Lily Kelting on Holy Terroir

Emergence Magazine is an online publication with annual print edition exploring the threads connecting ecology, culture, and spirituality. As we experience the desecration of our lands and waters, the extinguishing of species, and a loss of sacred connection to the Earth, we look to emerging stories. Our podcast features exclusive interviews, narrated essays, stories and more.

How do we taste a landscape? In this narrated essay, food and culture scholar Lily Kelting immerses us in the sounds of construction, the presence of buffalo, and the fragrance of marigold, smoke, and trash that flavor the outskirts of Pune, India. Opening our senses to the terroir of her local milk—a union between cow, community, and land—she wonders how it can help us understand the diverse and robust ecology of this edge-place.

Read the essay.

Photo: Daniel J. Rao / Alamy


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Lily Kelting is an assistant professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at Flame University in Pune, India. She is currently writing an academic book about the revival of heritage foods around the world, interweaving examples from the US South, Nordic region, and Western India. Sections of this research have been published in Food, Culture and Society, Southern Quarterly, and Paragrana. She is a former and occasional theater critic, magazine editor, radio journalist, dramaturg, freelance writer, and the mother of twins.

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