In the world of wine, the French term terroir is used to denote the taste of place, the unique flavors expressed by the vineyard and its region, as determined the convergance of conditions such as soil and climate.
In a broader sense of the term, Santa Maria Barbecue could be described as a form of terroir. After all, it’s a uniquely regional cuisine based on native methods and ingredients, including pinquito beans and red oak. It tells the story of a place, its land and its people.
This notion is supported by the new book called American Terroir, in which author Rowan Jacobson makes the case that “foods that are what they are because of where they come from.” Similarly, the book Renewing America’s Food Traditions calls Santa Maria Style Barbecue “a mainstay of California’s culinary heritage.”
In some ways, Santa Maria Style Barbecue could be considered “old school,” as its origins date back to the 19th century. At the same time, however, Santa Maria BBQ belongs to the new wave of local cuisine, as more and more people embrace regional authenticity in their food and see the value in nurturing our nation’s culinary terroir.
We like to put it this way: Santa Maria Style Barbecue proves that good taste never goes out of style.
If you haven’t already, make plans to visit the Santa Maria Valley for a taste of our terroir, in the vineyards, the strawberry fields and the many restaurants serving Santa Maria Style Barbecue.