GEOGRAPHY OF FOOD
This program explores food and identity in Provence. We learn first hand about the patterns, processes, and cultural meaning of food as it is grown, prepared, and consumed in the South of France. Through group and independent field projects, seminar sessions and guest lectures, farm visits, shopping, cooking, and eating, students will experience the life of the village. Guests from the village and vicinity will accompany us on tours and join us at meals.
Our base is a converted convent in the market village of Aups in the Haut Var: the rugged, hardscrabble part of Provence, where limestone highlands support scrub forest and garrigue, and agriculture must bend to the constraints of thin soils, the notorious mistral, hot, dry summers, and distant markets. Olives, vineyards, and truffles are essential elements of the culinary landscapes of Provence; shepherds still lead their flocks through Aups to pastures beyond the village; and indigenous herbs—rosemary, thyme, lavender—distinguish this landscape and infuse Provençale cuisine.