Friday, December 7, 2012
This Terra Madre Day, Monday December 10th, we have 4 events around the state where you can interact with delegates from this, and past years! Check out our events page on our brand new website!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
I attended one session entitled, Food Policies – Pleasure and Well-Being and part of another entitled, Traditional Knowledge, Gender, and Immaterial Values. I may say more about these workshops in another entry but I want to write about my experiences at the Salone Del Gusto at this moment. This is the parallel event to Terra Madre where connoisseurs and novice food lovers can share in an unbelievable experience of seeing, tasting, and, talking about foods from all over the world.
Never have I been faced with such a vast array of foodstuffs of every kind: cheeses, cured meats, breads, sweets, vegetables, fruits, grains, honey, wine, and more. Exhibitors are organized according to the origin and production of their foods. Many growers and producers represent every region of Italy. Other countries have smaller but equally interesting and delicious displays. Navigating this space is overwhelming, mainly because the foods cover every inch of space and it’s hard to know where to look and taste first.
Among the thousands of foods presented, are just over two hundred that are designated as part of the Slow Food Presidia. These are foods that are exampled of a mode of agriculture based on quality, safeguarding of traditional knowledge, and, sustainability. Included were Orbasso red celery, the Capriglio pepper, and, the Cabinnia cow, all from Italy. Examples from other countries included Kemper Heath sheep (Netherlands), Herenna Forest Wild coffee (Ethiopia), Smilya beans (Bulgaria), and, wild fig slatko, a kind of preserve (Macedonia).
After tasting white anchovies, many olive oils, cheeses with unfamiliar names, grappa, lemon preserves, and so much more, I needed an espresso to keep me going. The Salone del Gusto is open for the next two days so I have much more to explore. Details to follow.
Note: being new to blogging, I was not able to place the photos where I wanted to so I guess I know what to figure out next.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
First impressions of the organization of Terra Madre are always so refreshing, our tags with our names already on them are ready for us to wear, spontaneous music erupts from every corner and inspiring words are all shared at the opening ceremonies. The founder of Slow Food, and soul-stirring speaker, Carlo Petrini, shared his vision for the next 4 days, and his hopes for us in our journey through Terra Madre: the farmers, elders, women and natives are the keepers of the stories, traditions, techniques and history of our collective foodways - it is our duty in this generation to not be shy or fearful of learning from these people, or the greatest knowledge base of our food systems will disappear. To that end, Terra Madre is focusing on the dying languages of our native peoples, and invited 4 individual representatives from Australian aborigines, the Gamo (Ethiopia), the Kamchadal (Russia), the Sami (Sweden) and the Guaranì (Brazil) to present the plight of their native people and the importance of preserving their values and traditions for future generations. Carlo was emphatic when he said, “We must have a dialogue between science and traditional knowledge,” he said. “The main holders of this knowledge are native peoples, women, farmers and elders. Not only should they be listened to, but should be at the front line for the challenges this world and the crisis present us. Yet these are the people least considered by politicians and media.” He also talked about the need for Terra Madre, this gathering of 5,000 individuals, and what that means. "Fraternity," he said, "without fraternity there can be no understanding...the value of the meeting, the getting together, the listening to and exchanging of ideas - THAT is the miracle of Terra Madre." And, in a day full of small miracles, it truly does feel like collecting 5000 people from around the globe to come together and talk about our collective responsibility to our food system... well, it does feel like a miracle indeed.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Monday, November 17, 2008
- A focus on food culture and the culture of conviviality should be a central theme - simply getting together with other eaters, creating and enjoying a meal together and taking as long as you'd like to complete that meal. Gatherings at members' homes for themed potlucks or just a gathering at a local chicken pie supper. Cheap, easy, and meaningful!
- SFVT could have a defined educational arm - food tastings and events focusing on the science of taste (apple tastings, honey tastings, maple syrup tastings, cheese!)
- There were a few voices that liked the idea of SFVT distinguishing itself as an organization focusing on the culture of food in Vermont - looking at and educating Vermonters on the foodways that helped to build up our state; maple, dairy, salt pork, etc. This could also tie into the folks that are already doing "slow food", but don't even know it - the chicken pie suppers are a great example.
- There was also the general sense that this organization could have more of an emphasis on the eaters - the co-producers, and their experience. This does not exclude the producers - Slow Food international recognizes the players as the Producers, the Co-Producers, the Chefs, the Educators, the Academics, and the Youth. SFVT could as well - but perhaps use the other players as the supporters of the Co-Producers' experience.
- There was a lot of enthusiasm for holding a summit of all the food players in the state to define our roles and see how SFVT could fit in.
- There was a general consensus that VT needed a lot of chapters that answer to the State chapter (located in Montpelier), and perhaps one meeting a year where all the chapters gather and report on our events.
- Nova mentioned the creation of a "Snail Trail" that identifies restaurants and farms in the state that subscribe to the tenets of Slow Food, the practices of Good, Clean and Fair food. The locations would have a sign not unlike the VT Fresh Network sign that would signify to the public that they hold up to those standards.
- There was also the idea of a panel discussion being held at the NOFA-VT conference this February on Slow Food Vermont - sharing our vision with the public and inviting them to join.