Taste of Terroir
Taste of Terroir was conceptualized for the first edition of the Stadt-Land-Food-Festival in September 2014, which took place in Berlin-Kreuzberg in and around the well-known Markthalle Neun. For four days, the festival took the celebration of food onto the streets with a packed program of workshops, congresses, street food, markets and more. Bringing the countryside into the city – farmers and manufacturers were invited to present their craft and its history and practice in our neighborhood. Bringing food and culture together, there were also films screened, performances staged and agri-politics discussed. These days represented that it was time to determine the future of our lifestyle and food choices… it was time to celebrate the feast! (Source: Stadt Land Food)
During the four days of the festival, we staged Taste of Terroir – a three-in-one room installation, exhibition and workshop – at the gallery space of the artist Bettina Düesberg.
Taste of Terroir was about biodiversity and the particular flavour of heirloom fruit (and vegetables) using the example of apples, a regional and very seasonal fruit at the time of the year. Poem or prose texts were displayed on scrolls. More than 20 different heirloom and regional varieties of apples could be viewed and tasted. On a workbench in the middle of the room, the visitors were invited to use the whole apple. Using apple peeling machines, the apples were divided into three parts: the peel, the fruit and the core. One part of the apple peel was combined with fresh vanilla to flavor vodka, which turned it into a golden, very aromatic drink. The other part of the peel was dried, which could be used as a tea or to flavor tea mixes. The fruit was used to make a delicious apple pie with cinnamon and other pieces were hung to dry, rendering dried fruit. Only the core was left. The seeds were carefully extracted and preserved in small bags, so that the heirloom varieties of apples could grow again in Berlin’s soil or somewhere else.
To link the readymade food products (apple pie, apple vanilla vodka, dried fruit, apple tea and seed-bags) to the people who were involved in the production, the workshop participants could leave their name and a message on a label.
Taste of Terroir (or: What Summer Tastes Like)
– Text 1 –
When winter is over and the snow melts
the first warm rays of the sun come out
the apple tree awakes from its sleep – she has gathered up her energy.
Spring comes. No, has already arrived!
The apple tree is wearing a gorgeous, rose-colored dress.
It blooms, spreading its fragrance. She is ready to welcome honey bees and bumble bees.
A buzzing feast! The union will grow fruit and offer sweet honey.
During a spring storm she sheds her dress. Her delicate blossoms rain down.
Summer. None like the other – June, July, August: dry, hot and sunny?
Or moist, mild and cloudy, with storms or even hail? The fruits are ripening.
The tales of the summer will be told by the apple in autumn, because each year, she develops her very own taste.
– Text 2 –
Rarely is a fruit so diverse and rich in stories and anecdotes as the apple. Let us preserve them! From the juicy, dessert table apple – wrapping us in start September, to the storing apple – ripening until late October, reminding us until next spring about the past fall. Each apple tells her own story and delights us with her idiosyncrasies.
Uses as diverse as the varieties and vintages of apples. Whether savory or sweet, prepared, raw, cooked or baked, juiced or fermented – no matter. Is there anything that can’t be prepared with apples?
– Text 3 –
At the mention of »Terroir«, we think of wine. But why?! Does not each fruit, yes, even each vegetable grow on particular lands and boast a particular care and selection? The soil, the site, the weather, the care, the breed – what variables of taste!
Like a Riesling is not just a Riesling, a Goldparmäne is not just a Goldparmäne. With more than 2000 varieties of apples, it is not an easy task to differentiate one from another. To complicate things, some sorts have more than one name depending on where they have been grown, bread, or discovered. Often the name of an apple tells its own amazing or even funny story. Some apples are named after their color and shape. Others are named after the person who invented the breed or found it. Many are named after a king or lord. Some sweet and tasty apples bare the title »Renette« in their name – a metonymy for »queen« (Regina). The apple – a royal fruit… or even a paradisiacal one?! Even Eve is said to have picked an apple from the tree of wisdom…
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