Will Travel For Local Foods: American Terroir

American Terroir book cover

I want Rowan Jacobsen’s job, or at the very least I want my local eating to come with a travel budget.  I read this book over several weeks, a chapter a night before bed. The result?  A long list of places to visit, and websites to boot. Instead of sugar plum dreams, my dreams were filled with images and imagined aromas of maple syrup, coffee, apples and cider, honey, mussels and potatoes, forest foraging, oysters, salmon, avocados, wine, cheese, and chocolate.

Everything that is way up high on my love-to-eat list is written about poetically in this book. Sweet and savory are both featured. In every chapter, Jacobsen takes the reader through the intrinsic link of flavor to immediate local environments that I hadn’t quite grasped before.  I mean, I certainly know that I love the intensity of flavors of farmer’s market strawberries, and there is nothing like the crisp coolness of a freshly picked cucumber, but the fact that the distinctiveness of an oyster’s flavor can be traced to the beach on which it was found, well, that was novel to me.

So I compiled a list of places to visit where these intensely local foods can be found, and will certainly do my best to incorporate them into my foodie travel plans.

First up will have to be the Chrysalis vineyard, where we will taste wines made from native Virgina grape, the Norton.

Then, I’ll wander up to New York and need stop by Murray’s Cheese Shop, to tide me over until I make it up to Vermont, where I can visit the Cellars at Jasper Hill and the aging cave.

But I’ll have to keep on driving to Montreal, so that I can eat at Jardins Sauvages where what is placed on your plate is entirely local.

I don’t want to give it all away.  But readers beware, you will go to bed ready to eat every night.


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