Podcasts Special Features

Sugar and its Dark History

Episode: 194

This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is talkin’ sugar and its checkered, dark past with guest Andrew F. Smith, author of “Sugar: A Global History.” It’s no surprise that sugar has been on our minds for several millenia. First cultivated in New Guinea around 8,000 B.C.E., this addictive sweetener has since come to dominate our appetites-whether in candy, desserts, soft drinks, or even pasta sauces-for better and for worse. Offering highlights of the book and other historical factoids of this simultaneously beloved and reviled ingredient, Andy relays how sugar has held its incredible value as a global commodity up against its darker legacies of slavery and widespread obesity. Tune in to hear a layered and definitive tale of sugar and the many people caught in its spell-from barons to slaves, from chefs to the countless among us born with that insatiable devil, the sweet tooth. This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

“The American Revolution is directly tied to sugar and molasses.”

“It wasn’t until the late 19th century that you had the granulated sugar and sugar cubes and things that we now know and and love.”

“Companies now have several different names for sugar so it doesn’t look like it’s the number one ingredient, which it is.”

Andrew F. Smith on A Taste of the Past

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