Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter
Publication Date: October 2012
"Taste, Memory" traces the experiences of a modern-day explorer, one who doesn't discover new lands and new cultures, but who rediscovers our common food heritage and then works to bring it back to our gardens and tables for all to appreciate and enjoy.From a cantankerous old pear tree to a strawberry that's too delicate to ship to distant markets, David Buchanan has grown out and evaluated thousands of varieties of fruits, grains, herbs, flowers, and vegetables, capturing not only their flavors, but their fascinating stories and their place in the local harvest.What we grow is just as important as where we grow it, and a resilient food system depends on the ongoing search for regionally adapted varieties. Local food at its best differs in both kind and quality from commodity crops that are shipped around the globe. If everyone were to grow the same apples or tomatoes, for example, then we would miss out on the full palate of tastes available to us, as well as the sense that local food can reflect a particular people, place, and culture.Profiling his own efforts as a young garden-farmer who is still finding his own place in the world (using leased gardens and orchard space), Buchanan also writes about some of the most important people who are working to defend and promote biodiversity and meaning in our food system. From gardeners and cooks to environmentalists and food activists - all of these people are preserving the best of our traditional foods and ensuring that they will be around for future generations to enjoy."Taste, Memory" takes readers on a beautifully written personal journey into what food diversity really means, and why it matters now more than ever.