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What's more American than apple pie? Answer: apple cider! On this week's episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is talking with "apple evangelist" and author of Cider, Hard and Sweet, Ben Watson. Where did the tradition of American cider originate? Hear about how grafting has caused the amount of apple varieties to diminish, and learn about the role of the Industrial Revolution in cider's popularity. Find out how cider stacks up against beer and wine in terms of alcohol content, and learn what varieties of apples make the best cider. Also, learn what differentiates hard cider from apple jack. Also, Sara Grady calls in from Glynwood to talk about their new initiative, The Apple Project. Learn about the importance of hard cider and apple spirits to the regional economy! This program has been brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

"Almost any apple makes decent cider because when you press it, you get different qualities. Is it sour? It's going to have bitterness and astringency to it that adds body- just like wine."

"Apples provided another way to create a beverage that was plentiful and easy to produce."

-- Ben Watson on A Taste of the Past


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We joined cider makers from Aaron Burr, Eden, and Proper Cider at ciderWICK where they shared their philosophies on cider making with us. These artisans are looking at apples in an exciting new light. The outcome of which has been top-quality ciders that are set to reinvigorate cider’s historical place in the American palette.

By Laura del Campo


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Imagine having to cook Thanksgiving dinner over an open fire! This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by historical interpreter Carolina Capehart. Carolina is a hearth-cooking expert, and prefers to cook all types of food over an open flame. Tune into this episode to learn what tools were used in the 1800s to boil vegetables, roast meat, and bake breads. Hear why Carolina is so dedicated to historical accuracy. Carolina explains how the colonialists pioneered local and seasonal eating- out of necessity! Learn about the founding ideals of the United States as an agrarian society. How does the language of the 1800s confuse the recreation of historic recipes? Collect some firewood and slaughter a hog; it's time for this week's episode of A Taste of the Past! This program has been brought to you by White Oak Pastures. Music by Pamela Royal.

"Anything you can cook these days, you can cook oven an open fire. It's just about learning a different system." [3:45]

"These days, everyone says that you need to eat seasonally and locally. Back in the 1800s, they did that, but mainly because they had to!" [20:20]

"90% of people back then were farmers. That was Jefferson's ideal- an agricultural society." [23:10]

-- Carolina Capehart on A Taste of the Past


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