'Slow Food' on Serious Eats

Serious Green: Upgrading School Lunch

[Photograph ©iStockphoto.com/apomares] School lunch in the district where I attended K-12 was, frankly, disgusting. I was lucky enough to come from a home where there was enough money and time for me to have a home-packed lunch every day. There were plenty of kids who loved the square sausage pizza and hermetically sealed PBJs, but I'm sure there were also plenty who would have gladly eaten something else had they not been on the free-lunch program. Now, it's pretty clear that no matter if my classmates liked it or not, they shouldn't have been eating the food the school was dishing up. Schools send a message to children with the foods that are served. The additives, preservatives, and sugar... More

Dispatch from Slow Food Nation: Looking Forward

Editor's note: Over the weekend, we sent Serious Eats San Francisco correspondent Jennifer Maiser to Slow Food Nation. This is her final dispatch from the event. I left Slow Food Nation yesterday feeling extremely conflicted, and I am not the only one. Some friends who are exemplary students of the slow food way of life avoided the event entirely, choosing instead to preserve their local bounty, have delicious meals, and volunteer at a local farm. One coined the phrase, "slow food is for life, not just for Labor Day," which I just love because it is a reminder that a lot of us live the "slow" way of eating every day by eating food from artisan producers, making our own... More

Dispatch from Slow Food Nation: The Marketplace

Of all the Slow Food Nation program, the Marketplace seemed to be the most in line with the goal to reach the general public. The Victory Garden was the cornerstone of the location, a quarter-acre vegetable and herb garden. Originally planted in July, the garden's plants were high and lush for this weekend. More

Dispatch from Slow Food Nation: The Taste Pavilion

On Friday night, I visited a preview of the Slow Food Nation Taste Pavilion, a 50,000 square foot arena where guests could taste artisanal foods from around the U.S. broken into several individual areas: Beer, Wine, Spirits, Ice Cream, Bread, Pickles & Chutney, etc. It was there that we saw chef David Chang give a cooking demo. More

Dispatch from Slow Food Nation: Speaker Panels

From left: Gary Nabhan, Dan Barber, James Oseland, Winona LaDuke, Michael Pollan. Credit: Slow Food Nation I have been sitting at my keyboard for the last 45 minutes trying to decide how to best describe Slow Food Nation. We San Franciscans have been hearing about the arrival of this massive event for about a year. The brainchild of Alice Waters, Slow Food Nation is the first event of its kind. It's taking place over this three-day weekend and comprises panels, classes, a large Taste Pavilion, dinners, a farmers' market, two rock concerts, and more. The event is being attended by about 50,000 food lovers, and has taken over San Francisco's food community. It's also divided the community: Some are... More

An Open Letter to Alice Waters and the Good Folks at Slow Food Nation

Dear Slow Fooders, The Slow Food Nation event is upon us this weekend in San Francisco, and I'm feeling a little forlorn that I'm not out there. The organizers have put together what looks like an impressive set of events, with interesting panels, compelling speakers, and lots of seriously delicious food. Buying local, sustainably raised food is laudable but not enough. Photograph: NatalieMaynor on Flickr We all love the idea of the Slow Food movement and what it stands for, namely supporting sustainable, artisanal food. All serious eaters are down with that notion. But merely believing in Slow Food as a cause is in and of itself not enough. I have always found the Slow Food movement here in the... More

Slow Food Snail of Approval

This week the New York City chapter of Slow Food USA announced the start of its new Snail of Approval Program, which recognizes local "chefs, restaurateurs, producers, culinary artisans, and food purveyors for their devotion to Slow Food principles." Similar to a kosher certification or green certification, the Snail of Approval will help people find producers, purveyors, and artisans who are dedicated to high quality, authenticity, and sustainability. Some of the places listed so far include Dan Barber's Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Saxelby Cheesemongers, and Brooklyn Brewery.... More

Slow Food Cheese Festival

Last weekend the small, medieval town of Bra, Italy, about 50 miles south of Torino in the Piedmont, played host to the Slow Food's biennial cheese festival. The festival features cheesemakers from around the world, with special attention given to those producers crafting old recipes and local specialties (as part of Slow Food's Presidia program). The focus of this year's festival, which attracted an estimated 150,000 visitors over four days, was on the cheeses of Eastern Europe.... More

Alice Waters Blogs (Sort Of)

Alice Waters responded today to those of us who felt her assessment of the food at Farm Aid was overly harsh. (I blogged about it here last week.) Basically, she says her comments were misconstrued, that she truly appreciated the effort the Farm Aid folks made to get so much local and sustainably grown and raised food served at the site, and that her absolutist, uncompromising, visionary tendencies got the best of her. In her own words:... More

Farm Aid Didn't Sell Out!

I woke up Sunday morning thinking I was going to go to the Farm Aid concert and feed, but I went to Serious Eats world headquarters instead and cleaned my desk. I wanted to see what kind of local, family, farm-oriented food they had, and I really wanted to see the Allman Brothers Band, who I hadn't seen since the Watkins Glen rock festival in 1973. But Kim Severson went and reported that Alice Waters took offense at the corporate nature of the food sponsors. Companies like Horizon Organic and Clif Bar apparently paid sponsorship fees to be able to sell their products at Farm Aid. What is Alice's remedy for all this Farm Aid–sanctioned corporate food?... More

'Slow Food in a Jar': Coming to a Supermarket Near You

MAINE-MADE “GOOD CLEAN FOOD” LINE OF ALL-NATURAL SIMMER SAUCES ATTRACTING CUSTOMERS FROM MAINE TO KENTUCKY The following press release just came into Serious Eats world headquarters from the folks at Good Clean Food. We think the idea of "Slow Food in a Jar" says so much. Has the inherent irony here somehow escaped the company and the PR firm responsible? So without further ado: Hand-crafted “Slow Food in a Jar” Sauces Offering Fresh Flavor and Convenience, Plans for Additional Sauces in the Works Portland, ME – Maine’s Good Clean Food (www.goodcleanfood.com) today announced that its line of all-natural, one-step simmer sauces is being offered by a growing number of high-profile, national supermarkets. The company’s refrigerated simmer sauces are now being... More

San Francisco Rejects Slow Food

Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement and author of Slow Food Nation: A Blueprint for Changing the Way We Eat has gotten himself into a load of trouble with folks who'd otherwise be his biggest fans — supporters of San Francisco's Ferry Building Farmers' Market. Gurgling Cod offers his own summary of the ongoing and heated San Francisco vs Slow Food debate including links to all the requisite reading.... More

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