AUP Food Culture Communications



In January 2013, Christy Shields received a research grant from the CIGC to undertake ethnographic research focused on the elaboration and use of Comté's "Wheel of Aromas" as well as the related “jury terroir” (terroir tasting panels). Learn more about Christy's research ...



Le Comité Interprofessionnel du Gruyère de Comté


Observatoire Cniel des habitudes Alimentaires

aaicCentre Edgar-Morin

Participant Testimonials

quoteI can't express how much Professor Shield's course meant for the development of my thesis, my career and my personal knowledge. I had come to France, curious about food, about wine and about notions of terroir, but I thought I would have to navigate these curiosities in my personal time. However, Shield's class enabled me to better understand how we develop taste, how we create memoires through taste and how we understand taste, from production to consumption of some of our favorite foods.

The deep understanding we were able to garner through not only an excellent syllabus of seminole readings from Proust,Brillat-Savarin, Mennel, Csergo, Trubek Bourdieu, and many, many others but a hands-on experience in the Jura region of France. This enabled us to see exactly how terrior is constructed and lives day-to-day. Visiting a Comte cheese farm, a fruiterie and an affinier allowed us to live each moment of the Comte life. We also visited truly unique wineries that specialized in creating vin jaune, a speciality to the area, witnessing first-hand how the vintner lives terroir from the planting of the grapes to the specialized way in which he crafts the wine by fermenting it in warm conditions.   

These experiences have given me the much needed foundation to pursue new avenues in my career and have enabled me to venture in to the food and beverage industry as a communications professional without hesitation. Most recently, I used the knowledge obtained in her class to consult on the re-branding of a coffee micro-roaster and consultant in India. We looked at his brand through his production chain and worked with him to bring forward his messages of terroir, sustainable agro-forestry and fair-trade for the production side of coffee in India and the coffee moments experienced by the consumer at his cafe, at home or at a restaurant or hotel. It is because of her class that I am able to proudly say I am, more than ever, confident in pursing a career in the wine industry.

Chantelle, Summer 2011


quoteI went on the trip to the Jura in the summer of 2011 and I could not have been more pleased with everything it had to offer. While on the trip, we learned about the ideas of terroir, various local trades and culinary specialties, and the importance of an appreciation for taste. Our learning was illustrated by visits with the people and places that make the Jura so unique, and yet such a good example of France’s particular ability to maintain and support terroir products and regional cuisines. Not only was the subject matter motivating and exciting, but the introduction to these subjects, set in the spectacular natural surroundings of the Jura, over nature walks and dinners of farm-to-table snails and local wines, was an exceptional opportunity and I would do it again in a second!

The trip had a profound influence on me personally, with respect to my choices for the future. Since the trip I have worked for cheese vendors (in boutiques and at markets) in Paris and met many other cheese makers through whom I've learned even more. From this I then moved to Amsterdam to intern with Fairfood International where the importance of good-tasting, healthy, environmentally- and socially-conscience food is key. For most of the students in my group, thinking about where food came from, how it was produced, where, and by whom, were questions they had never asked or been interested in pursuing. Throughout this trip, however, everyone organically and instinctively began to think about eating (and the pleasures it offers!) differently, making it a remarkable experience for people of any walk of life, not just those professionally interested in food. I personally have this trip to thank for helping me establish a more defined interest in taste, terroir, and sustainable food production.

Amira, Summer 2011