Eating-up Stratford
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Slow Food Perth County: Terra Madre Day & the Sunday Market at Anything Grows

Last week Slow Food Perth County had some celebrating to do.

Firstly, December 10, 2010 marked this year's Terra Madre Day, which sees the global Slow Food network holding events to promote good, clean and fair food all over the world.

To honour Terra Madre Day, a few of the members of our Perth County convivium who attended the recent Terra Madre Conference in Turin, Italy, this past October were invited to Revel Caffe (50 Wellington St., Stratford) to talk about the event, show some slides from their trip, and discuss the insights they gleaned from their experiences.

The folks at Revel really embraced the spirit of the Slow Food movement that morning, serving up delicious savoury pastries made using organic local product.

Revel patrons could enjoy a pumpkin sticky bun (made with Soiled Reputation organic pumpkin) with their favourite cup of Las Chicas coffee, which is fresh roasted in London, ON, by two sisters using beans straight from their family's plantation in Nicaragua. In support of the Slow Food commitment to food security, the coffee was free for those who brought along a food bank donation.

The handmade turnovers made using Monforte Dairy's signature Toscano cheese and artisan Italian prosciutto (above) could not have been more appropriate considering the theme of the upcoming evening, as our Perth County crew talked all about the amazing time they had together in Italy while attending the international culinary equivalent to Burning Man (how about "Roasting All Afternoon Over an Open Fire On a Spit Man"? Maybe not...).

You want to see prosciutto?

Here's a pic of curing hams (above) taken by Slow Food Perth County's farm chair Mark Lass.

We all envied the picture of Emily Chandler and Laurie Knechtel hangin' with a couple of serious Italian prosciutto artists (above).

It wasn't just about gorgeous artisan Italian pork products, though... There was a global marketplace where people from around the world shared tastes from their respective food heritages and traditions (above).

Slow Food Founder Carlo Petrini (above) inspired the crowd to continue their efforts in support of a more authentic approach to eating and food production. 

It was a really enjoyable evening as our Slow Food delegates got to share the amazing energy and inspiration they all clearly experienced at the conference with other interested members of the community. 

So Terra Madre Day was the first thing Slow Food Perth County had to celebrate this past week. The other thing was the official rolling-out of Slow Food Sundays at Anything Grows (235 St. Patrick St. in Stratford, pic above).

Stratford's gardening mecca Anything Grows has a new section devoted to local, organic and gourmet foods (above) located in their historic cellar (which was once the keg room of Perth County's original brewery, below).

On Sundays all winter, Anything Grows has invited Slow Food to host an indoor, winter version of the successful market we held all summer in the back lot of Monforte Dairy. This past Sunday, I filmed the market and its vendors as everything was in full swing (including jazz guitarist and friend-of-the-market Stephen Smith). [By the way, my apologies for referring to Brian Holden of Humble Roots gluten free bakery as 'Brian Sheldon' in the video - I think I'm still drooling from his unbelievable co-creation with Sheldon Berries from the 2010 Savour Stratford Tasting Tent].

Even though it was a snowstorm outside, we still had a great turnout as most people were able to come to the downtown market on foot!  

Slow Food Sundays at Anything Grows will be taking a brief holiday hiatus for Deecmber 26, 2010 and January 2, 2011. But there will be a full market this Sunday, December 19, 2010, and Lindsay's Bakery and other interested vendors have been welcomed to set up shop downstairs on Thursday, December 23 for all those who want to stock-up on seriously great baked goods etc. for Christmas.

May everyone enjoy and share good, clean and fair food over the holidays!

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