This week on A Taste of the Past, host Linda Pelaccio is feeling festive, talking the history of the turkey with food historian Andrew Smith. Teaching food history at the New School in NYC, he is also the author of numerous books and hundreds of articles on food and history. Speaking on the the centerpiece of family Thanksgiving reunions, the turkey is a cultural symbol as well as a multi-billion dollar industry. As a bird, dinner, commodity, and national icon, the turkey has become as American as the bald eagle. Sitting down with Linda, Andrew discusses how this new world bird landed on the world’s tables starting with the bird’s origins and first recipes, before bringing up the topic of pickled turkey. After the break, Andrew explains how the turkey overcame the traditional goose holiday dinner, variations of stuffing throughout the years, and the preservation of heritage turkey breeds. Tune in for this timely episode! This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.
“Wild turkeys tend to taste very different depending on what they’ve consumed.” [13:45]
“Serving turkey [on Thanksgiving] did not become universal until the late nineteenth century, though it was certainly on the menu.” [26:20]
“In order to save the heritage turkeys you need to eat them.” [30:00]
—Andrew Smith on A Taste of the Past