If the concept of “food biodiversity” seems abstract to you, our new book Taste, Memory: Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter, will make it clear and tangible as the crisp tang of an heirloom apple.
Author David Buchanan has been saving rare varieties of food plants for years, from cider apples to beans and corn, and looking for answers to important questions about food and place, heritage and history. Taste, Memory is the story of his journey.
Chapter One, available for you to read below, traces the provenance of Buchanan’s obsession as he looks back from his present-day life somewhere between market-farmer and plant-museum-steward.
“It was never my goal to become a farmer, and that’s not exactly what I’m up to here. This project is more like an attempt to come to grips with an old obsession, to find a way to connect biodiversity to something larger than my own gardens. It’s as much about collecting rare varieties of fruit trees, berries, and vegetables as it is a working farm. Call it an effort to bring regionality, cultural difference, and flavor back to the plate, and discover what place these foods deserve in the modern world.”
Recently, Taste, Memory was included as one of Amazon.com’s top ten Food Literature books of the year. And, author David Buchanan appeared on Maine Public Radio’s daily public affairs program “Maine Calling” to talk about Thanksgiving food traditions and some of the foods and flavors we’ve lost to the region in the past 100 years.
Booklist Reviews praised the book, calling it, “Not just a feast for the palate, Buchanan’s book is a feast for the souls of those concerned about a fast-food culture that prizes uniformity and convenience over the kind of tastes that cannot be produced on an assembly line.”
Perfectly timed for the holiday season (just in case you’ve got a passionate locavore or small-farmer on your gift list), we are offering a 35% discount on Taste, Memory this week.