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Posted on Thu, September 27, 2012 by Slow Food USA
The Nopal Cactus, native to the Mojave Desert, has been used for generations as a food source with multiple uses and benefits that may surprise you.
Written by Robert Morris, co-founder of Slow Food Las Vegas and former Professor Emeritus from the University of Nevada
If you were to pair cactus with other foods you might want to consider pairing it with limes and paprika. This is a popular pairing in Mexico with the cactus food called nopalitos where Opuntia ficus-indica, the prickly pear or nopal cactus, is native. In the popular literature you might think that this cactus was native to Italy since this plant gets much more play there as a food than where it grows natively, the inland deserts of Central Mexico.
However, Mexicans have enjoyed this food in many prepared forms for centuries. In respect for its place of origin, I prefer to use the Mexican terms for the edible portions of the plant: tunas (fruit), nopales (immature whole cactus pads for eating) and nopalitos (cactus pads that have been prepared for eating or cooking).
In 2003, I established nopal cactus plots at the University Orchard located at the Center for Urban Horticulture and Water Conservation in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Faculty and my good friends at the University of Sonora-Hermosillo, Mexico (USON) donated cactus pads from USON’s agricultural farm just outside of Hermosillo and taught us how to plant and manage their production.
Posted on Thu, September 13, 2012 by Slow Food USA
Lester & Linda L’Hoste have been working to preserve the organic Ark of Taste satsuma on their citrus farm in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and now Isaac.
Written by Poppy Tooker, former leader of Slow Food New Orleans
On August 29th, exactly seven years from the day that Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the surrounding area, a new storm blew in. Isaac was not expected to be much of a storm event as it came onshore as a mere category one.
Lester and Linda L’Hoste, organic citrus farmers in Braithwaite, LA and Crescent City Farmers Market vendors did not evacuate. As lifelong residents of Southern Louisiana, they had ridden out many a storm and believed this one was just going to bring a small amount of wind and rain.
The family enjoyed dinner together and Linda had spent the evening baking cookies before losing power about 10 pm. At 2 am Lester’s phone rang with the news that the levees were in danger of being overtopped and that they needed to evacuate. The water was rising quickly as the L’Hostes joined fifty other Braithwaite families trying to get out. Soon, it became apparent that it was too late as water rushed over the top of the levee reaching the floorboard of the truck, trapping them there.
Many Slow Food USA members will remember the L’Hostes from efforts made after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. At that time, chapters across the country came together in countless ways to help farmers, fishers and chefs of Louisiana rebuild the local food system following Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. That fall, the U.S. Ark of Taste committee sprang into action boarding several indigenous Gulf Coast foods suddenly endangered in the storm’s aftermath including the satsuma.
Posted on Mon, September 10, 2012 by Emily Walsh
We’ve teamed up with Daniel Klein and the folks over at Perennial Plate to deliver monthly video stories, and our third dispatch features the art of pickling.
The Perennial Plate is a fantastic documentary series that explores socially responsible, sustainable and adventurous eating across the U.S. Slow Food USA has a video content partnership with Perennial to showcase one of our favorite films every month.
This Month’s Perennial Plate Feature: Pickles
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Posted on Fri, September 07, 2012 by Slow Food USA
Tuna, the ubiquitous canned food. But, what do you really know about it? Slow Food USA member & fisherman, Jeremy Brown on Seattle’s own Albacore tuna.
Written by Jeremy Brown, Fisherman, Slow Food member and 2008 Terra Madre delegate
Albacore, Thunnus Alolonga, are the only tuna that can be sold as “white meat’. In many ways the polar opposite of the Bluefin beloved of the sushi trade and poster fish for fisheries run wild. Albacore’s ecological niche is on the fringes- they swim further, faster deeper and more scattered into cooler waters than most tunas. This makes them less vulnerable to fishing pressure, and particularly hard to catch on an industrial scale.
Older fish swim deeper in more tropical water and are principally caught on pelagic longline gear, younger fish frequent the surface waters along the sub tropical convergence zones of the world’s oceans which is where they can be caught by jigs trolled on the surface or chummed up with bait in the classic pole-and-line fisheries.
Posted on Wed, September 05, 2012 by Slow Food USA
Slow Food chapters support and learn from refugees, immigrants and new citizens.
Written By Deirdra Stockmann, Slow Food USA volunteer and former leader with Slow Food Huron Valley
Growing food has long been part of the livelihood and survival of immigrants to the United States. Still today, as they work to make their way in a new place, many migrants find community and economic opportunity in food production. Recently, two Slow Food chapters – Slow Food Minnesota Twin Cities and Slow Food Dallas – have allied with local non-profits to support the agricultural efforts of refugees in their region. The partnerships, so far, have raised funds, expanded community gardens, promoted markets, and shared many memorable meals.
Slow Food Minnesota and the Minnesota Food Association
When Jane Rosemarin began her term as the Slow Food Minnesota leader a few years ago, she wanted to broaden the scope of the chapter’s activities. Anchored in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Slow Food Minnesota was the first of four chapters in the state. Since the chapter began in 1999 it has focused on connecting farmers and consumers, taste education, and to a large extent, sending area farmers and chefs to Terra Madre.
Posted on Mon, September 03, 2012 by Slow Food USA
The second installment in our “Food and Farming Spotlight” features Slow Food Piedmont Triad’s leader, Margaret Norfleet-Neff, and her daughter and the chapter’s youth leader, Salem Neff.
Written by Slow Food USA’s PR & Marketing Manager, Emily Walsh
Symbiosis between a mother and child begins at infancy when the child still depends upon them for survival and it usually starts to taper off as the child becomes more self-sufficient. But by the time the child reaches adulthood, they and their mother, while still close, are often living separate lives that are independent of one another in many ways.
I wanted to preface the following transcript with this idea because I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Margaret Norfleet-Neff and Salem Neff, and they truly have one of the most special parent-child relationships I’ve ever encountered. In addition to sharing the same life passion—enjoying and connecting others with Good, Clean and Fair food—they work together. And while we all know working with family has a reputation for being a bad idea, this mother-daughter duo seems to know the secret. Always ready to jump in and help the other finish their sentences, they are seemingly as comfortable challenging the other to think about things differently.
In addition to their work with the local Slow Food chapter (Slow Food Piedmont Triad), Margaret and Salem own Beta Verde, a local food project that plays a variety of roles in Winston-Salem’s (North Carolina) food and farming community. From planning farm-to-table events, to partnering on research and the development of new food and agricultural initiatives, to specializing in preservation of the season’s harvest, the project promotes Slow Food and makes more people more aware of the story behind their food. They’re also market managers for the Old Salem Cobblestone Farmers Market, which U.S. News and World Report recently voted one of America’s 11 best farmers markets.
So without further ado, please meet Margaret and Salem!