Savoring the Flavors of Our Woods, Waters and Fields – American Terroir – a book by Rowan Jacobsen which Library Thing very kindly sent me to review.
Terroir, a French term usually associated with wine is about, in Jacobson’s words “the taste of place.”
You read about the history, science and culture in an entertaining way. It is succinct and imparts the information of how and why some foods taste the way do but it’s not overly scientific.
Almost all chapters of this book are devoted to specific foods in specific regions (terrior) for example maple syrup in Vermont, varietal honeys in Apalachicola area (special to me because I live in the area), Totten Inlet oysters from Washington, wines in California and many other specialties. There are color photos midway through the book – I love the one of the Florida bee swarm.
My only complaint would be that the book does not have an index. It sure is nice to go back and find a particular item and as a result, my book is littered with tiny slices of paper so bookmark my favorite spots.
Included in the chapters Jacobsen adds a recipe, highlighting the star of the chapter. I have prepared several. Here is one, the Maple Carmelized Apples.
Please Note: All recipes are from American Terroir by Rowan Jacobsen
4 TB butter
¼ cup maple syrup
6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of grated nutmeg
Zest and juice from 1/8 lemon
Heat butter and maple syrup in skillet over medium heat until bubbling.
Add apples and cinnamon, toss to coat in butter-syrup mixture and cook, stirring and turning apples occasionally, until they are browned and soft but not mushy. This should take 6 to 8 minutes.
Turn off heat and add nutmeg, lemon zest and juice – stir. Let the dish cool enough so the sauce thickens,
NOTE: Use a firm and tart variety of apple such as Honeycrisp, Jonagold, McIntosh or Granny Smith,
You could serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or to fancy it up, bake it in puff pastry.