Callsign222's Reviews > American Terroir: Savoring the Flavors of Our Woods, Waters, and Fields

American Terroir by Rowan Jacobsen
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's review
Mar 10, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction

This was OK. I like the concept, I like how the author writes, but this was not great, a little conceited, and with the obligatory filler pages of recipes. Interesting facts-- The United States was home to 14,000 apple varieties in the early 1900's as listed by the USDA and is now down to only about 100 different apple varieties-- 13,000+ apples victim to commercialization, loss of small family farms, and the whims of the public. However, the US is home to over 300 honey varieties, more than any other country-- we are known around the world for our honey, though we might not even know that ourselves. As the author recommends, I didn't read the whole book, just the chapters I was interested in. This means I skipped the Central American chapters.

For someone (me) who likes apples from the local orchard, keeps bees, and hunts for mushrooms and loves local cheeses, it was decent. I have quibbles with a few things he mentions: most local Vermonters I know personally like the dark thick grade B syrup, not the fancy light stuff, (c'mon, we want something that will blow our socks off, not some dainty Victorian syrup, but whatever, bro), and I'm sure this book will attract the typical foodie high-brow crowd ( the "oooh it was so life-changing oooh" types). However, kudos for helping advertise one of America's greatest assets, our land and what we can grow on it, something known to lots of us for a long time, but finally getting some national attention.
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11/14/2017 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Ashley Conceit... that's an excellent word for the problem I had with this book. I enjoyed it, but there was something off-putting about it/the author and I was having a hard time finding the word for it--and that's exactly what it was. Conceit.

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