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This week on A Taste of the Past we're talking about the history of bread with hostess, Linda Pelaccio, and her guest, William Rubel. William authored the hearth-cooking book The Magic of Fire, and now has a new book called Bread: A Global History. Listen in as Linda and William discuss the ancient roots of bread making, the social and class implications of certain types of flour and bread, and bread's place in different religious traditions and texts. This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

"Bread is a staple that allowed for the accumulation of material culture, the building of cities. It allowed for the accumulation of surplus, which lead to craft." -- William Rubel on A Taste of the Past


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Pretzel history is this week's topic on A Taste of the Past. Linda interviews Hans Röckenwagner, owner and founder of Restaurant Röckenwagner, James Beard Award winner, pretzel expert and more, about pretzels: where they came from, where they're made, how they came about, and much more. This program has been sponsored by Whole Foods Market. Today's music provided by The California Honeydrops.

"What I love about a pretzel is it has a distinct burstiness." [12:00]

--Hans Röckenwagner on A Taste of the Past


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Baked soft or hard. Served salt encrusted or chocolate ensconced. Whether eaten as a common bar snack or an artisanally oversized roll the pretzel takes on countless contemporary forms. But what are we to make of this elusive baked goods’ long and anecdote-ridden history?

By Elizabeth Kulas


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