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How do you indigenize a food? What are the hummus wars? Tune in to a food identity themed episode of A Taste of the Past as Linda Pelaccio chats with Ari Ariel, Assistant Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at NYU. Tune in to learn how cuisine is shared and sometimes protected in different countries and cultures. Learn what makes a dish "authentic" and how hummus has caused such a fuss between nations. This program was sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

"Migration provokes changes in foodways."

"I think in America we all understand that nothing is truly authentic."

"The word hummus is just the Arab word for chick pea, it has nothing to do with preparation."

--Ari Ariel, Assistant Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at NYU on A Taste of the Past


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This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is joined by Canadian food writer Noami Duguid, who has authored seminal books such as "Seductions of Rice" and "Burma: Rivers of Flavor". Tune in and hear what it's like being an outsider in a foreign land and how Noami navigates cultures and communities to learn about the cuisine that lives amongst them. Find out how the politically oppressed people of Burma operate in their kitchens what makes their food simultaneously accessible and unique. From fish paste to garlic, discover the layered flavors of Burma and the delicious dishes that come from them. This program was sponsored by Hearst Ranch.

"I'm always a beginner - wherever I am. I will never be an expert. All I'm trying to do is get my head in a place where I have some understand of what grows there, how people think about their food, how things are made, what's important to them and what's not important of them." [3:43]

"I didn't want to talk about the people of Burma as victims because we think of victims as less than whole." [9:00]

"In Burmese culture, people use tea leaves in salad. They ferment them, use them fresh or dried." [21:00]

"My problem with breakfast in Burma is there are so many things I want to eat!" [26:50]

"Food is an entry point - it's a way of understanding how things work." [28:30]

-- Noami Duguid on A Taste of the Past


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This week's episode of A Taste of the Past is a dedication to Craig Claiborne, legendary New York Times restaurant critic. Linda Pelaccio is talking with Tom McNamee, author of the recent Craig Claiborne-focused book, The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat. When Craig Claiborne began his career, there was no outlet for critical review of restaurant and food culture. Tune in to hear about how Craig Claiborne transformed The New York Times' food coverage into the critical lens that it is known to be today. Hear about how he brought the star rating system for restaurants to the United States, and how he introduced American households to multitudes of ethnic cuisines. If you think some restaurants are extravagantly priced, listen in to hear about a meal that Mr. Claiborne shared with chef Pierre Franey that cost roughly $20,000 in today's currency. Hear more about the fascinating life and work of Craig Claiborne in this week's episode of A Taste of the Past! This episode was sponsored by White Oak Pastures

"I think it's important to realize what the American context was at the time. It was just shortly after World War II, and industrialized food was in a huge upsurge... it was an absolute wasteland in American food!"

"He was bringing strange things to The New York Times' readership immediately in his first column."

"He kept constantly bringing in the 'outer world', and therefore a lot of things that we take for granted [he introduced in our culture]."

-- Tom McNamee on A Taste of the Past


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