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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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Is milk "nature's perfect food"? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined by cookbook historian Anne Mendelson to debunk this myth. Anne is the author of Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages, a cookbook and overview of milk's history. Learn about milk's volatile chemistry, the differences between different mammals' milks, and Anne's thoughts on the raw milk debate. Also, Anne explains the beginnings of the pasteurization and homogenization processes, and how it changed the lives of urban dwellers in the late 1800s. Hear about modern pasteurization processes, from small to large scale. This program has been brought to you by Cain Winery.

"It [milk] is intended to be supplied in one particularly way, and one alone...under those circumstances it is quite safe to drink, even if it's raw. But if you divert it, if you interrupt that closed system... it changes as soon as you divert it into the outside world; you've already interrupted nature the moment you do that."

"Raw milk's sales allow farmers to sell directly to consumers without a middle man. And it's one of the ways that farmers can sell their product for a price so that they can make a living."

--Anne Mendelson on A Taste of the Past


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