American Terroir by Rowan Jacobsen

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

Maple-Caramelized Apples
Serves 4


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.

This review will be posted to Library Thing and Good Reads. Can't wait to get the last of the recipes prepared...good reading...good eating!


girlichef said...

yes! This read is on my list...sounds wonderful :D do the maple apples!

Velva said...

Definitely looks like a good read...I am loving the maple syrup on the apples.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea that people other than the French are considering the idea of terroir ... there was a programme on the BBC recently which looked at the terroir of foods from the north of England - fascinating. Not that it made me want to try the tripe - that's one food that is still "on the list!"
Apples and cinammon, yum! Just meant to be right
Mrs L

Pierce said...

Girlichef - It was an interesting read and I didn't expect the recipes!

Vela - It added something, a good taste AND the maple made a good syrup. Next time - pastry shells!

Mrs. L- I wouldn't want the tripe either! The book focused on so many places in North America and specilities of the region. The BBC program sounds interesting...I'll see if we have it on our BBC America channel.

Katerina said...

These apples have all these ingredients to make them a big hit. Cinnamon is my all time favorite spice.

Rita said...

Very ineresting post. I had nothing for our dessert and you solved my problem; sure smells good in here.

Tropical Trader and Mashes Sands #SouperSunday

Last weekend we drove down Highway 98 toward Tropical Trader located in Panacea Florida. We had been there back in March but on the Harley ...