The Mid-Hudson Section of the American Chemical Society
The Microbiology of Cheeses, Wines, Beers,
and Other Fermented Foods
Dr. Betsey Dyer
Department of Biology
Wheaton College, MA
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Marlboro, New York
Contact Neil Fitzgerald at 845-575-3000, x2491 or by e-mail at Neil.Fitzgerald@.... There will be a winery tour at 6:30 PM.
A wine tasting ($4 per person) will follow the talk. Please contact Neil Fitzgerald if you would like to attend the tasting.
For directions to Benmarl Winery, visit http://www.benmarl.com.
About the lecture: This talk celebrates our intimate, beneficial, and enriching relationships with the microbial world, especially through our foods and drinks and our essential interactions for digestion and general good health. All of the great cuisines of the world have evolved their unique flavors, aromas, and textures thanks to the activities of microbes. If a food or beverage is not absolutely fresh (fresh strawberries, fresh peas, fresh salmon) then it is most likely on its
way to decomposition. This was especially true for the tens of thousands of years of human evolution when refrigeration was not a possibility. Our hungry human ancestors were not likely to toss out an item that was frothing, bubbling, discoloring, and exuding new aromas. Instead those transformations became part of the cuisine and eventually came to define regional cuisines. Thus cheeses (decomposing milk), wines (decomposing grapes), beers (decomposing grains) and a host of other comestibles (fermented fishes, beans, cabbages) were invented or at least embraced over and over again by cultures far and wide.
About the speaker: Betsey Dexter Dyer teaches genetics, bacteriology, and parasitology
at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from Boston University. Among her research interests are bioinformatics, microbial speciation and symbiosis. She has written A Field Guide to Bacteria (Cornell 2003.)