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William Sitwell, author of A History of Food in 100 Recipes, joins Linda Pelaccio for this week's episode of A Taste of the Past to talk about the evolution of the food industry over hundreds of years. Tune in to hear William talk about the initiation of fast food and supermarkets, and how the idea of self-service mechanized the business of eating. From Mesopotamia to Mario Batali, William highlights and reproduces important recipes in order to transport the reader to specific time periods. How do different foods denote status? Learn about William's literary lineage, and how that inspired his writing. How did William decide to outline his book, and why does food history research require primary sources? Find out all of this and more on this week's edition of A Taste of the Past! Thanks to our sponsor, Hearst Ranch, and thanks to Plexophonic for today's break music.

"Food is a wonderful subject for journalists because it touches on so many aspects of everyone's lives." [3:30]

-- William Sitwell on A Taste of the Past


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From food culture in 800BCE to the present day, this week's episode of A Taste of the Past will take you there. With the help of New School professor of food studies, Fabio Parasecoli, host Linda Pelaccio takes you on a world tour of food globalization throughout major world time periods. Parasecoli, who has also edited an encyclopedic 6-volume tome on the subject-- A Cultural History of Food-- discusses the rise of food scholarship in major learning institutes around the world as well how food, not just eating, is taking an ever-expanding presence in every aspect of daily life. This episode is sponsored by Fairway Market

"Food has become very important in social and political debates. So my question is were those debates already there at the Roman times, what happened in the middle ages? For example, is the family meal really an institution or did we create it 100 years ago and we just pretend its been there forever?"

--Fabio Parasecoli on A Taste of the Past


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For most of us, soy sauce is little more than a salty side note. What started out as a by-product of food preservation methods in ancient China has developed into a star ingredient with global reach. What are we to make of one of the world's oldest condiments, its origins, and introduction to the United States?

By Elizabeth Kulas

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