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This week on A Taste of the Past we're talking about the history of bread with hostess, Linda Pelaccio, and her guest, William Rubel. William authored the hearth-cooking book The Magic of Fire, and now has a new book called Bread: A Global History. Listen in as Linda and William discuss the ancient roots of bread making, the social and class implications of certain types of flour and bread, and bread's place in different religious traditions and texts. This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

"Bread is a staple that allowed for the accumulation of material culture, the building of cities. It allowed for the accumulation of surplus, which lead to craft." -- William Rubel on A Taste of the Past


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With all of the focus on ethnic and regional cooking in the modern food movement, why is Russian cuisine so often neglected in the foodie canon? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio sits down with Darra Goldstein, Professor of Russian at Williams College. Darra is also the founder and former Editor in Chief of Gastronomica, and the author of two books- A Taste of Russia and Georgian Feast. Tune into this episode to learn about the staples of Russian cooking. Why did Russian peasants crave sour foods? Learn how Peter the Great Westernized Russian cuisine for the upper classes. Tune in to hear Linda and Darra discuss some traditional Russian beverages such as vodka, kvass, and kefir. Listen in to learn about traditional Russian aversions to ocean fish and bears! This program has been brought to you by Bi-Rite Market.

"The new Russia is so fascinating... The capital cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg- you would hardly be able to recognize them if you lived there when it was the Soviet Union. There are many foreign chefs working there." [7:00]

"One thing that distinguishes Russian cuisine is the stove's falling temperature." [22:50]

-- Darra Goldstein on A Taste of the Past


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