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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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This week on A Taste of the Past, Andrew F. Smith once again joins Linda Pelaccio in the studio! Andy teaches food history at the New School in New York City, and is the author and editor of numerous books on culinary history. On this episode, Andy talks about his newest book called Drinking History: Fifteen Turning Points in the Making of American Beverages. Hear about water quality during the Colonial period, and how it led to the proliferation of alcoholic beverages. Why did beer not succeed initially in the New World? Learn about the gendered considerations of specific drinks, like tea and alcohol. Listen in to find out some surprising facts about Prohibition, and how the movement directly related to the outcome of World War I. This program has been sponsored by 360 Cookware.

"Food is even more important than food. You can go for weeks without food, but you need to take in water every couple of days." [5:40]

"People think that we drink a lot of alcohol now, but we don't drink as much as if it were earlier times." [10:30]

"New Yorkers never believe Prohibition was for them. The upper classes drank from the beginning to the end." [29:40]

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


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Did you know that gangsters controlled nearly all of the food distribution in Depression-era New York City? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio invites Andy Coe to talk about racketeering in New York City food history. Learn how something as innocent as an egg cream was the cause of major crime. Find out what products were controlled by specific gangsters, and how the food rackets weren't eliminated from the Big Apple until the days of Giuliani! Learn about Murder Inc., and how competition was dealt with in the 1940s. Calling all fans of The Godfather: you don't want to miss this installment of A Taste of the Past! This program has been sponsored by The Heritage Meat Shop. Music has been provided by SNOWMINE.

"Today we have supermarkets and bodegas, and the food appears on the shelves and we don't really know where it comes from... Back then, food distribution was much more spread out." [7:45]

-- Andy Coe on A Taste of the Past


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