One of the perks of living in Paris is to have the opportunity to go to “dégustations”. These are events sponsored by small producers of wine and specialty food products to sample their wares.
The term that is used is “terroir” which means soil or land. It now has a gourmet connotation and is used in referring to the local production of honey, oil, poultry, beef, wine, champagne, etc.The popularity of local products continues to increase due to their quality and the vigorous adhesion to high standards.
In terms of labeling, the concept of “terroir” is now guaranteed by the sign AOC (appellation d’origin côntrolée). To obtain this seal, there are specific criteria that include traditional fabrication and ingredients as well as limited geographical areas for some items. The first product to obtain protection in labeling was Roquefort in the 15th century. The first modern laws on the Protection of the Place of Origin was in 1919. The organization AOC was established in 1935 to oversea the production of wine. It has continued to expand and now includes vast agricultural products. The label is an assurance to the consumer for proof of superior quality and a certification of origin.
For the full article go to BonjourParis website: http://www.bonjourparis.com/story/french-degustation-and-products-terroir/