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This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio explores the roots of the Christmas celebration. She brings in guest Alice Ross, a distinguished culinary historian who recreated the recipes for a modern version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Dinner". Alice brings us through history, explaining where countless Christmas food traditions come from. This program has been sponsored by Heritage Foods USA. Music provided by Pamela Royal.

Image from AliceRoss.com

"Even though we think of turkey as an American bird, it was brought over to Europe and propagated there." [20:15]

-- Alice Ross on A Taste of the Past


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This week on A Taste of the Past, Abigail Carroll joins host Linda Pelaccio via phone for a discussion on the American meal. Abigail Carroll is the author of Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, where she upends the popular understanding of our most cherished mealtime traditions, revealing that our eating habits have never been stable—far from it, in fact. Whether we’re pouring ourselves a bowl of cereal, grabbing a quick sandwich, or congregating for a family dinner, our mealtime habits are living artifacts of our collective history—and represent only the latest stage in the evolution of the American meal. Tune-in for a historical context on how the dinner table became an evening ritual, and how this has caused with the rise of processed foods and snacking, associated problems as well. This program has been sponsored by Fairway Market. Thanks to The California Honeydrops for today's music.

"We're talking about food in our society almost more than ever, and all these foods trends. But I don't see people talk about how we eat - the social context of food, the family meal, and the value of that." [22:15]

-- Abigail Carroll on A Taste of the Past


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This week on A Taste of the Past get ready to dive in to the re-emerging world of "table-scaping" --ie. how to set and visually design a dinner table setting-- with host Linda Pelaccio. Joined by esteemed guest, food stylist, and historian Rick Ellis, the two delve into rich the history of table setting and food service originating in Europe as well as the research it requires to bring food alive on the silver screen for period pieces. Tune into learn about the difference between "service a la Francaise" and "service a la Russe" as well as some of Rick's favorite historical source material for food styling. This episode is sponsored by Cain Vineyard.

"Service à la française [is where] elaborate tables were set in 2-3 courses all the plates down at once, very symmetrical arrangements, often the food was cold at that point."

"Keeping food looking beautiful and fresh is our biggest challenge."

--Rick Ellis on A Taste of the Past


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