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Untitled
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!


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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


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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


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