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Taste, Memory: Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Taste, Memory traces the experiences of modern-day explorers who rediscover culturally rich forgotten foods and return them to our tables for all to experience and savor.

In Taste, Memory author David Buchanan explores questions fundamental to the future of food and farming. How can we strike a balance between preserving the past, maintaining valuable agricultural and culin
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 25th 2012 by Chelsea Green Publishing Company (first published October 1st 2012)
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3.85  · 
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 ·  95 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
While we can get out-of-season produce throughout the year... most of it is lacking in flavor, chosen as it has been for consistency or output and sturdiness for shipping, rather than flavor.

This book is a passionate call to change that, mostly by buying and growing locally and seasonally. It's not only good for flavor, it's good for health and for the community.

I know reading this has given me the final impetus to re-work our front yard to make it more productive!

Buchanan's writing is engaging
Apr 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
For my tastes this book was dry as toast. David Buchanan is too wordy and writes his story in a random order which caused me to I struggle to understand the time line of his life. I was looking for a good "food" related book and found a memoir of a man who lived a large portion of his life undirected with a vague notion that he wanted to be a "farmer". Real farmers would laugh at his journey. Certainly there are is a lot of good information in this book, but the book is a tough read. With the he ...more
Nov 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: quit-reading
I finally had to stop reading this book. After almost a week I had only read 3 chapters because I just could not get into it. I thought it would be really interesting since it's about trying to preserve heritage plants/foods that face the risk of becoming extinct in our mono-culture food world. Not to say this author doesn't know his stuff about heritage plants, but I just couldn't make myself keep reading it.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was, to put it mildly, "not to my taste." It bears virtually no resemblance to its title, or the praise heaped upon it by several authors I respect. If you're an Alice Waters or Eliot Coleman fan, you will probably love it. It's a personal narrative of one hipster's journey to make plant collecting profitable. His role model for preserving native species is based on respect for the University of Minnesota (proprietary) approach to plant breeding-- using capitalism to save lost species. ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The history of foods and where taste has gone
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
Buchanan is under no illusion that we can somehow revert back to romantic agrarian lifestyles of days past. Instead he suggests that we must find new ways to promote and save old varieties. I greatly appreciated his approach for finding modern uses of old heirloom varieties, while also recognizing that some forgotten fruits simply don't have a place in our markets anymore. Many food authors fail to recognize that coming up with a more sustainable and wholesome local food system requires many met ...more
This engagingingly well written book is a non pretentious telling of the authors search to find his place in the local food movement. He writes in a refreshingly humble way. He is searching for a way to care for endangered foods, for the regional food traditions of New England, and make at least a small living from his labor of love. Especially the second half of book was really interesting as he detailed his varied efforts to find his own place in the food culture of Portland, Mane. His reflect ...more
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a stunning revelation this author has this is his first book. David is a wonderful writer his passion and obsession with fine details are self evident.
This book was so wonderful and his passion for seed saving, antique apple trees and community food based programs .It encouraged me to use my gardening school to grow and lead a corporate garden project for food for local food pantry. David please keep writing. My love of apple trees started as a child on my Grandfathers land where an old cr
Rogue Reader
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-writing, smell
Buchanan's passionate pursuit of heritage foods, and his dream of self sufficiency in rural Maine. Preservation of seeds and crops that must be grown annually or lost forever. In the day, Maine extension services narrowed recommendations to apple growers for only a couple varieties for best economy! Loved the writing of apples, so many different kinds, each so different. Had me going to the grocery with the largest selection and most beautiful fruit to taste each variety. Wouldn't have happened ...more
Pearse Anderson
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This might be one of my favorite books of all-time. It is a manifesto of slow food, food writing, and America. Buchanan's passion, wit, and wisdom seep through the page and it's really what makes this book. It feels like an epic. It's almost all summary, but that gives it the power to go everywhere in its two-hundred so pages. It's never just about an apple, or a squash, or an individual, it's always fucking connected to everything and it's glorious. I need some time to digest. Genius read.
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: food lovers and food historians
I really enjoyed this book and have a running list of people I will recommend it to. The strange histories behind fruits and vegetables were fascinating and reminded me of how much I liked the food anthropologist on Alton Brown's Good Eats. Buchanan's outlook on gardening and collecting heirloom varieties is practical but inspiring. I was dying to taste some of the rare apple varieties he described as I was reading and am wondering how I can get my hands on some unpasteurized cider this year.
Mar 20, 2013 marked it as to-read
I heard the author of this book interviewed on NPR and rushed home to put it in my GoodReads "Want To Read" category. The interview was fascinating and can probably be accessed through the NPR archives. Can't wait to read the book!
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
A memoir written with impressive grace, it steers clear of pretension while celebrating careful observation, hard work and collaboration. Anyone who enjoyed Pollan's Botany of Desire would absolutely love this book.
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Food for thought. Well written. A wonderful gift for anyone interested in the decline of local fruit and vegetable variety and gardening.
May 08, 2013 added it
Pretty good. It makes you think about where food comes from and the need for diversity.
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was well written and insightful. I love books that inspire me to think outside the box and have beautiful descriptions like this one.
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
A manifesto for American terroir
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Chad Waite
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a terrrific book for those that are passionate about heirloom species and preserving fruits and veggies that actually taste good!
Hannah Fjeld
rated it it was amazing
Apr 25, 2013
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am so ready to go to the Portland, ME farmer's market!
Robbie Fee
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Sep 02, 2017
ShengKuo Fan
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Jan 12, 2016
Kyle Smith
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Aug 31, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2012
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Nov 07, 2015
Paige Patterson
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Feb 15, 2019
Drew Shifley
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Feb 22, 2013
rated it it was ok
Mar 21, 2017
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Feb 02, 2016
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