Let's cover some bases about Slow Food Nation and it's what it's trying to accomplish. Actually I'm going to give you some links then give you my Cliff Notes version of it.
Slow Foods International
Slow Foods USA
Slow Food wiki
Slow Food Blog
ECM'S Cliff Notes: Pay Attention Class!
So this guy Carlos Petrini gets mad because the Golden Arches, in their plan to take over the world with High Fructose Corn Syrup, decides it wants to open a Mickey D's near the Spanish Steps in Rome of all places. Carlos gets mad and starts the Slow Food Movement. Which wants to claims to preserve the cultural cuisine and the associated food plants and seeds, domestic animals, and farming within an eco region. Pretty common sense stuff.
First off anyone who has read this blog for a while knows every time I go to San Francisco the weather is beautiful and all I really want is a foggy and cool day. Mother Nature and S.F. tourist board will not listen to my insane demands of wanting bad weather. Look... it was crystal clear and gorgeous. I think Alice Waters has an in with God or something because she and the organizers of Slow Food couldn't have picked a better weekend.
This really wasn't a workshop, per se. More like a round table discussion. I think only two points that were mentioned in the description of the workshop were really discussed.
Sam Edwards of Surrey Farms discussed how he was was feeding pigs a diet of 100% fruit to see how the meat will turn out but he won't find out until September of 2009. He cures his hams and other products for up to 700 days. Truly a slow food.
When the subject of bio dynamic farming in the wine business came up even Kenneth Rochford of Medlock Ames Winery didn't fully grasp it so therefore doesn't do it just because it's popular to do so.*on the left: 2007 Rose (Cabernet) and on the right: 2001 Merlot
Medlock Ames Winery, Bell Mountain Vineyard, Alexander Valley
Here's where I learned an important lesson. I now understand why 'foodies' and people who love food are sometimes [all the time] called elitist. When the conversation turned to offal and someone asked a question about buying tripe. They didn't want to buy tripe at a Mexican Market [add finger quotes] because the stores are dirty, so what do I do? And the subtle bashing of my hometown and it's regions is where the light bulb went off in my head and I tuned out. I know that was probably the wrong thing to do but... I will leave it at that because this isn't the time or place.
I was really conflicted about even writing this post. I like what Slow Food stands for but sometimes those ideas in practicality are hard for everyone to follow. It's hard to see past the snob factor when someone who obviously loves food or why else would they be there but yet will not go into an ethnic market to buy ingredients makes me really angry and ashamed.
Thank you FoodBuzz for sending me to Slow Food Nation. I'm sure this isn't the post you were expecting I would write and to tell you the truth this wasn't the post I expected either but all in all it was a good learning experience.