From the wooden barrels used to age scotch in Austria to the wood-burning pizza ovens of Naples to traditional Canadian maple syrup, The Flavor of Wood explores how wood infuses some of our best-loved foods through its smoke, sap, roots, and bark
THE FLAVOR OF WOOD
In Search of the Wild Taste of Trees from Smoke and Sap to Root and Bark
by Artur Cisar-Erlach
Overlook Press, February 2019
Most people don’t expect wood to flavor their food beyond the barbecue, if at all. But trees and wood have a far greater influence over our plate and palate than you might think. So what does wood taste of? And how has it been used in cooking, distilling, fermenting, and even perfume creation to produce a unique flavor and smell? To find out the answers to these questions, global flavor forager Artur Cisar-Erlach embarked on a global journey to understand how trees infuse the world’s most delectable dishes with the flavor of their wood. This quest extended into a three-year exploration covering everything from pizza, whisky, cheese, tea, and perfume to quinine, wine, maple syrup, and more.
In THE FLAVOR OF WOOD, Cisar-Erlach chronicles his gastronomic journey—which spans continents and cultures—and introduces readers to the colorful cast of characters he met along the way, including Modenese balsamic vinegar producers, Piedmontese truffle hunters, and London tea merchants. A world trip brimming with fascinating encounters, unexpected turns, beautiful landscapes, scientific discoveries, and historic connections, The Flavor of Wood is the story of a passionate flavor hunter, and offers readers unparalleled access to some of the world’s highest quality cuisine and unknown tree flavors, introduced by a passionate flavor hunter.
Artur Cisar-Erlach is a woodland ecologist, food communications expert, and cabinetmaker whose work spans the fields of food and ecotourism. He received his graduate degree in Food Culture and Communication at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy, and was an editor of the Slow Food International Travel handbook. He divides his time between Vienna, Austria, and Nova Scotia, Canada. THE FLAVOR OF WOOD is his first book.