ENST 270 - Topics in Environmental Studies
Semester Offered: Spring
1 1 unit(s)
The purpose of this course is to take up topics relevant to environmental studies, and examine them through the perspectives of the humanities and the natural or social sciences.
Topic for 2020/21b: Terroir: The Art and Science of “Tasting” the Earth. “Terroir” in a contemporary culinary context is “the taste of place.” It derives from the French practice of detecting the physiographic properties of a food or wine’s origin through its smells and flavors. Comté cheese of the Jura region, to give an example, is made of unpasteurized milk from the Montbéliarde cow, free-ranging and grazing on specific flora from the Jura massif to produce flavors that cannot be imitated elsewhere. In recent years, this traditionally French practice has spread to farms, wineries, and tables around the world, providing a metric for growers and tasters alike whose expectations for place-specific flavors are shaped by the identities of specific regions.
This course teases out terroir and examines it as a dialogue between multiple disciplines. Over the semester, we consider terroir according to geographical, biological, philosophical, political, and contemporary ecological perspectives. We engage with novel uses of the concept, reading, talking, and tasting our way to terroir’s truth. Thomas Parker.
Two 75-minute periods.
Course Format: CLS
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