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It's Valentine's Day, and there's no better way to celebrate than by indulging with some luxurious chocolate! This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined in the studio by Clay Gordon. Clay authored the book Discover Chocolate, is the moderator of The Chocolate Life, and host of HRN's Straight From the Source. Learn about the origins of chocolate south of the equator, and learn some chocolate terminology. How does one define a 'single origin' chocolate bar? How did the Industrial Revolution and mechanized production shape the chocolate tastes of the world? Hear Clay talk about his recent trip to Peru, and explains how different types of cacao beans ferment. What distinguishes 'good' chocolate from 'bad' chocolate? Tune into this special Valentine's Day edition of A Taste of the Past! This program has been brought to you by The International Culinary Center.

"The closer you get to more genetic diversity, the closer you get to the place of origin." [6:10]

"Every part of the human condition you can connect to chocolate in a meaningful way." [20:40]

-- Clay Gordon on A Taste of the Past


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You think you know pasta? Think again! This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio chats with author and pasta expert Maurren Fant who dispels many common myths around everybody's favorite carb. From cooking times to salting water, Maura breaks down pasta from A-Z and leaves listeners with a much better understanding of the potential, history and variations of pasta. She talks about the process of writing her award-winning book, Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way, and describes what real Italians do when it comes to cooking pasta. The pasta police are definitely patrolling the airwaves - that means no cream in your alfredo, no tomato sauce and angel hair and definitely no overcooked spaghetti! This program was sponsored by Bonnie Plants.

"People believe that pasta exists as a vehicle for sauce - it's quite the opposite. The pasta is the main attraction." [14:00]

"The only way to eat angel hair or tortellini is in broth!" [21:00]

"There is no cream in fettuccine alfredo!" [26:00]

--Maureen Fant on A Taste of the Past


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When it comes to cocktails, Dale DeGroff is literally king. Dale (aka King Cocktail) is the author of the award-winning "The Craft of The Cocktail" and "The Essential Cocktail" (Random House). Dale is most famous for having worked and managed the bars at New York's famous Rainbow Room. Dale was awarded the James Beard Wine & Spirits Professional Award in 2009, and the The Best Bar Mentor at Tales of the Cocktail 2010. He is a partner of Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR), a partnership of six of the world's leading spirits and cocktails authorities who provide training and credentialing in distilled spirits and mixology. Dale is also the founding president of The Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans. Dale's most recent endeavor is his new Pimento Aromatic Bitters, a product he developed with renowned absinthe distiller Ted Breaux. Tune in for a lively discussion with Dale and host Joe Campanale on today's episode of In the Drink

"The art and craft of creating really good tasting drinks for in excess of 300 people over and over several hundred times a day has really been mastered." [03:00]

"It's challenging for young distillers to find ways to bring production costs down but I'm sure that will happen. if you look at the great spirits of the world - they're available in the marketplace for a third of what these artisanal spirits are sold for." [29:00]

"There are five basic sauces in the culinary world and we have our 5 basic sauces for the bar world too." [33:00]

--Dale DeGroff on In the Drink


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