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What's more American than apple pie? Answer: apple cider! On this week's episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is talking with "apple evangelist" and author of Cider, Hard and Sweet, Ben Watson. Where did the tradition of American cider originate? Hear about how grafting has caused the amount of apple varieties to diminish, and learn about the role of the Industrial Revolution in cider's popularity. Find out how cider stacks up against beer and wine in terms of alcohol content, and learn what varieties of apples make the best cider. Also, learn what differentiates hard cider from apple jack. Also, Sara Grady calls in from Glynwood to talk about their new initiative, The Apple Project. Learn about the importance of hard cider and apple spirits to the regional economy! This program has been brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

"Almost any apple makes decent cider because when you press it, you get different qualities. Is it sour? It's going to have bitterness and astringency to it that adds body- just like wine."

"Apples provided another way to create a beverage that was plentiful and easy to produce."

-- Ben Watson on A Taste of the Past


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On this week's episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is talking about ancient and whole grains with Maria Speck, IACP award winning author of the NYTimes notable book Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. Topics include Maria's upbringing with whole grains, the health benefits of eating grains, and why ancient grains have become fashionable in the food world. Quinoa has been back on the scene for a while, but learn about some lesser known grains such as emmer, kamut- and the most ancient of them all- einkorn. Maria's book includes grain dishes for all of your courses- appetizers, meals, and deserts! Listen to this episode, and you will be an ancient grain expert. This episode is sponsored by Cain Vineyard and Winery.

"The key and my passion is to tell people that whole grains can taste really good."

"In average supermarkets, grain selections are becoming bigger and bigger."

"A big trend in baking is that bakers are looking for local grains and freshly-milled flour."

-- Maria Speck on A Taste of the Past


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"Each time a good cook dies without passing down recipes, family dishes become suddenly lost forever." - Unknown. This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio talks with food writer Donna Pierce about preserving the past through cuisine and recipes. Donna Pierce started Skillet Diares, a website dedicated to "remembering, preserving, and passing down the flavors of home." Tune in to hear Linda and Donna discuss the importance of digital media in preserving recipes, the necessity for oral traditions, and the variations in recipes from region to region. Also, check out Donna's other site, Black American Cooks, which is all about preserving an African American cultural history through generations of recipes. This episode has been brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

"When I grew up, I clung to everything about my grandmother and parents' past, and the creole food that they loved."

"I really understand the importance of [cookbook style and design]. Sometimes it's more important than the written description- and that's a hard thing for a writer to say."

--Donna Pierce on A Taste of the Past


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