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Food, Space, and Place in a Global Society

Edited By Carlnita P. Greene

Foodscapes explores the nexus of food, drink, space, and place, both locally and globally. Multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary in scope, scholars consider the manifold experiences that we have when engaging with food, drink, space, and place. They offer a wide array of theories, methods, and perspectives, which can be used as lenses for analyzing these interconnections, throughout each chapter. Scholars interrogate our practices and behaviors with food within spaces and places, analyze the meanings that we create about these entities, and demonstrate their wider cultural, political, social, economic, and material implications.

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1. “You Can Taste It in the Wine”: Terroir and the Embodiment of Place (June Brawner)


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1.  “You Can Taste It in the Wine”: Terroir and the Embodiment of Place


…it’s very complicated because, you know, in the communist era, they just totally ruined the whole brand…. It’s supposed to be a very distinct, very powerful [blended wine], but you know, the communist era and the whole—you know, quantity before quality; that was the idea. And this is very bad if you want to make wine.—Gábor,1 a young wine seller in Budapest, Summer 2015

The link between food origins and taste is perhaps as old as agriculture itself. The recognition and commodification of such place-based tastes is certainly not a modern concept; as early as the second millennium B.C.E., Egyptians believed that vines grown in different locales produced wine products of varying degrees of quality. The ancient Greeks marked standardized amphora by location of vineyard, possibly in order to quell fraud and secure markets.2 The concept of terroir is shorthand for this taste of place, for geographies with influential origins: in short, terroir is the unique assemblage of geology, climate, and cultural practices of a particular region, essentialized in food products of that region and resulting in supposedly irreproducible tastes.

The association of taste qualities with a particular terroir often results in the coupling of food or drink with its toponym, leading to place-brands such as Champagne wine, Roquefort cheese, or Vidalia onions. While geographically-referenced in...

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