Terra Madre and Salone de gusto.

June 17, 2014

Well its been I while since I left Circa now, Pope Joan is open and thriving and some how I managed to fit in a flying visit to Torino in Italy for Terra Madre and Salone de Gusto, thanks to Slow food Melbourne. Now if you’re not a member of slow food you should be, http://slowfoodaustralia.com.au/ has all the information you need to research the two events I went to but I shall tell you a little from my side of the story.

Terra Madre is a convivium of slow food delegates from food communities from all over the globe that gather together every two years in Turin to share their knowledge and embrace the practices of producing food in a sustainable way. I attended many workshops listening to other like minded people share their experiences about food and how it is produced and it was truly inspiring. The things that stood out where mainly the things that we take for granted, there was a workshop on honey and bees, different soils from around the world and their specific benefits for farming on them, a test on all our primary senses to food, a workshop held on the seeds of the world and how due to big agricultural global magnets whom follow a GM policy for seeds are destroying our heritage and cultures of growing many thousands of different crops. But the stand out workshop was the simple apple, name yourself more than ten different varieties of the fruit of love (this is open to debate I know), well it has been proven there are over 7000 different varieties. I saw laid out on a table 546 of these and I believe recently at on of the inner city farmers markets petty’s orchard showcased many varieties that they grow.
Salone de gusto, well, erm, if you truly love food and produce stop reading and book your tickets for 2012, in fact join slow food and try to get to both, you have my word you will not be disappointed. So for salone, the worlds best producers from around the globe but mainly from all the regions of Italy all under one roof. It was orgasmic, a few photos should help you see the variety of what was on offer, but can I tell you the two highlights.  A group of butchers that make this cross between prosciutto and pancetta from a 300kg pig, they salt, then rub it in this special spice rub and then hang it for 3 years, I managed to get a hold of some of the spice rub myself, it was a matter of an old how’z ya father smash and grab and do a runner like when you use to grab a bottle of full fat milk from the milk float then leg it through the field to safety before the milkman caught up with you….., or is that just me Anyway it was truly mouth watering. The other a simple bean, shaped like a tiny egg that didn’t mush at all in the cooking process, I asked in my best Italian how he cooked them, what I figured out was he pressure cooked them first then transferred to a pot with water, lots of olive oil and butter and sliced onion, simple yes, a food memory that will last forever, a certainty. I could go on about the lardo, the cheese’s especially the one in burnt straw, the honey from hazelnut tree flower with bees trapped in the honey to blacken it, the amazing anchovies, the many beverages of the alcoholic variety, the salamis, the wild games and foie gras but I would hate to boast so I will stop there.

So how to end, simple really, join slow food, save ya pennies and get to Turin in 2012.