Terroir Working Group
I have been doing research on the past, present and future of terroir, or as I have translated it, the taste of place, since 2000. Initially, I spent time exploring the historical development of terroir as a cultural category linking food, drink and place in France. I went on to investigate the work of farmers, cheesemakers, winemakers, chefs and other in the contemporary United States to, in effect, create a version of the taste of place here in the United States. This culminated in the publication of The Taste of Place, A Cultural Journey into Terroir (University of California Press) in May of 2008. My continued research into the taste of place has now expanded into exploring the possibility of how this idea can support specialized markets for place based foods as well as new regional cuisines in the United States. I am now involved in an inter-disciplinary, collaborative project with a sensory scientist, a geologist, a chemist , an environmental writer and a maple syrup expert to use terroir as a way of understanding and promoting Vermont maple syrup. This research includes analyzing maple syrup from particular bedrock, looking at connections between chemical compounds and location of sugarbushes and sensory analysis of maple syrup with consumers. With the help of University of Vermont students we are extending the project to consider the terroir of Vermont farmstead cheese.
Last modified May 12 2009 10:37 AM