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Across America’s diverse kitchens and cuisines, peanut butter is perhaps the closest thing to a universal staple. Listen in and learn how it became that way.

By Elizabeth Kulas


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Everyone has heard about George Washington Carver, and his famous peanut preparations. But did you know that he did not actually invent peanut butter? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is setting the peanut butter record straight with author Jon Krampner. Jon recently wrote Creamy & Curnchy, a book all about the history and evolution of peanut butter! Learn about the most popular peanut varieties, and whether or not they can be turned into good peanut butter. Hear about the five major changes that have occurred in peanut butter production throughout the years. How do preferred flavors and textures of peanut butter change throughout different areas of the the United States? Learn about the important cultural role that peanut butter plays in the United States, and why it proved to be useful in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. This episode has been sponsored by White Oak Pastures.

"I think the [return to natural peanut butter] is part of a broader trend of Americans just wanting to eat in a more healthy and natural way, and reject some of the corporate foods that have been foisted upon them." [24:00]

-- Jon Krampner on A Taste of the Past


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What is Midwestern cuisine? We may not ever know, but we get closer to understanding the food of the Midwest on a new episode of A Taste of the Past. Host Linda Pelaccio is joined by Peggy Wolff, author of Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie. With its corn by the acre, beef on the hoof, Quaker Oats, and Kraft Mac n’ Cheese, the Midwest eats pretty well and feeds the nation on the side. But there’s more to the midwestern kitchen and palate than the farm food and sizable portions the region is best known for beyond its borders. It is to these heartland specialties, from the heartwarming to the downright weird, that Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie invites the reader. Tune in and get some brilliant insight into an often overlooked region and its impact on the way we eat in America. This program was brought to you by The Greenhouse Tavern.

"Wisconsin is a huge cherry growing region but nothing beats northern Michigan." [20:00]

"When you criss cross the midwest and hit the farmers markets you see, what I call, real food. You're gonna see a nod to the housewives back in the 50's with homemade pickles and preserves." [23:00]

"I think the Midwest can claim the roots of fast food. Where we would be without the whole notion of fast food?" [25:00]

--Peggy Wolff on A Taste of the Past


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