19 November 2006

More Tales about Slow Food /Terre Madre

As I was searching for a Terre Madre link I found a web site from University of Maine "Enviromental Sustainability Project"They had delegates go to Terre Madre in Torino and filed a lovely story about their "farm stay"
while they were attending the conference. It's a great story and for me exemplifies what the whole experience is about in the words of an attendee/delegate.
They also did a fine job describing Terre Madre and it's aspirations and how it fit into their vision. I am quoting their statement about how they view the Terre Madre endeavor.
"Terre Madre was the first meeting of "world food communities". The idea of Carlo Petrini and others at Slow Food was to bring together food communities producers, artisans, distributors and retailers of high quality sustainable produced food ... people working together with the goal of trying to create sustainable food systems. Over 5000 farmers from 131 different nations came together to discuss the benefits of local food systems. The overriding message of the meeting was that small sustainable organic farms provide quality food, keep the money in the local community, and maintain the landscape, all key goals of the Environmental Sustainability Project." For me another memorable quote was from Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame and pioneer in her Edible Schoolyard Project. Speaking about her efforts to bring about a similar project to Italy's Salon del Gusto in the US and calling it "Slow Food Nation"(obviously as a counterpart to "Fast Food Nation"), she said (and I'm paraphrasing) that we need to get the message out that "Slow Food" is not a exclusive high end dinner club, but a viewpoint and lifestyle about sustainabilty thru how and what we eat, purchase and live our life.
The 300 Presidia products on hand for the show are defended and promoted by the Slow Food Foundation's "Ark of Taste" commited to preserving biodiversity. These were some of the most fascinating products I've seen.

The mission of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity is to organize and fund projects that defend our world’s heritage of agricultural biodiversity and gastronomic traditions.

We envision a new agricultural system that respects local cultural identities, the earth’s resources, sustainable animal husbandry, and the health of individual consumers."

Ruby red aubergine the size of tomatoes and Seras cheese born in and still made in the Torre Pellice valley next to ours ,that is distinctive for is natural wrapping of grass, just to name a couple. The colorful peppers of Carmagnola just out on the plains from us that we so enjoy all winter in our brightly colored bottles of agrodolci pepperoni and the highly aromatic pepperonata that is so dear to Fabrizio's mothers heart!

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