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This week on A Taste of the Past, Andrew F. Smith once again joins Linda Pelaccio in the studio! Andy teaches food history at the New School in New York City, and is the author and editor of numerous books on culinary history. On this episode, Andy talks about his newest book called Drinking History: Fifteen Turning Points in the Making of American Beverages. Hear about water quality during the Colonial period, and how it led to the proliferation of alcoholic beverages. Why did beer not succeed initially in the New World? Learn about the gendered considerations of specific drinks, like tea and alcohol. Listen in to find out some surprising facts about Prohibition, and how the movement directly related to the outcome of World War I. This program has been sponsored by 360 Cookware.

"Food is even more important than food. You can go for weeks without food, but you need to take in water every couple of days." [5:40]

"People think that we drink a lot of alcohol now, but we don't drink as much as if it were earlier times." [10:30]

"New Yorkers never believe Prohibition was for them. The upper classes drank from the beginning to the end." [29:40]

-- Andrew F. Smith on A Taste of the Past


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What differentiates an herb from a weed? And what historical significance do herbs hold? Today's episode of A Taste of the Past is a culinary history of herbs. Linda Pelaccio is joined by Gary Allen, herbalist and author of the recent book, Herbs: A Global History. Tune in to hear the difference between herbs and spices. Learn about extinct herbal plants and their ancient uses. Hear about the exchange of regional herbs, and how it has changed the culinary landscape and the food we eat today. Culturally, herbs are symbols for for memory, love, and fidelity. How did these associations come to be? Find out this, and so much more on this week's A Taste of the Past. This episode has been sponsored by Whole Foods.

"Technically herbal teas are not teas- they are infusions. True tea is only the tea plant: camellia sinensis."

"All foods are fusion foods, because every time anyone runs into anyone from anywhere they adapt their dishes to new ingredients and new circumstances."

"Rosemary is often associated with memory because its scent lingers for so long."

-- Gary Allen on A Taste of the Past


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Nawal Nasrallah joins Linda Pelaccio in the studio to celebrate the new edition of her book, Delights from the Garden of Eden. This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda and Nawal delve into the history of Iraqi cuisine and the Sumerian people. Learn about some of the world's oldest recipes written on cuneiform tablets. Learn about the importance of stews in the Iraqi diet! How did traditional, medieval-influenced Iraqi recipes change with the discovery of the New World? Tune into this episode to learn more about cooking techniques for masgouf! Find out how Nawal blends ancient, medieval, and modern recipes in her book! This program has been sponsored by Hearst Ranch. Thanks to SNOWMINE for today's musical interlude.

"I wanted people to see the other side of Iraq- the culture, the food- the bright side! This was my chance." [3:00]

"We had a revolution in our kitchens in the 19th century when the tomato was introduced." [25:40]

-- Nawal Nasrallah on A Taste of the Past


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