How and why do we think about food, taste it, and cook it? While much has been written about the concept of terroir as it relates to wine, in this vibrant, personal book, Amy Trubek, a pioneering voice in the new culinary revolution, expands the concept of terroir beyond wine and into cuisine and culture more broadly. Bringing together lively stories of people farming, cooking, and eating, she focuses on a series of examples ranging from shagbark hickory nuts in Wisconsin and maple syrup in Vermont to wines from northern California. She explains how the complex concepts of terroir and goût de terroir are instrumental to France's food and wine culture and then explores the multifaceted connections between taste and place in both cuisine and agriculture in the United States. How can we reclaim the taste of place, and what can it mean for us in a country where, on average, any food has traveled at least fifteen hundred miles from farm to table? Written for anyone interested in food, this book shows how the taste of place matters now, and how it can mediate between our local desires and our global reality to define and challenge American food practices.
Why does food taste better when you know where it comes from? Because history-ecological, cultural, even personal-flavors every bite we eat. Whether it’s the volatile chemical compounds that a plant absorbs from the soil or the stories and memories of places that are evoked by taste, layers of flavor await those willing to delve into the roots of real food. In this landmark book, Gary Paul Nabhan takes us on a personal trip into the southwestern borderlands to discover the terroir—the “taste of the place”—that makes this desert so delicious. To savor the terroir of the borderlands, Nabhan presents a cornucopia of local foods-Mexican oregano, mesquite-flour tortillas, grass-fed beef, the popular Mexican dessert capirotada, and corvina (croaker or drum fish) among them-as well as food experiences that range from the foraging of Cabeza de Vaca and his shipwrecked companions to a modern-day camping expedition on the Rio Grande. Nabhan explores everything from the biochemical agents that create taste in these foods to their history and dispersion around the world. Through his field adventures and humorous stories, we learn why Mexican oregano is most potent when gathered at the most arid margins of its range—and why foods found in the remote regions of the borderlands have surprising connections to foods found by his ancestors in the deserts of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. By the end of his movable feast, Nabhan convinces us that the roots of this fascinating terroir must be anchored in our imaginations as well as in our shifting soils.
The French word terroir is used to describe all the ecological factors that make a particular type of wine special to the region of its origin. James E. Wilson uses his training as a geologist and his years of research in the wine regions of France to fully examine the concept of terroir. The result combines natural history, social history, and scientific study, making this a unique book that all wine connoisseurs and professionals will want close at hand. In Part One Wilson introduces the full range of environmental factors that together form terroir. He explains France's geological foundation; its soil, considered the "soul" of a vineyard; the various climates and microclimates; the vines, their history and how each type has evolved; and the role that humans--from ancient monks to modern enologists--have played in viticulture. Part Two examines the history and habitat of each of France's major wine regions. Wilson explores the question of why one site yields great wines while an adjacent site yields wines of lesser quality. He also looks at cultural influences such as migration and trade and at the adaptations made by centuries of vignerons to produce distinctive wine styles. Wilson skillfully presents both technical information and personal anecdotes, and the book's photographs, maps, and geologic renderings are extremely helpful. The appendices contain a glossary and information on the labeling of French wines. With a wealth of information explained in clear English, Wilson's book enables wine readers to understand and appreciate the mystique of terroir.
Winner of the Outstanding Manuscript Award from Phi Alpha Theta, this work explains how nationhood emerges by viewing countries as cultural artifacts, a product of "invented traditions." In the case of France, scholars sharply disagree, not only over the nature of French national identity but also over the extent to which diverse and sometimes hostile provincial communities became integrated into the nation. In When Champagne Became French: Wine and the Making of a National Identity, Kolleen M. Guy offers a new perspective on this debate by looking at one of the central elements in French national culture-luxury wine-and the rural communities that profited from its production. Focusing on the development of the champagne industry between 1820 and 1920, Guy explores the role of private interests in the creation of national culture and in the nation-building process. Drawing on concepts from social and cultural history, she shows how champagne helped fuel the revolution in consumption as social groups searched for new ways to develop cohesion and to establish status. By the end of the nineteenth century, Guy concludes, the champagne-producing provinces in the department of Marne had developed a rhetoric of French identity that promoted its own marketing success as national. This ability to mask local interests as national concerns convinced government officials of the need, at both national and international levels, to protect champagne as a French patrimony.
Protected designation of origin (PDO) taken together with other geographical indicators, such as protected geographical indication (PGI) and traditional specialty guaranteed (TSG), offer the consumer additional guarantees on the quality and authentication of foods. They are important tools that protect the names of regional foods, such as wines, cheeses, hams, sausages and olives, so that only foods that genuinely originate in a particular region are allowed to be identified as such. The economic value of these regional foods, as well as the increased interest from consumers and the food industry about the traceability and origin of food, mean that it has become necessary to establish methods for PDO and PGI authentication based on the specific characteristics and chemical markers of these kinds of products. This book offers a complete guide of the methods available to authenticate food PDO, beginning with an explanation of the analytical and chemometric methods available for PDO authentication, before looking at the main foods covered, PGI labels and the social and legal framework for food PGIs. It will be of interest to people engaged in the fields of food production, commercialization and consumption, as well as policymakers and control laboratories. Offers a complete guide to the methods available for food Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) authentication Explains the analytical and chemometric methods Focuses on the various food products covered by authentication labels
Wine has been described as a window into places, cultures and times. Geographers have studied wine since the time of the early Greeks and Romans, when viticulturalists realized that the same grape grown in different geographic regions produced wine with differing olfactory and taste characteristics. This book, based on research presented to the Wine Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers, shows just how far the relationship has come since the time of Bacchus and Dionysus. Geographers have technical input into the wine industry, with exciting new research tackling subjects such as the impact of climate change on grape production, to the use of remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems for improving the quality of crops. This book explores the interdisciplinary connections and science behind world viticulture. Chapters cover a wide range of topics from the way in which landforms and soil affect wine production, to the climatic aberration of the Niagara wine industry, to the social and structural challenges in reshaping the South African wine industry after the fall of apartheid. The fundamentals are detailed too, with a comparative analysis of Bordeaux and Burgundy, and chapters on the geography of wine and the meaning of the term 'terroir'.
This book explores the origins and significance of the French concept of terroir, demonstrating that the way the French eat their food and drink their wine today derives from a cultural mythology that developed between the Renaissance and the Revolution. Through close readings and an examination of little-known texts from diverse disciplines, Thomas Parker traces terroir's evolution, providing insight into how gastronomic mores were linked to aesthetics in language, horticulture, and painting and how the French used the power of place to define the natural world, explain comportment, and frame France as a nation.