The Taste of Place looks at where food gets its taste and how location plays a role. The author had previously worked at a culinary institute. It was there that she was exposed to the ideas of terroir and gout de terroir: the idea that a region’s particular physical environment affects the taste of wine. She presents many historical French cuisine books that mapped France by each region’s prominent agricultural products like wine and cheese that show how deeply important the actual “taste of place” is to traditional French cuisine.
American cuisine is not defined by terroir like the French: it is instead defined by accessibility and abundance which causes a lack of respect for where food comes from. The author speaks about their experience in Vermont and how the Vermont Fresh Network created new markets for local and organic products. It promoted the direct correspondence between the farmer and the chef in order to increase the value of “eating the landscape.”
The Taste of Place is an attempt to convince the reader into thinking about where food comes from, and how it gets to consumers.