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Some plants, like onions and garlic, have chemical defenses that prevent animals like us from eating them. Unfortunately for them, when cooked right these defenses can be delicious. Find out how cutting and cooking methods can dramatically effect the harshness of garlic and onions, and why.

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On today's episode of A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio talks about the huge craze that surrounds fried foods: fried chicken! The guest on today's show is Michael Twitty, culinary historian of African and African American foods. What makes each fried chicken dish so special? Learn more about the history behind fried chicken, it's many cultural influences, and what truly makes fried chicken the comfort food for so many. Also find out about Michael's latest project, The Cooking Gene, which aims to promote greater awareness of African American contributions to the development of Southern cuisine, promote community service and development, support the local economies of Southern communities and African American food producers, and encourage a dialogue that leads to racial reconciliation and healing in communities whose history and culture is a legacy of slavery and the slave trade. Lastly, Tonya Hopkins, The Food Griot, talks about Edna Lewis, and how she has inspired American cuisine today. Also listen to a recent panel at the New School, discussing Chef Edna Lewis at the link below. (http://youtu.be/J0A3Ba9OhtA) This program has been sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons

"When I make chicken, for me it's always a transformative, transcendent and ritual experience." [8:43]

"That's the thing that excites me. We just don't tell these stories enough." [22:35]

-- Michael Twitty on A Taste of the Past

"Griot means storyteller. I see the world through the lens of food, and therefore I am food storyteller, or the food griot. [25:10]"

-- Tonya Hopkins on A Taste of the Past


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Nawal Nasrallah joins Linda Pelaccio in the studio to celebrate the new edition of her book, Delights from the Garden of Eden. This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda and Nawal delve into the history of Iraqi cuisine and the Sumerian people. Learn about some of the world's oldest recipes written on cuneiform tablets. Learn about the importance of stews in the Iraqi diet! How did traditional, medieval-influenced Iraqi recipes change with the discovery of the New World? Tune into this episode to learn more about cooking techniques for masgouf! Find out how Nawal blends ancient, medieval, and modern recipes in her book! This program has been sponsored by Hearst Ranch. Thanks to SNOWMINE for today's musical interlude.

"I wanted people to see the other side of Iraq- the culture, the food- the bright side! This was my chance." [3:00]

"We had a revolution in our kitchens in the 19th century when the tomato was introduced." [25:40]

-- Nawal Nasrallah on A Taste of the Past


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