Author Topic: Personal Preference Terroir?  (Read 505 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Personal Preference Terroir?
« on: August 12, 2018, 01:12:48 PM »
So many things influence our preferences. Put a grade school cafeteria burger in a McD's wrapper and most will pick it over a homemade slider. Label your triangle test with colors and no bros will pick the pink one. Etc etc. But have you ever blindly found you have a preference that aligns with your heritage?

I know very little about wine but have always preferred Pinot Gris. I'm German so you'd think I would go for... what? I know so little about wine I'm not sure there is one. Riesling maybe? I always like cold beverages so I figured that was it. And I dig that je ne sais quoi that reminds me of subtle Belgian funk.

So one of my kids gets a job at a local winery and suddenly I'm wading through boxes of wine I would never buy, like $60 bottles of Meritage... and myriad other examples. But my go to is still Pinot Gris at about 50F.

So I Google it. In the old world its grown mostly in... drum roll... Alsace. The state in France where my great great grandfather is from, which is mostly German speaking and originally was part of Bavaria.

Freaky!


Have you ever blindly found a preference connected to your ancestors? I dont mean like your name is Butler, and you like butts... but something that sneaks up on you.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 01:23:22 PM by klickitat jim »

Online dmtaylor

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 02:22:29 PM »
Well, based on recent DNA testing and hundreds of hours of genealogical research, I found out that I am way more a mongrel than I ever knew possible.  My heritage is exactly thus:

Ethnicity   %   Surnames in Our Family
Danish   31   Nielsen, Zink
German   23   Domann, Wegner, Kremers
English   15   Taylor
Irish      8   Dehart, McDaniel, McFarrell
Polish   6   Klug, Polzin
Swedish   6   Moline
Norse   6   Alme
Dutch   3   Koch
Jewish   1.5   Gould
French   <1   Monsieur

I have always enjoyed breakfast danishes and kringles, but then my family always knew we were Danish so that wasn't blind.  Later in life I got to appreciating German beers and sauerkraut a lot more, but again, I always knew I was German.  What I never knew is that I am Polish, Swedish, Norse, Dutch, Jewish, and French.  Hmm..... I like Polish kielbasa and Baltic porter.  Was that my roots calling back to me?  I think not.  I think those are just delicious foods.  I always loved Dutch-processed cocoa and never knew I'm Dutch.  My ancestors calling to me from beyond the grave?  No, I don't think so.  Yadda yadda...... I use the term "yadda yadda".  Is that any reflection on my Jewish ancestry?  Heh.

I enjoy talk of this stuff, but do be careful about assuming "I am this" or "I am that".  I was unaware of half my European heritage until I spent many many hundreds of hours looking up all the family history up every single string back like 7 or 8 generations if not more.  If we are all mongrels, then...... well.....

Bottom line is that instinct or genetics isn't dictating what we naturally love or hate IMO.  I think it's way more personal preference and upbringing than genetic heritage.

Cheers to you this lovely Sunday morning.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 02:25:08 PM by dmtaylor »
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 03:34:08 PM »
So, a duck likes water why?

Offline erockrph

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 04:41:24 PM »
I did the ancestry.com family tree thing several years ago, looking for some supposed Native American ancestors that I had heard were in our tree. Every single person and name I turned up was French-Canadian (until you get all the way back to France, that is).

I decided to give the Ancestry DNA test a try a couple of years ago, and I was amazed to find that I was only 35% Western European. I am 25% Irish, despite knowing of no Irish ancestors in my family tree. The remainder is from various areas of Europe, with no Native American at all.

That said, I like my reds from California, and my whites and hops from New Zealand. Heritage be damned.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2018, 06:23:04 PM »
Two of my brothers have done the Ancestry DNA test.  They both got back that they are, by a huge margin, English.  That seems a bit odd to us since English is less than a quarter of our ancestral bloodline.  By our old surname assumptions we would expect 75% German (ish) with the rest English, then some Irish, maybe.

That said, the percentages these tests provide are weighted results extracted from the companies data sets.  If the data set has mostly UK or Northern European entries you will see that in your results.  An example that was given in an article was a person of Ethiopian descent (like 100%, first generation immigrant) who came up mostly Northern European.  The data set didn't have any examples of Ethiopian DNA so the test only indicated what the data could show.  That was "mostly, Northern European".  Someday we may be able to get more accurate information but at this point we don't have the data to do it well.  I should also point out that I will not be taking these tests anytime soon.  I'm a Systems Engineer and done security related stuff for what seems like forever.  As long as for profit companies are making health care policies I don't want my DNA used against me because I participated in a parlor game. (Sorry, for the "political tone" but no data is safe as long as someone can use it against you.)

The results are still interesting but I still believe I'm more German than English, since that's how I was brought up.  I firmly believe good food is good and I'l try everything that doesn't move, too fast. 8^)  I am an equal opportunity eater.

Paul

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Offline Robert

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2018, 08:21:01 PM »
Jim, first, wrap that homemade slider in McD's wrapping and I'll probably take the school cafeteria burger!  Another issue.

I too am German, specifically Franconian (Dad was the youngest sibling and only one born over here,) and German and first-generation Irish/ English on mom's side (never really had any interaction with them.)  I'm also partial to a chilled Pinot Gris, or a dry Riesling. But I don't expect grape DNA and human DNA have co-evolved in any way.  I figure a lot of my tastes are influenced by early childhood saturation with (and happy memories of) Großmutter Rosa's cooking.  And so I probably favor compatible flavor profiles.  You wouldn't want an oakey, heavy red with her liver dumpling soup, for example, though I was still too young to drink long after grandparents and their meals were gone.  Still I like what I like and what goes with it; I guess I'm suggesting more of a cultural rather than biological passing on of taste preferences.  And I expect that could work in some unconscious way even if you were several generations removed from the cooking of the old country, and never knew your grandparents.  The family dinner table of our childhood reflectes general tastes acquired in childhood by successive generations.   My own cooking, when it's un-selfconscious, definitely echoes the simple, savory palate of my grandmother, and mother, who had learned to please my dad. (My tastes in food and drink learned over a lifetime are of course diverse, but what I come back to as "comfort food" betrays the early influence.  And when you have a glass of wine or beer just for its own sake, that surely counts as comfort fare.)

Or something like that?

(A more self-conscious extension of this is the fact that although I started homebrewing in England, influenced by an acquired love of English beer, I took a very long journey through lager brewing by way of embracing and cultivating my heritage.  And you know, lager goes better with my comfort cooking....)
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Offline Bob357

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2018, 10:39:06 PM »
I know I'm a mutt and don't really give a $hit what kind of genes are included in all of the cross breeding that I was created from. I'm me, and if you don't like me, move on to someone else. WTF is everyone so hung up on where their 7th uncle, 3 times removed and then reinstated by royalty came from? Hey, if you need to know all of that, maybe you should make an effort to change yourself into what you want it to be. All of this BS isn't going to help make you a better person. It's an ego trip, plain and simple.
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Offline James K

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2018, 11:18:03 PM »
My grandma did most of our genealogy (because she’s was Mormon and was about that life) and when I visited my mom at the LDS church in Salt Lake City a few years ago she pulled up all of our records and printed out a family tree for me.

That being said, there are 50 different last names in the great great great grandparent title for me and their kids were born sometime between 1800 and 1860.

I was always told my dads side was English, hence Kirkham (church town - Kirk bing a church ham being short for hamlet) and I was told my moms side was more Swedish (Hardy and McRae). There is a family letter from Sweden in the late 1800s that my grandma had and shared with us one year.

Anyways, I don’t really buy into predetermism or genetic forces too much. My mom has never even had a drop of alcohol in her life and my dad likes vodka.  He also likes gin martinis which I guess is kinda English but he doesn’t even enjoy beer and tells he hasn’t even drank any in about 20 years (except my samples).
I personally like Italian wines like Sangiovese, or Pinot Noir (more reds than white) and I also don’t really like English style beers, I like more Belgium and farmhouse things.

I’m not really sure if there is a genetic or epi-genetic factor that predisposes you to liking one thing over another thing, all I know is a like my steak and burgers medium rare, my pastas with sautéed vegetables and good drink to go with them.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 11:41:01 PM by James K »
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Offline case thrower

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2018, 03:32:05 PM »
My mom's parents came over from Bohemia in the early 1920s.  New Year's Day was pork roast, dumplings and sauerkraut.  And that was it.  Loved the pork roast and dumplings.  To this day I still can't STAND sauerkraut!  Go figure.

For Christmas my daughter got my wife and I 23andme DNA tests.  My dad kept photo albums and he had names (and dates) on almost all the photos.  Of all the people 23andme says are my cousins, there are just a scant few that match the names in his photo albums.  LOL!  Again, go figure!  LOL!
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Offline Robert

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2018, 07:32:23 PM »
Everything I've read tells me not to put much stock in these tests.  Now I have half a mind to take one.  I know my paternal grandfather's family lived in the same house in the same town in Franconia for hundreds of years, and my paternal grandmother's family worked for the same rich family in that town for several generations.  My maternal grandfather's family, according to records I researched extensively myself, were in the same business in the same town in Ireland back to at least around 1800.  So if the test didn't tell me I'm at least 50% German and 25% Irish,  I'd say it was pretty much bogus.   I bet it would put me all over the map except Germany and Ireland!
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Offline case thrower

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2018, 08:16:25 PM »
Everything I've read tells me not to put much stock in these tests.  Now I have half a mind to take one.  I know my paternal grandfather's family lived in the same house in the same town in Franconia for hundreds of years, and my paternal grandmother's family worked for the same rich family in that town for several generations.  My maternal grandfather's family, according to records I researched extensively myself, were in the same business in the same town in Ireland back to at least around 1800.  So if the test didn't tell me I'm at least 50% German and 25% Irish,  I'd say it was pretty much bogus.   I bet it would put me all over the map except Germany and Ireland!

23andme said that I was 37% Eastern European (Czech).  Which to me means that one of my grandparents was full Czech and one was just half Czech.  Unless you can trace everyone back, there's no real way to know!

My dad's family was from Mississippi.  The rest of my lineage is a hodgepodge of just about everything European.  There's a reason this country is called a melting pot.

And to get back to Jim's original question, I'm willing to bet that there's no reason for SOME people why that can't be true.  Doesn't work for me, though.  I love pasta and rice.  No Asian and only 1.4% "Broadly Southern European".
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Offline Bilsch

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2018, 04:28:05 AM »
When I grew up my grandparents spoke German, served me weißbier and made me eat stollen at Christmas time.
I probably don't need to take a DNA test.

Offline Richard

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2018, 04:58:54 AM »
When I grew up my grandparents spoke German, served me weißbier and made me eat stollen at Christmas time.
I probably don't need to take a DNA test.
That is Elizabeth Warren's argument. She grew up believing that she was native American and that was her family culture. She says that there is no point to taking a DNA test but her political opponents say otherwise. I am sorry to inject politics into this discussion but I agree that if you grow up immersed in a culture then you can say that is your heritage regardless of DNA.

I also agree with Bob357 that it doesn't really matter. As Popeye said "I yam what I yam" and I don't really care where that came from. No DNA test is going to change me (to the dismay of some).
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Online dmtaylor

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2018, 11:17:37 AM »
When I grew up my grandparents spoke German, served me weißbier and made me eat stollen at Christmas time.
I probably don't need to take a DNA test.

For some reason we eat kuchen every Christmas.  A couple of my great grandparents were 100% German and I think the tradition was handed down.
Dave

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Offline ethinson

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Re: Personal Preference Terroir?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2018, 12:03:41 PM »
I know I'm a mutt and don't really give a $hit what kind of genes are included in all of the cross breeding that I was created from. I'm me, and if you don't like me, move on to someone else. WTF is everyone so hung up on where their 7th uncle, 3 times removed and then reinstated by royalty came from? Hey, if you need to know all of that, maybe you should make an effort to change yourself into what you want it to be. All of this BS isn't going to help make you a better person. It's an ego trip, plain and simple.

Ok so it's a ego thing.  That's not always a bad thing.  First off, if you don't have an extensive family history full of books and stories, you might not have any idea where your grandparents are from.  Things like history and heritage are fun to know and can help shape peoples lives (hopefully in good ways).  Some people may find out they are from Poland but have no idea where Poland is and start reading about it.  We can all stand to broaden our horizons and learn more about the world even if we're stroking our own egos in the process.

Second, hopefully the more people that participate and add to the data (as several people mentioned) we can hopefully get to see that we're all more similar than we are different... I don't see that as a bad thing.

Flipping back to the OT, I don't have any examples of things from other countries, but I do always find myself going back to the brands and styles of things I grew up with.  Coke, not Pepsi. JIF Peanut Butter, Dukes Mayo (which I can't get in Oregon), etc etc... Our tastes change as we get older but a lot of preferences come from growing up.
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