facts and usually have my browser open to read further into some of the facts brought up.

With that said, I have to agree with some other commenters in a few points. Some guests seem out of their element, particularly up and coming authors. I’m sure the book about beans, for example, was interesting—but the author doesn’t seem like she’s done any sort of podcast or public speaking. I’ve come across several other episodes like this as well. I’m not sure what the solution to this would be, but some episodes are hard to listen.

It unfortunately also does tend to come off as very Western-centric. Especially in a place like New York, one would expect to find authors and cooks from all over the world, yet the guests are more often than not white Americans. As a white American who is fascinated by the Middle Eastern cultures, languages, and cuisines and has lived in Israel/Palestine and Jordan, I had been hoping to hear more from the people who actually grew up in that region and were steeped in the culture and cuisines—rather than other Westerners who are interested in these topics but only know about them by proxy. Add some diversity, not for diversity’s sake alone but to make the podcasts richer and deeper.

I personally don’t mind Linda’s delivery—but it’s clear when she’s interested in a topic and when she’s bored. The latter point is something to consider working on, but I actually really like the episodes where she jokes with the guests and is actively engaged in the conversation.

Overall I enjoy this podcast a lot, but I’d like to see more diversity in guests and fewer unprepared guests. Thank you for making this show!

yeast 5 ,

Beans

Guest speaker is too nervous to give enough information. Maybe you should screen better.

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