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How does one begin to encapsulate the varied cuisine of Italy? On this episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined by Associate Professor at the New School, Fabio Parasecoli. Recently, Fabio released Al Dente, a book about the history of food in Italy. Learn how a desire for modernization suppressed the interest in Italian heirloom ingredients. Find out how economic conditions shaped Italian cuisine today. Why is Italian food so regionally diverse, and how do Italians express their local pride through food? How did Italians incorporate agricultural products from other areas into their culinary identity? Find out on this week's episode of A Taste of the Past! Thanks to our sponsor, The International Culinary Center. Music by Idgy Dean.

"There was this idea of being 'modern' rather than 'Italian', and that allowed for the spread of products throughout the country, and many of them were industrialized food products." [9:30]

-- Fabio Parasecoli on A Taste of the Past


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This week on Food Talk, Mike interviews some fantastic women chefs working in New York. First we hear from chef de cuisine Lauren DeSteno of Marea, and Italian restaurant on the southern end of Central Park. Later, we're joined in the studio by chef Ayesha Nurdjaja of Red Gravy in Brooklyn. This program has been sponsored by Cento, King Arthur, and Colavita. Thanks to Brothers NYC for today's music.

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"I had wanted to go to culinary school for so long that every second was the best moment I've ever had." [19:45]

"No one's coming into this industry to make money, I mean let's be honest." [25:45]

Lauren DeSteno on Food Talk with Mike Colameco


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Did you know that gangsters controlled nearly all of the food distribution in Depression-era New York City? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio invites Andy Coe to talk about racketeering in New York City food history. Learn how something as innocent as an egg cream was the cause of major crime. Find out what products were controlled by specific gangsters, and how the food rackets weren't eliminated from the Big Apple until the days of Giuliani! Learn about Murder Inc., and how competition was dealt with in the 1940s. Calling all fans of The Godfather: you don't want to miss this installment of A Taste of the Past! This program has been sponsored by The Heritage Meat Shop. Music has been provided by SNOWMINE.

"Today we have supermarkets and bodegas, and the food appears on the shelves and we don't really know where it comes from... Back then, food distribution was much more spread out." [7:45]

-- Andy Coe on A Taste of the Past


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