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This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio talks about the history of ramen in Japan and the United States with George Solt, author of The Untold History of Ramen. Tune into this episode to learn how international relations and trade agreements allowed ramen to evolve in Japan using non-traditional ingredients. How do ramen noodles different from other Japanese noodle soups like soba? How did ramen preparations change in order to satisfy the caloric needs of the Japanese population. Tune into this program to learn more about the first instances of instant ramen, ramen museum, and the dish's nutritional value! Are ramen shops in Japan as popular as their equivalents in the United States today? Tune in to find out! Thanks to our sponsor, S. Wallace Edwards & Sons. Music by Pamela Royal.

"Until the introduction of Western food culture en mass in the 19th Century, the Japanese didn't eat much meat; it was much more of fish and vegetable type of eating culture... It shows how politics, international relations, and trade affect food culture." [6:50]

"The pushcart is really the site that the ramen phenomenon came from." [9:20]

-- George Solt on A Taste of the Past


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Did you know that most Americans did not eat tuna until the 20th century? On this week's episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio sits down with Andrew F. Smith, a food historian and author of the recent book, American Tuna: The Rise and Fall of an Improbable Food. Learn about how Mediterranean immigrant populations popularized the fish in the United States, and how the Japanese made it a staple of culinary culture. Hear about how American preferences in terms of tuna preparation have changed over the decades, from canned to raw. With all of the media attention concerning methylmercury, is tuna still safe to eat? Tune in to learn more about the different varieties of tuna, population levels, and the role of sport fisherman in the tuna industry. This episode has been brought to you by Hearst Ranch.

"Once you remove the oil from it, it's actually a very mild-tasting fish. You can use it as a substitute in pretty much all of your chicken recipes."

"80% of the Bluefin tuna stock that was around in the 1970s is now gone. The thought used to be if we restricted catching, then we would give the population an opportunity to recover... There's no evidence that supports that."

-- Andrew F. Smith on A Taste of the Past


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Cocktail Kingdom provides Manhattan’s bartending scene with some of the best equipment out there, sourcing products from Japan, the UK, and Germany. Tune in to hear Damon Boelte interview Cocktail Kingdom’s general manager, Ethan Kahn. This piece was brought to you by The International Culinary Center.

By Trigg Brown

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