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This week on A Taste of the Past we're talking about the history of bread with hostess, Linda Pelaccio, and her guest, William Rubel. William authored the hearth-cooking book The Magic of Fire, and now has a new book called Bread: A Global History. Listen in as Linda and William discuss the ancient roots of bread making, the social and class implications of certain types of flour and bread, and bread's place in different religious traditions and texts. This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

"Bread is a staple that allowed for the accumulation of material culture, the building of cities. It allowed for the accumulation of surplus, which lead to craft." -- William Rubel on A Taste of the Past


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Everyone has heard about George Washington Carver, and his famous peanut preparations. But did you know that he did not actually invent peanut butter? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is setting the peanut butter record straight with author Jon Krampner. Jon recently wrote Creamy & Curnchy, a book all about the history and evolution of peanut butter! Learn about the most popular peanut varieties, and whether or not they can be turned into good peanut butter. Hear about the five major changes that have occurred in peanut butter production throughout the years. How do preferred flavors and textures of peanut butter change throughout different areas of the the United States? Learn about the important cultural role that peanut butter plays in the United States, and why it proved to be useful in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. This episode has been sponsored by White Oak Pastures.

"I think the [return to natural peanut butter] is part of a broader trend of Americans just wanting to eat in a more healthy and natural way, and reject some of the corporate foods that have been foisted upon them." [24:00]

-- Jon Krampner on A Taste of the Past


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This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio explores the roots of the Christmas celebration. She brings in guest Alice Ross, a distinguished culinary historian who recreated the recipes for a modern version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Dinner". Alice brings us through history, explaining where countless Christmas food traditions come from. This program has been sponsored by Heritage Foods USA. Music provided by Pamela Royal.

Image from AliceRoss.com

"Even though we think of turkey as an American bird, it was brought over to Europe and propagated there." [20:15]

-- Alice Ross on A Taste of the Past


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