I first heard about the slow food movement three years ago. At first, I thought it had more to do with quality food that takes time to prepare. I soon discovered that it also involves the idea of ecoregions and honouring traditional and heirloom foods. I have to admit, I believe some of the groups involved with the slow food movement to be a bit too disconnected and elitist for my taste, but the general idea goes hand in
hand with local foods.
Slow food originated in Italy as a response to the fastfood restaurant invasion and the monoculture the industry brought with it. It's disheartening to see the havoc that fastfood and large supermarkets have on regional food producers and small artisian food shops. I am currently reading Hungry Planet: What the World Eats
. The book illustrates how globalization truely is creating more homogenous eating among the world's population. Even countries like France, which is renown for it's specialty grocery shops, are seeing these shops being replaced by large supermarkets because of convenience and price.
What about here in the states? Well I belive many areas have nearly lost their traditions. Here in northern Wisconsin, we seem to have an understanding of tradition, but often lack on delivery. In the summer I frequent berry farms and farmers markets, but winter and spring allow for few options, so I do almost all of my grocery shopping this time of year at the local food co-op. Luckily, I am still able to buy regional cheeses, preserves, fish, meats, wild rice, and for awhile longer-squash. Unfortunately, there is no longer a local option for canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, which leads me to buy organic produce from Califonia. Still, I try to eat many of the regions' "slow food". So I'm putting together a list of regional foods that could be included in a slow food meal.
*Wild Rice (the true Great Lakes variety-It's greener and takes less ime to cook)
*Fish (Lake Superior white fish and Lake Trout or walleyes and bluegills)
*Venison (I recently was given 2 hind quarters)
*Blueberries (I still have some frozen from summer picking)
*South Shore Brewery Beer
This list seems to be a good representation of the foods in this region. We do have wild edibles such as mushrooms and leeks (ramps), that are wonderful when their season arrives.
For some links on the slow food movement check out Slow Food USA
and Slow Food International
Labels: Environmental, Local Foods, The Northland