Monday, May 22, 2017

The Pleasures of "Slow Food"

Slow Food

"In a world increasingly dominated by fast food, The Pleasures of Slow Food celebrates heritage recipes, artisan traditions, and the rapid evolution of a movement to make good food a part of everyday life. 

"Slow Food" is defined by how it's made -- if it's allowed to ripen before it's harvested, prepared by hand and enjoyed among friends it's "Slow Food." It's a philosophy, a way to farm, a way to cook -- a way to live. It's also the name of a 65,000-strong international movement, numbering among its members some of the most distinguished names in the food world. 

The Pleasures of Slow Food showcases over 60 recipes from the world's most innovative chefs for dishes that feature local handmade ingredients and traditional cooking methods. Premier food writer Corby Kummer also profiles Slow Food's luminaries, such as Italian cheese-maker Roberto Rubino and Canadian Karl Kaiser, who makes sweet ice-wine. 

Pairing fantastic recipes with engaging stories, The Pleasures of Slow Food brings the best of the food world to the kitchen table."  -- The Atlantic Monthly

"The organization "Slow Food" -- meant to stand as the antithesis to "fast food" -- dedicates itself to artisanal and traditional foods. Italian journalist Carlo Petrini, president of "Slow Food," and Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation,  contribute a brief preface and foreword, respectively. 

Kummer s history of the organization ably chronicles its growth from a protest against installation of a McDonald's in Rome in 1985 to its current focus on the Ark -- "a directory of endangered foods around the world that members rescue by enjoying them." 

There is a section on 10 of the artisanal products included in the Ark, some coupled together for comparison (for example, there is a short essay on cheese made in the Basilicata region of Italy and another on cheese made in Vermont) -- these stories provide glimpses into the psyches of people like Jim Gerritsen, who has dedicated his life to growing heirloom potatoes in Maine

Kummer then offers simple, homespun recipes, and proposes that through each one, the homecook can learn "how to imprint that taste on your own dishes." 

Recipes are arranged from "Old World to New," so there are a few selections from Italy, such as Pesto alla Genovese from the Garibaldi family, who run a farmhouse restaurant in Liguria, and from Ireland - Baked Cheese with Winter Herbs from Tom and Giana Ferguson of County Cork

The vast majority of these 44 recipes, however, come from American restaurateurs such as Ana Sortun (Lamb Steak with Turkish Spices and Fava Bean Moussaka) from Oleana Restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., as well as from Alice Waters and Daniel Boulud -- and while the recipes from America don't always focus on local ingredients, they do embrace the spirit of "Slow Food." This is a noble and handsome effort." -- Publishers Weekly

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