I absolutely love this podcast. I am a home cook and I listen while cooking and drinking tea or coffee. Linda is obviously so kind and curious, and I feel like I am spending time with an equally fascinated friend, “nerding out.” Warm and wonderful!
Somehow makes food history dull & biased
As an avid consumer of food media as well as an accomplished and widely traveled home cook, I have tried to like this show. The recent Bean episode is a good example. I’ve cooked beans from scratch all my life. I’ve lived, worked and traveled in Asia and Latin America, we are beans are part of nearly every meal in some form or another. The perspective given in the show was that “civilization” arose because of the benefits of farmed legumes in Mesopotamia. It seems like a bit of willful ignorance to fail to note that the ancient Inca, Maya, Mexica and Aztec cultures thrived around the same periods of time - and cultivated beans. Archaeological records also indicate that legumes were extensively farmed in what is now northern Korea and China. Perhaps legumes had some impact on the rise of those civilizations as well? Or the several varieties of beans and peas grown in sub-Saharan Africa? Or are they simply not included because they don’t bear on a Eurocentric identity? I know this sounds like nitpicking, but it reflects a larger pattern of Eurocentric bias in this show. Food history happened everywhere human beings ate. Either be more clear in your statements, for example, “Mediterranean and European cultural development benefited from Mesopotamian cultivation of legumes”, or touch on the other civilizations also. The time is over for non-European cultures to be relegated to the “ethnic aisle. “
Was looking forward to this culinary historian’s topics; sounded promising. Tried the Chinese street food too but couldn't listen further. Linda sounded like she just wants to rush through interview and point out talking points she found fascinating yet sounds disingenuous to the 2 guests on the Montgomery County episode. I can hear someone clicking on computer while the guest was talking too. She’d quickly say “mhmm” “all right” after the guests talk and move onto next topic. Sounds like she was just here to show off her knowledge instead of genuinely learn from her guests.
The guest talks too fast and runs his words together. Hard to digest.
Fascinating Topics but Hit or Miss
There are a lot of fascinating topics brought up in this podcast. In the past few days I’ve really enjoyed some older episodes like Eat Your Words (about the linguistic and historical changes that some of our food names in English have undergone), the one about Mark Twain’s favorite American foods, and the one about the Libyan Jewish cuisine in Rome. I’ve learned fun and interesting facts and usually have my browser open to read further into some of the facts brought up. With that said, I have to agree with some other commenters in a few points. Some guests seem out of their element, particularly up and coming authors. I’m sure the book about beans, for example, was interesting—but the author doesn’t seem like she’s done any sort of podcast or public speaking. I’ve come across several other episodes like this as well. I’m not sure what the solution to this would be, but some episodes are hard to listen. It unfortunately also does tend to come off as very Western-centric. Especially in a place like New York, one would expect to find authors and cooks from all over the world, yet the guests are more often than not white Americans. As a white American who is fascinated by the Middle Eastern cultures, languages, and cuisines and has lived in Israel/Palestine and Jordan, I had been hoping to hear more from the people who actually grew up in that region and were steeped in the culture and cuisines—rather than other Westerners who are interested in these topics but only know about them by proxy. Add some diversity, not for diversity’s sake alone but to make the podcasts richer and deeper. I personally don’t mind Linda’s delivery—but it’s clear when she’s interested in a topic and when she’s bored. The latter point is something to consider working on, but I actually really like the episodes where she jokes with the guests and is actively engaged in the conversation. Overall I enjoy this podcast a lot, but I’d like to see more diversity in guests and fewer unprepared guests. Thank you for making this show!
Guest speaker is too nervous to give enough information. Maybe you should screen better.
Villainous Capitalism? Really?
I am a lifelong liberal and this intro is DISGUSTING. I grew up in the most white area there was and we had McDonalds everywhere for us “white” folk. Talk about racist. No one knows who you are. You can’t even read the intros well. Boring. Yikes...
I thought I was going to learn about culinary history but instead I just heard a couple of people talking about nonsense for about 30 minutes before I gave up. Very very disappointed by the miss guidance in the title. Albeit I only heard the 30 minutes of one episode which means that I have really no base to judge but it was long enough for me to know that I will never be hearing this podcast again.
I wish the interviewer would stop cutting in when the authors are talking it is very annoying .
I love hearing the author interviews. The in-depth historical detail is fascinating. I listened to the whole podcast from start to finish!
Amazing topics related to food and history!
I came upon A Taste of the Past by accident and have never looked back!! I learn something ( many things!!) every episode of this podcast! It’s my favorite one! From Sugar to salt to peanuts and seeds to cookbooks and women’s rights...all kinds of tidbits and history! I’m thankful that this podcasts opens my eyes to so many things about the history of food!
Fascinating top, wrong host
I love this topic so much but I just can’t listen to the host fumble and stammer through the material. There were a few episodes that I pushed through because the guest was great. Please, someone revamp this podcast format.
This hasn't updated since mid March; is the podcast finished putting out new shows?
Much better than its 4 Star rating
Unique approach to a cooking podcast...combining history and cooking. The host is charming and asks questions to the guests that you’d ask. Enjoy!
Highly recommended for foodies who want to understand more. The style is very laidback and enjoyable to listen to. History and interesting stories and FOOOD
Overly western centric
Why do so many of the ethnic cuisine deep dives involve white “experts” on a particular subject rather then native practitioners? (Eg Chinese street food). They speak English and don’t need outsiders to bring the light. Linda loves to hear herself speak.
Food from a historical perspective
Great podcast that blends food and history. I love to listen while baking. Linda has on great guests and while her off-the-cuff banter can be awkward at times, she does her research on the guest's subject and asks great questions, making each episode fly by enjoyably with a lot of info and clear joy of the subject.
I wanted so much to love this but it is incredibly badly edited. The team needs to take the temperature on where podcasts are currently at and update their format and approach. The phone interviews are awkward and the sound quality is terrible. They let guests fumble on, basically saying nothing and the host also stumbles around a lot. Subject matter is amazing, wish I could stand listening to it. Cringe.
Poor production but interesting content
The sound quality of this podcast is very inconsistent and the interviewer doesn’t seem very experienced despite apparently having hosted the podcast for years. But the guests are wonderful and interesting and I always learn something. Plus, with a lot of episodes, this has become my go-to podcast for getting to sleep
Could be so great
This podcast has so many interesting guests, but many of the conversations don’t get very far past a shallow overview of the book.
One of my staples for several years now!
I've gone back through the archives and have listened to every episode, resulting in my learning so much about foods of the world! Linda is an excellent interviewer - curious and knowledgable and enthusiastic about food. My favorite episode was the foods of Iran - I probably listened to it three times since I rewound it so many times to listen to the dish descriptions. Cheers!
Perfect Work Day Treat
I thoroughly enjoy listening to Linda interview her guests on a wide range of topics. The sprinkling of history throughout each episode is delightful! The breadth of food history covered ensures I am always learning and there is always something I want to listen to next. I Love listening and learning to this podcast!
Food and History - what could be bad?
Many very very interesting topics - it took me a little while to appreciate Linda Pelaccio, but I sure do now. Really recommended as cultural history
I wanted to like it, but...
The review of A-Z Southern is just too excruciating. The host continually says things like "Now, MOST people consider this type of food to be inedible, but nooooot the Southerners!" and her guest is left to gracefully deflect her not-remotely-veiled insults to his work and his heritage by reminding her than most southern culinary traditions are borrowed from all parts of the world. Pretty classless. If she can't be professional about a huge swath of the country, how can I expect anything more from the rest of the podcast. No thanks.
Could be so much better
This is a good example of a show in which it’s not the guest who shines but the host tries to be the star. Very poor questions, a lot of fillers, sometimes she states a point to which the guest doesn’t know what to say. Given how interesting this topic is, she hardly ever gets many ahas for the listener.
Relaxing and Informative Listen!
Love this podcast. Feel like I can always relax into listening, and trust Linda’s expertise to take me along on an interesting and informative journey. Love love love it.
Really good...and then---not so good....
Some episodes are fascinating and then some are boring or annoying or have poor production values like BG noise or static. The interviewer,Linda has a few quirks, umming and sounding bored with answers that she could get control over. There is music played during the break that varies in each episode, and it would be nice to know what it is.
Let your guest tell the story
The host is a really mediocre interviewer.
Boring, where is the information?
So much talk, so little information. Leave in all the ahhh's and pauses and speak in generalities. Leave out any hard facts about the topic covered and you have this podcast.
Take a weekly journey through food history, and shed unwanted pounds!
Granted, I manage to shed those pounds because A Taste of the Past is my regular workout companion at the gym. Each new episode (and the hundreds of older episodes, too!) provides a mellow balance to an otherwise intense 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. Often the guests inspire me to redouble my own food explorations -- which, of course, brings me back to the gym, and to another episode. It's a virtuous circle of the best sort.
Eating In Translation
The topics are interesting, but often the quality of the guest's audio is so poor that it's too difficult to understand. The host is the major problem with this podcast. She is SO pompous and elitist, and dismissive of anything that isn't up to her standard. "I just won't buy an olive oil that's under $12." Well, good for you. She also can't seem to get her thoughts out without insufferable amounts of uh-ing and tangential comments. Many times I have yelled at my phone, "Spit out what you're trying to say, lady!" Take some communication classes.
This is a great podcast for anyone interested in the connection bewtween food and history. Even if you're not a history buff, you'll find some of the topics really fascinating. I listened to the episode about how the military has influenced our food. It was crazy to learn about those connections. Good stuff.
UPDATE: 10-7-16 Something screwey is going on - every time I update my podcasts, this one starts downloading ALL of your previous episodes. ALL of them! I finally had to delete the podcast from my line-up. I hope this issue gets resolved soon! I downloaded a few episodes to try it out and found it to be quite interesting and invormative.
The host just can't let the guests finish their sentences, can she? Who cares about your opinions? I'm here to hear what the experts have to say. Stop effing interrupting them! Worst podcast host ever.
Wish I liked it
I think the content of this podcast isn't bad, but I can't listen to it past the horrible little theme song. It's the worst theme song for a media thing, it's like they got together and purposefully searched for the most irritating song, and they play it throughout the episode. It's unbearable.
A Perfect Marriage of Past and Present
What happens when you combine voracious historical curiosity, a beautiful voice, and a lot of good food? A Taste of the Past is what happens. Linda Pelaccio is a brilliant host and her way with words is lovely to listen to. Her guests are always knowledgeable and engaging. A Taste of the Past is a great way to learn a lot in a short time while having a lot of fun.
History of potato chips, turkey—apples
who knew history lessons could be so much fun—I love this show, learn something new every episode
I just discovered this podcast. I am thoroughly enjoying this. It is so fun to listen to and Linda is so knowledgeable on the topics. Asks great questions and keeps the conversation on task and interesting. I love to cook but I didn't realize how much I would enjoy "learning" the history of food!! Thank you!!
I discovered this podcast about 6 days ago, and it has quickly become my favorite. Interestingly enough, I've never been a fan of history surrounding any subject, but there is something about this podcast that captivates me. The amount of knowledge gained after just one episode is astounding! When I'm not listening, I'm thinking about something I've learned from it. There is so much quality content. My only critique is that sometimes the host, Linda, cuts her guests off or talks over them right when they are saying something important. She doesn't do this every time but enough for it to disrupt the show. I've loved almost every expert she's brought on thus far, and I really enjoy hearing their thoughts. i would appreciate it if she would let them finish their entire point before jumping in. Other than that, it's a fantastic show!
Relax a little, learn a lot
I love this podcast. Linda's voice is pleasant and the sound quality is fine. She and her guests draw me in to every podcast even when I think I might not be interested in the subject. My only complaint...please bring back the original intro music. It set the tone for the whole show and I really miss it. Otherwise, this show is perfect and I look forward to every episode.
An audible treat.
An episode about food traditions and norms during the era of Downton Abbey? It drew me in, I admit. I love knowing there are people out there as fascinated by food history as I am. Linda picks great topics and super knowledgeable guests. The show answers food questions I didn't know I had and provides handy dinner party facts.
This podcast is just what I was looking for. It mixes my love of history with the appreciation of cuisine. The commentator (Linda) is a great/knowledgeable interviewer and her guests are insightful and entertaining. I'm so glad I found this! Subscribe-you won't be disappointed.