The Slow Food movement, from humble beginnings of simply wanting to protect good food traditions in Italy, has grown into a massive, global organization that has never lost sight of their original goals of keeping food simple, local and good.
In recent years, the movement has also become proactive in education, both by arranging initiatives in schools around the world, and via the creation of their own university, the University of Gastronomic Sciences, in Northern Italy.
Each month, a series of Slow Food events are held in all locations where there are Slow Food groups (each known as a ‘convivia’).
For those interested in attending events being held this month in Tuscany, or looking for inspiration for some Slow Food activities of your own, here is a what’s on list for Tuscany in December:
4th December, 9.30am ? The return of Saturday Cellars with a visit to Podere La Castellaccia
Simona and Alessandro invite visitors to Podere La Castellaccia to share in their passion for biological products, at:
Via di Montauto,
SAN GIMIGNANO (SI)
There will be tastings of 4 estate wines, including a Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG and a Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG. A light lunch of mixed bruschette, deli meats, mixed cheeses and ribollita will also be available.
Price per person is 20 euro for members, and 25 for non-members.
The meeting point for participants will be at the BEYFIN petrol station on Via Senese at 9.30am, with an estimated arrival time of 11.00 am.
Please note: the last few kilometres are along unsurfaced roads. Please dress warmly and wear suitable footwear.
For more information and to sign up for this event, please call Ingrid on Italian number +39 339 849 89 21.
TERRA MADRE DAY ? Mother Earth Day
This year, to commemorate the occasion of Mother Earth Day, celebrations will be focused on food diversity, whilst also supporting the realization of 1000 vegetable gardens in Africa – the new challenge of Slow Food to create such gardens in schools, in villages and in the areas surrounding cities in Africa.
The ‘1000 gardens in Africa’ project guarantees the training of farmers and young people, favouring knowledge of local products and biodiversity, promoting respect for the environment, and reinforcing the spirit of collaboration. To create a vegetable garden also signifies a guarantee that the local community will have fresh and healthy food available, bettering the quality of life and aiding the economy.
Two events will be featured on Mother Earth Day in Florence:
9th December, 2010 – Terra Madre Day: Mother Earth Day at the BiblioteCaNova Isolotto, on Via Chiusi 4/3A at 5.00pm
Meet with Ezio Giraudo, who will present his title, ‘Il piacere dell’orto. Tradizionale, decorativo, urbano, educativo. Idee e soluzioni per un orto slow.’ (‘The pleasure of the garden. Traditional, decorative, urban, educational. Ideas and solutions for a Slow vegetable garden), published by Mi-Fi, Slow Food Editore-Giunti, 2010.
Then at 7.00pm, there will be the inauguration of the photographic exhibition GMO Free, 11 diptychs by Paolo Gramigni, promoted by the Fondazione Slow Food for biodiversity.
At both events, the Regional President Raffaella Grana will be present.
10th December ? Charity Dinner for the ‘1000 Gardens in Africa’ project
This event is to be held at the Circolo Ricreativo F. Pucci at Ponte a Mensola, on Via Gabriele D’Annunzio, 182 at 8.30 pm, with Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi in attendance.
The menu will include:
Polpettine di cardi e poppa fritta con insalatina di cavolo verza
Farinata con cavolo nero
Stracotto alla fiorentina con rapini saltati
Frittelle di farina di castagne con ricotta al caffè
The cost of the dinner is set at 25 euro per person. Reservations to be made by 6th December via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Italian number +39 346 7897691.
Sunday, 12th December ? A visit to the Frantoio di Camperiti (Pelago)
An interesting event above all for participants of the recently concluded masters programme, which allows attendees to witness the transformation of olives into oil in situ.
After the visit, tastings of certain oil as well as the Laudemio Frescobaldi will be accompanied by some nibbles.
The Cost is 10 euro for member and 15 for non-members.
We will be meeting at 9.45am outside of the Cantina Vicas on VIA LISBONA, 39 in Pontassieve. For more information and reservations, please call Sonia on Italian number +39 3471915509.
14th December, at 8.30pm ? Dinner with well wishes from the Condotta di Firenze
A special evening being held at the Osteria da Mèlo in Via di Rosano, 198 in the location of Rosano.
All members are invited to partecipate in a salute to the end of the year, which will also allow us to enjoy a splendid Sicilian menu:
Appetisers: Salumi di S.Angelo in Brolo, Provola delle Madonie, Primo Sale con gelatina di Marsala e Caponatina di Mèlo
Entrée: Cavateddi impastizzati alla Modicana
Main course: Sformato di Sarde all’origano di Nicosia e Capperi di Campobello di Mazara
Last but not least: Cannoli (by Mèlo)
The accompanying wines will be those produced by Az. Agricola Petreto (as per the ‘Cantina del Sabato’ event held on 6th November, and which is close to the Osteria).
The cost of the evening is 34 euro for members and 39 euro for non-members. Bookings can be made directly with the Osteria on Italian number +39 055 6519000 (ask for Francesca).
Finally, there is a spectacular double event ‘brewing’:
13th and 20th December at 9.00pm ? Awaiting Christmas.
Italian and Belgium beer will be on the sled this Christmas, to be paired with the most delicious sweets.
The event is being held at the Livingstone Club on Viale Redi, 73.
The price per person, for both evenings, is 35 euro (including Livingstone membership).
Registrations are being accepted via email to email@example.com or via calling Italian number +39 346 7897691.
Payment must be received prior to the evening via bank transfer, payable to Slow Food Firenze account (IBAN IT07T0867302801030000100318).
For information regarding the Slow Food Movement, here is a re-cap of a previous Artviva post about the Slow Food movement:
The Slow Food Movement began in opposition to the ‘Fast Food’ mentality that has seen people wanting bad food, fast instead of good food worth waiting for. It was founded in 1986 in protest of the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant near the Spanish Steps. The movement went global in 1989 and since that time, over 100,000 people in over 130 countries have become members (including Artviva!).
Slow Food says their aim is to give importance to the taste of food, learning to enjoy diversity in both recipes and in taste, to recognize the variety in production locations, to respect the seasons, to enjoy the entire process of dining on good food in good company (and a good glass of wine doesn’t go astray either!).
Italians are famous for not patiently waiting their turn when it comes to queuing up in line, but their impatience does not extend to the kitchen. Taking your time to prepare food that is good to eat and good for you is par for the course for many common recipes emanating from Tuscan kitchens which take hours to cook. Home-made Brodo (broth), Ribollita and other hearty soups, Ragù (meat sauce) with home-made pasta, Spezzatino (beef stew Tuscan-style), Cacciucco (seafood stew) take hours to cook and prepare – and are worth every moment!
But slow food cooking also means slow food production. Ingredients produced in the traditional ways, in the traditional areas and habitats. The zero kilometers concept, that maintains your food should come within the area you live in, not only supports local farmers, but also reduces costs in terms of price paid and costs on the environments by way of pollution. It’s the anti-globalisation concept that wants to keep farming in the hands (literally) of small producers.
It’s the eat-well, feel-well, live-well concept, and it’s delicious!
If you see the famous snail sign of the Slow Food movement displayed in a restaurant or food establishment, it indicates that they are abiding by the Slow Food principles (and that you may have to wait a little longer for your meal!).
You can also book a Tuscan hands-on cooking class with Artviva, or have a market visit and cooking class in Florence to learn even more about fresh Italian produce.
Artviva can also arrange wine tours and Tuscany tours, and encourages eco-friendly tourism with the utilization of public transport.