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Across America’s diverse kitchens and cuisines, peanut butter is perhaps the closest thing to a universal staple. Listen in and learn how it became that way.

By Elizabeth Kulas


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Everyone has heard about George Washington Carver, and his famous peanut preparations. But did you know that he did not actually invent peanut butter? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is setting the peanut butter record straight with author Jon Krampner. Jon recently wrote Creamy & Curnchy, a book all about the history and evolution of peanut butter! Learn about the most popular peanut varieties, and whether or not they can be turned into good peanut butter. Hear about the five major changes that have occurred in peanut butter production throughout the years. How do preferred flavors and textures of peanut butter change throughout different areas of the the United States? Learn about the important cultural role that peanut butter plays in the United States, and why it proved to be useful in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. This episode has been sponsored by White Oak Pastures.

"I think the [return to natural peanut butter] is part of a broader trend of Americans just wanting to eat in a more healthy and natural way, and reject some of the corporate foods that have been foisted upon them." [24:00]

-- Jon Krampner 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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