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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 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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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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