By Rowan Jacobsen
Anyone who’s read about wine has encountered the French term terroir, which means “taste of place.” Here, award-winning author Rowan Jacobsen investigates how local conditions like soil, water, and microclimate affect the flavors of food. Why are the upland carrots from his neighbor’s farm so singularly tart? And why is Yukon River salmon the richest of all? To sleuth out the answers to such questions, Jacobsen profiles 12 North American foods, from Vermont’s high-mountain maple syrup to coffee grown in Panama’s lush Jaramillo region. At the end of each chapter, he offers resources to help you score the place-specific foods and a few simple recipes that let the ingredients’ terroir shine through.