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Linda Pelaccio begins today's episode of A Taste of the Past by taking a moment to spread the word about Family-to-Family, a relief organization that allows a group of people to sponsor a family who has been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Thanksgiving has always been accompanied by charitable spirit; check out Family-to-Family, and get involved with the hurricane relief efforts. Today, Linda is speaking with food historian Sandy Oliver about the roots of Thanksgiving! Sandy is also the author of the book Saltwater Foodways, a history of Yankee cooking and New England eating traditions, and the recent Maine Home Cooking. Tune into this episode to learn about the religious considerations of Thanksgiving, and how it came to be a national holiday. What foods were most likely on the table during the first harvest feast? Sandy and Linda share some dishes that you may not recognize! Hear about the history of Thanksgiving commercialism! This program has been sponsored by Rolling Press.

"Most of us don't recognize mincemeat for the preserve that it is. It is a way of preserving meat along with apples and other kinds of fruits. It also was convenience food." [14:05]

-- Sandy Oliver on A Taste of the Past


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In 1827, before Delmonico's opened, diners ate at cafes and boarding houses (inns), where the food was simply the food available that day from the farms. Diners had no choice of dishes, but ate the food that was served. Delmonico's changed all of that. Today's guest is Billy Oliva, graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and currently the Executive Chef at Delmonico's. This program has been sponsored by Heritage Foods USA. Today's music provided by Pamela Royal.

"[Delmonico's] is history. And when you walk through the door you feel that way." [5:15]

"Ireland is not really known for food but that has changed so much." [28:00]

--Billy Oliva on A Taste of the Past


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Across America’s diverse kitchens and cuisines, peanut butter is perhaps the closest thing to a universal staple. Listen in and learn how it became that way.

By Elizabeth Kulas


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