Terroir (pronounced terˈwär) is a French word originally used to describe the taste and flavor imparted to a wine by the specific environment where it was produced. Terroir describes not just a particular wine-making region, but precisely narrows it down to a particular vineyard or even a particular plot of land. According to scientists, the farmer's growing practices, the mineral combinations in the soil, the topography, and the microclimate all factor into terroir.
Although the word terroir was originally used in reference to wine, the concept has spread to different foods around the world, since all foods ultimately had literal roots in a particular soil at some time, somewhere. In the words of Joel Salatin, “This magical, marvelous food on our plate, this sustenance we absorb, has a story to tell. It has a journey. It leaves a footprint. It leaves a legacy.”