““On the Trail of Tilleul”” is my personal story of a trip I made to France's Drôôme region to research the history and culture of one of its most renowned agricultural products, lindenflower tisane (herbal tea or infusion). A familiar element of the French landscape, linden trees produce fragrant blossoms which are hand-harvested, dried and consumed as a tea, both for its pleasing, delicate bouquet and for the mild digestive and sleep benefits it offers. Recently, both the production and consumption of lindenflower tisane in the Drôôme region have declined, threatened by cheap, poor quality imports from China and Eastern Europe, as well as changing tastes and dining habits. Interviews with lindenflower producers in the Drôôme region provide background on its cultivation, harvest and post-harvest handling.
On the Trail of Tilleul
kelly gibson studied art history and French at the University of Iowa, where a semester abroad in Aix-en-Provence ignited her love for food and culture. She is a food marketer in Chicago and serves on the national board of directors of Slow Food USA. In 2007 she was awarded a Julia Child grant for culinary research in France.
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kelly gibson; On the Trail of Tilleul. Gastronomica 1 May 2009; 9 (2): 70–73. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2009.9.2.70
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