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Terroir: The Taste of Place
While in Portland last week, Larry and I stayed in the wonderful Hotel Deluxe. Not only was it a beautifully renovated hotel from 1912, with the greatest service ever, but they also have beehives on their roof and sell the honey to hotel guests. Well, how could we not come home with two jars?
The hotel is part of a local program called Bee Local which produces and sources artisan honey using sustainable techniques and promotes community involvement and education.
"Bee Local is committed to producing exceptional honey that is sustainably harvested, never heated, treated, blended, or ultra-filtered. Each honey variety offers a distinct and complex flavor profile that reflects the flora, fauna, and forage of its region and is traceable from hive to jar. "
My honey from the hotel is Portland Farmland. [if you want to try a taste of Portland, purchase a jar here]
I had another experience with single source food on my road trip when I had breakfast at Mother’s Bistro, also in Portland. They provide a separate coffee menu, where you can order single source coffees made in their own individual French press pots, so you can savor the individual uniqueness of each coffee. I wanted to try one of these coffees to taste the difference, but we didn’t have time to linger that day, so I’ll learn more about individual coffees another day.
In wine parlance, this local uniqueness is known as terroir (from the root terra which means Earth). Terroir refers to the complete natural environments in which a particular wine is produced, including soil, topography climate and other factors—such as traditional growing and processing practices—which contribute to its unique flavor and characteristics.
But every food has terroir. Actually, every living thing has terroir, including each one of us. We all have characteristics of our places. More about this to come...