What Is Slow Food > Slow Food USA Blog
Posted on Mon, November 12, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
As the Slow Food delegates arrived in Puebla, news of the terrible flooding in the Tabasco region spread. With nearly a million people affected, Tabasco is in trouble. It was just two short years ago that Slow Food rallied around its friends in New Orleans, helping them to rebuild the food communities there. This new disaster, so much larger even than the floods after Hurricane Katrina, weighed heavily on the minds of the delegates to the Congress. Villahermosa, in Tabasco, is the home of a Slow Food convivium, a Slow Food community. A representative from Villahermosa–Dona Alma Rosa– came and spoke to the delegates, giving them a sense of the scope of the damage, and a sense of what exactly needs to be done to rebuild the food community there.
Within 24 hours, Slow Food Switzerland, Slow Food Italy, Slow Food San Francisco, and Citta Slow had all pledged thousands of dollars/Euros to help those rebuilding efforts. Tabasco produces 80% of the world's cocoa crops, and these will need to be revived, mills will need to be rebuilt, and new marketing channels will need to be carved.
This disaster is larger than any of us can comprehend–we will keep you posted on ways that you can contribute to the relief efforts in Villahermosa, and the larger Tabasco area.
Posted on Sat, November 10, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
In the garden, overlooking the ruins of a home for aged Franciscan friars, under white umbrellas and the blazing Poblano sun, we ate tortillas, drank mezcal, and met our neighbors, from the UK, Japan, Italy, Germany, Chile, Brazil, Sweden, Mexico….and on and on. Suddenly, a 70 piece mariachi band, dressed all in white–violoins, guitars, horns–broke into jubilant and beautiful sound. Carlo Petrini, at the center, wearing a sombrero and leading the song.
This was the Slow Food 5th International Congress. From November 8th - November 11th, Slow Food convivium leaders from around the world gathered in Puebla, Mexico to discuss the future of the movement, to meet each other, to share knowledge and passion, ideas and fried grasshoppers.
For more news about the Congress, check out Slow Food International's site, and please use the comments section to share with us all the images that stuck with you most.
Posted on Tue, October 30, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
We are lucky enough to have Poppy Tooker as one of our leaders and one of the vibrant and dynamic faces of Slow Food USA. Poppy, a New Orleanian, is the Chair of Ark of Taste Committee, and in addition to helping select which endangered foods make it onto the "Ark," she is an expert in putting together delicious and educational dinners that incorporate foods from the list into the meal.
On Sunday, October 21st, a crowd of over 50 people came together at the Astor Center, in New York City, to celebrate the Ark of Taste, support the upcoming event Slow Food Nation, and watch Poppy Tooker's pilot television show, "Eat It To Save It."
The menu – lovingly prepared by Culinary Corp alumni chefs – included a plethora of Ark foods from Wild Caught Louisiana Shrimp, Wild Catfish and Pineywoods Cattle to numerous Ark tomatoes, Newtown Pippin Apples and Dry Monterey Jack Cheese.
Guests were treated to a screening of the pilot episode of Poppy's television series, which champions Louisiana food producers and traditions. Before tasting the wild catfish served Joey Fonseca style, attendees got to watch Joey on the screen showing Poppy how to catch and cook this delicious wild fish.
Thanks to all who came out, and here's hoping you get to see Poppy's show on a TV screen near you!
Posted on Fri, October 26, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
This past weekend, Slow Food USA Executive Director Erika Lesser traveled to Bozeman Montana to give a keynote address at the Northern Rockies Satellite Bioneers conference.
The cornerstone of the main Bioneers conference which is held in San Rafael, CA, is an impressive lineup of plenary speakers who address issues of environmental sustainability and offer "practical environmental solutions and innovative social strategies for restoring the Earth and communities." These speakers are leaders and visionaries (MacArthur genius fellows, you know the type: very inspiring people!) and they are beamed via satellite to locations around the country, where local sustainability conferences are organized around them.
One of the largest of these satellite conferences is hosted by BORN in Bozeman, and their theme this year was food. In and around their conversations about the local food system (and other sustainability issues), were a few live keynote speakers, including Erika. The other keynote speaker of the weekend was Dan Imhoff, whom you may know as the author of the excellent "Food Fight," his comprehensive tome on the Farm Bill.
Satellite plenary highlights included Paul Anastas, the "Father of Green Chemistry," New York City's own Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx, and Winona LaDuke of White Earth Land Recovery Project discussing the Slow Food Presidia product Manoomin Wild rice.
Bozeman is beautiful, and the community there is full of conservationists and local food enthusiasts, including our small but lovely Slow Food Montana convivium (who know how to throw a mean potluck). Erika's talk was a wonderful chance to reach a new, extremely receptive audience, and to meet slow friends out in big sky country.
Posted on Tue, October 02, 2007 by Website Administrator
Here's what ABC News travel correspondent Phoebe Natanson had to say about Cheese, Slow Food's festival of fermentation held every odd-numbered year in Bra, Italy:
A cheese fiend since childhood, I finally found the right occasion to indulge my passion and get certified doing it! I was off to Bra to smell brie, among other delicacies, and to take a Master in Cheese course.
When I arrived in Bra on a sunny Friday morning in September, hundreds of cheeses of different shapes and forms had been carted into the town by their producers and put on display, ready to be tasted by the crowd swarming the small streets and bustling piazzas. "E` una festa!" exclaimed a local shopkeeper as I wove my way amid the stands, and a party it was, a cheese fest.
Posted on Fri, September 28, 2007 by Website Administrator
Tell that to Arkansas:
The Slow Food perspective is that a lifestyle shift is needed — one that involves stopping to smell the basil. Instead of grabbing a burger at a drive-through, and eating on-the-go, we will have more fun and advance sustainability at the same time if we get to know our farmers and buy local food, support local food traditions and heritage agricultural varieties and breeds, and re-establish meals as social events. Ozark Slow Food wants to both celebrate and promote local food and good eating.
The Fayetteville Free Weekly goes on to say…
The Slow Food movement reached Northwest Arkansas before the name did. Although some people still believe that fruit and vegetable production departed this region many years ago, today a dozen farmers' markets are operating in NWA. And the number of markets, growers, and shoppers continues to rise. Increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables comes at the right time. Concerns about obesity among all age groups in Arkansas is encouraging more people to eat more fruits and vegetables, and none are better than those eaten fresh from local farms.
And local chefs and food lovers are in on it too:
One of those chefs is Vince Pianalto. "I have always been a fan of the Slow Food movement as long as I have been in the foodservice business," Pianalto said. "I was bolstered by the attendance at the first Slow Food event at my bakery in June, but never imagined the response. I expected around 50 people when over 130 arrived. Wow! Northwest Arkansas is obviously ready for a chapter of Slow Food."
Posted on Wed, September 26, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
A bike trip along the river Po sounds like a picturesque way to spend a few weeks on holiday. But what if this were school? What if your gastronomy professor were on the bike next to you, and the delicious local meals you stopped to enjoy were coursework?? For many of us, the prospect of biking along the aquatic lifeline of Italy, learning about the river, and the food traditions in the community along it, sounds like a terrific break from work, but for students at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, it IS work (schoolwork, that is).
The University of Gastronomic Sciences was founded by Slow Food in 2003 to offer the first ever gastronomic degree. Continuing in this trailblazing tradition, the students and teachers of the University have just embarked on an innovative 3 week, 650 km trip along the Po to examine how the river is changing due to environmental impact, and climate change. Read more about the trip here, and here.
Posted on Fri, September 14, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
Slow Food NOLA has a new little sister
Wait a minute.
Don't go so fast.
Join the Slow Food movement.
Slow Food of North Louisiana will hold its first chapter meeting — or convivium — from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum, 3015 Greenwood Road in Shreveport. Convivium means "to live with, hence to feast with because conviviality is an essential ingredient of Slow Food."
The "Southern Supper" first session will introduce locals to the organization.
So what is slow food?
"Part of a growing national and international movement to foster awareness about the foods we eat and provide an opportunity to share local food customs and traditions," said convivium leader Becky Craft.
You can read more about it at The Shreveport Times
Y'all bon appetit, you hear?
Posted on Wed, September 12, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
For 22 years, Farm Aid has been traveling the country and making music to support family farms. Last Sunday, Farm Aid hit New York City, giving NYC the chance to show its love for farmers and to prove that urban landscapes are farm-friendly in more ways than one. For their arrival in NYC, Farm Aid partnered with a local group called The Food Systems Network New York City (a network of local groups working on issues in and around food) to bring the concert to a new level; FSNYC succeeded in making the event completely recyclable, and also in adding an educational component.
Slow Food USA was one of many non-profits to have a table set up with information and demonstrations for Farm Aid attendees. Under a tent called "Resurrect the Potluck," we joined FoodChange, Just Food, Sustainable Table, and The Cornell Cooperative Extension. Staff from the SFUSA office flipped Manoomin Wild Rice Pancakes, topped them with local New York State maple syrup and served them up to thousands of attendees. As they chewed, we talked, telling them about the endangered food tradition of wild rice harvesting, and spreading the Slow Food gospel.
Posted on Fri, August 24, 2007 by Jerusha Klemperer
Slow Food USA Board of Directors member Jeff Roberts has written the Bible of American Artisinal Cheese, and at Feast! in Charlottesville, Virginia it's received a tasty welcome…
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.–In conjunction with Jeff Roberts signing his book, "The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese," Feast! hosted a free tasting of American artisan cheeses and discussion on the importance of artisan and local food production on Aug. 23.
Following the discussion and tasting, Roberts answered questions and signed copies of his book that was available for purchase at the event. The tasting portion of the event included contributions by several of Central Virginia's food artisans including cheesemaker Gail Hobbs-Page from Caromont Farms and wine maker Gabriele Rausse from Gabriele Rausse Winery.
You can read more about it at Gourmet News
Slow Food International also runs a publishing company, Slow Food Editore, which specializes in tourism, food and wine. The library now contains about 40 titles and houses Slow, the award-winning quarterly herald of taste and culture, available in five languages: Italian, English, French, German and Spanish.