Traveling through the lens of food today allows one to take in the totality of a place. Cities that hold themselves both in flavor, landscape, and culture are rare and certainly worth visiting. With much emphasis on terroir, the reputation of Burgundy owes much of its grace and fortitude to the humble city of Dijon.
Considered the gastronomical capital of Burgundy, Dijon’s streets have been graced by many famous gastronomes and writers. From the witty and often bilious grumblings of Brillat-Savarin and his Physiologie du Gout to the timeless prose of M.F.K. Fisher, one must wonder what this city’s “ je ne sais quoi” is.
Despite globalization’s guise of marketed all-access food and fare, Dijon still holds her head high. Both simple and sensuous, many an apt mind and eager stomach trod these streets learning that the way we eat is indicative of the way we live.
Dijon is more than a mustard lover’s paradise. It is the pulse of what once was and is the art of both French food and the simple pleasures it continues to afford us. For as cuisine becomes haute and affected, experiencing the hiccups of trends and doldrums of creativity, the Bastille holds strong here as do the words of noble poets, such as Savarin and Fisher. They remind us of our deeper needs and how food is able to fulfill them all. For the hills of Burgundy do not only smell of wine and escargot for our touristic amusement or wallets, rather they hint at something greater. That in the goodness of the table, there is goodness in the home. It calls us forth and so ends the montage of our humble day. Fork in hand, napkin in lap, and a wine glass to toast, Dijon is a reminder of the poetry and elegance that lies in food.