July 5th, 2016 – It has now been about a week since my arrival back in the U.S., and about 2.5 weeks since the end of the microbiology and culture of cheese and wine course. Looking back on the two weeks we spent in Burgundy, virtually every day was filled with interesting experiences – excursions to salt mines, stables, farms, vineyards, and wine cellars – as well as lots of learning about French culture, (in my case, a decent amount of French language), microbiology, and biochemistry. Reflecting back on this two weeks, I also realized that there were many experiences that really made this trip authentic – such as visiting the wine cellar at Bouchard Père et Fils winery, visiting both small and large cheesemakers, and visiting local churches – and that I would not have been able to have many of these experiences if I were traveling alone (of if I were able to, I would not have understood the culture and significance of these experiences). Overall, this course made me realize the importance of food, both to French culture and to myself, and I feel that this course will make me take the quality and taste of my food more seriously in the future. It has also inspired me to think more about where my food comes from, and about the significance of having a group of people in one area pass down a certain traditional food over many, many years. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who enjoys food and French culture, particularly if he or she wishes to dive deeply into an authentic French experience in a short amount of time.
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