Karen's Reviews > American Terroir: Savoring the Flavors of Our Woods, Waters, and Fields

American Terroir by Rowan Jacobsen
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really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction

American Terroir is a charming book that addresses how soil and climate conditions affect the way different foods grow and taste. It is a nice, easy, and informative read that made me want to travel and eat…a lot.

It includes a number of recipes, all of which look delicious. I made the maple cranberries and maple-caramelized apples. They were both pretty tasty and easy to make. I’m looking forward to trying the other recipes.

The book also includes a nice handful of resources and contacts at the end of each chapter.

I give this book three stars for a couple of reasons. First, the title of the book isn’t quite fitting. North American Terroir would have been more appropriate since I initially assumed the book was going to be about the terroir of the United States. The author crosses borders in five of the twelve chapters to discuss coffee from Panama, chocolate and avocados from Mexico, moules frites from Prince Edward Island, and general forest gastronomy from Quebec. Second, the selection of foods the author addresses appears random. I am not sure if the author chose these particular foods because he likes them best or if they have some particular importance in the larger food world. It seems to me though, that if moules frites is only worthy of five pages of text, perhaps it isn’t necessary to include in a book like this. The forest gastronomy chapter as well, while fascinating in its own right, does not seem fitting. It didn’t seem to be about any specific food or even the terroir that the book claims to be about (what makes the forest plants of Quebec so special?).

What I would have liked to have seen from Rowan Jacobsen is a book that specifically addresses the terroir of the United States (there must be enough to fill a whole book) since we are not nearly as well versed in the uniqueness of our own food as other countries are.

I do hope though, that he will write a book solely on forest gastronomy because that was a very interesting chapter to read.

Note: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

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Reading Progress

September 2, 2010 – Shelved
September 30, 2010 – Started Reading
November 1, 2010 – Finished Reading
August 25, 2016 – Shelved as: nonfiction

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