Slow Food Sacramento

A Chapter of Slow Food USA

Browsing Posts published by Slow Food Sacramento

All photos courtesy of Charity Kenyon.

On February 12, 2013, the documentary film Couscous Island – produced by Slow Food in the framework of the 4Cities4Dev project and co-funded by the European Union – was presented at the Berlin Film Festival.

This is the last documentary in the Living Food Communities series, which includes three other half-hour movies directed by Francesco Amato (director of Ma che ci faccio qui! and Cosimo e Nicole) and Stefano Scarafia (director of Il corridore andGente di Terra Madre). Each movie tells the story of a Slow Food community, presents a product and describes how it is an important element of the cultural and social identity of the whole community. In addition, it shows how, if properly promoted, these productions can offer a viable opportunity to improve the community’s economic conditions.

Watch the films at this linkhttp://www.4cities4dev.eu/ita/7/video

The movies were shot in Africa, between Kenya, Senegal and Ethiopia:

Pokot Ash Yoghurt – Kenya, 23’20”
The Tarsoi village community has always produced a very peculiar yoghurt with cow’s or goat’s milk mixed with the ash from an indigenous tree. Ash yoghurt had a very important role in the diet of the Pokot people. Today, communities have overwhelmingly lost pride in their food culture and the yoghurt is only produced by a few families for their own consumption. Occasionally the extra production is sold at local markets.

Harenna Forest Wild Coffee – Ethiopia, 23’59”
Ethiopia is the country where coffee originates from and the only in the world where wild coffee plants grow. For thousands of years, families have been roasting their own berries, crushing them in a mortar and offering coffee to guests according to a solemn ritual, a strong symbol of hospitality and respect.

Fadiouth Island Salted Millet Couscous – Senegal, 27′ e 34′ (two versions)
The village of Fadiouth is located on an island made entirely of shells, which can be reached by a long wooden bridge. The Serer – the indigenous people that lives there – have always been the greatest producers of sunnà millet and live off farming and fishing in the sea and lagoon.

These films were produced as part of the 4Cities4Dev project, co-funded by the European Union. Their production stems from the cooperation between Slow Food and four European cities – Turin, Tours, Bilbao and Riga. The project combines the role of cities, as active protagonists of local policies and decentralized cooperation, and the Slow Food approach, based on the involvement of food communities, citizens and consumers.

The board of Slow Food Sacramento provided the following comment letter to the Sacramento City Board of Education this week. We are urging them to consider the value of school garden assets, particularly at Fruit Ridge Elementary, as they evaluate several campuses for closure.

January 29, 2013

Hon. Jonathan Raymond, Superintendent &
Hon. President and Members of the Sacramento City Board of Education
Sacramento City Unified School District
5735 47th Avenue Sacramento, CA  95824

Re: Proposed closure of Fruit Ridge Elementary School / Garden

Dear Superintendent Raymond and Members of the Board of Education,

We, the members of Sacramento Slow Food’s Board of Directors, respectfully request that the Board reconsider its proposal to close the historic Fruit Ridge Elementary School and move the students to schools on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Slow Food is an international nonprofit that advocates for good, clean, fair food for all. The Sacramento Chapter’s emphasis is on promoting urban agriculture including school gardens. Our fourth annual Urban Ag Fest in 2012 raised funds for our school garden coalition and for the garden projects at Rosemont High School and O.W. Erlewine Elementary School. Our guests, including teachers, students and volunteers from 15 SCUSD schools showcased their school garden projects, toured the Rosemont Garden and its Culinary Arts and Masonry Arts Programs, and enjoyed a sit-down dinner on the senior lawn. Our speaker was former State Superintendent of Schools Delaine Eastin, under whose leadership California’s school gardens grew from some 40 to more than 3,000.

Later in the year we welcomed Alice Waters and the Edible Schoolyard Project to Sacramento and to St. Hope Leadership Academy Charter School. And now Sacramento has declared itself America’s Farm to Fork Capital. Slow Food Sacramento is participating in the development of that project, specifically encouraging emphasis on access: Whose Forks? We think the moniker is meaningless, if Sacramento is not improving the access of school children to good, clean, fair food. In that vein, we applaud efforts by SCUSD to change its approach to food procurement and we have partnered with the Food Literacy Project, which teaches food literacy in elementary schools in Oak Park.

In this context, we ask that you please reconsider whether closing Fruit Ridge Elementary School and shutting down its garden and orchard is the right decision or whether this move would be inconsistent with the district’s and community’s support for the health and learning benefits of school gardens:

• Fruit Ridge Elementary participated in our Urban Ag Fest school garden showcase and, through the generosity of several prominent businesses and individuals we were able to host their delegates at the shared meal. The school is a member of our School Garden Coalition. Its staff have been trained at the Edible Schoolyard Institute in Berkeley.

• This fall our Fresh Food Access Fund, a fund hosted by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, awarded $1,000 grant to Fruit Ridge Elementary School to support their Garden and Living Laboratory.

• Fruit Ridge Elementary’s garden, established in 2002, is a standout. We know of no other garden that can match the oasis of tranquility and activity that it represents. If you have not visited, please do so, before you make your final decision. Name a place at any school that you would rather be, if you were an elementary school child. You won’t find one.

• Fruit Ridge Elementary is the only pesticide free school campus in the district. This represents an investment of hundreds of hours of volunteer time and a huge public health benefit.

• Fruit Ridge’s garden is huge: one-quarter acre including 35 fruit trees.  The orchard is a ten year investment by Common Vision’s Fruit Tree Tour: http://commonvision.org/programs/fruittreetour/ Common Vision’s school orchard program has impacted 80,000 students at over 180 low income schools and community centers. In Sacramento that school is Fruit Ridge Elementary.

• Fruit Ridge Elementary’s garden represents ten years of investment in time, money, and resources by volunteers, nonprofit associations, local businesses, students, teachers, and staff. No such investment has been made at the alternative school sites to which these children would be moved.

• Fruit Ridge is in a residential neighborhood, near the County’s Emergency Housing, and away from the area’s busy thoroughfares. The neighbors are homes, not convenience stores and speeding traffic. The environment represents a place where a garden and students can thrive in safety.

•  The California School Boards Association selected Fruit Ridge’s garden to be profiled in the Summer 2008 newsletter http://www.csba.org/NewsAndMedia/Publications/CASchoolsMagazine/2008/Summer/InThisIssue/Gardens.aspx

The article posits:

“Slowly but surely, despite changes in academic priorities, accountability systems and fiscal uncertainties, school gardens and related agriculture programs are taking root at rural, urban and suburban schools across the country.”

Using Fruit Ridge Elementary School’s garden as its shining example, the article describes these gardens as:

“a crucial component of a broader and expanding national collection of public and private initiatives to improve students’ nutrition, physical fitness, overall health, and of course, their academic success.”

Thank you for your consideration of Slow Food Sacramento’s views, as the Board undertakes its difficult decision-making process. We request that school garden assets, representing substantial investments of public and private funding and volunteer effort be included in the Board’s analysis of any site’s strengths. Thus, for example, Bret Harte Elementary School‘s garden was one of three pilot edible schoolyards for which the school district financed installation of hard- and soft-scape. The District’s Green Fellow and Project Green Program will be aware of additional substantial public and private investments in sustainability including, for example, the substantial June 2012 Project Green Award to Washington Elementary School.

If we can provide additional information or help arrange a tour, please do not hesitate to contact Charity Kenyon charity@slowfoodsacramento.com or Brenda Ruiz brenda@slowfoodsacramento.com

Very truly yours,

Coral Henning, President

Slow Food Sacramento

The Producer category recognizes businesses producing locally unique and sustainable foods. Nominees for this category can include producers such as farms and products such as beverage makers, stores and markets, caterers and food services other than restaurant and drinking establishments.

Bariani Olive Oil
http://www.barianioliveoil.com/
Office: (415) 864-1917
9460 Bar Du Lane
Sacramento, CA 95829

The Barianis make fabulous olive oil and are well-known in the community, attending many farmers markets. “We don’t have any employees and never will. (More Information.)

Del Rio Botanical
http://www.delriobotanical.com/
(916) 991-1843
20030 Old River Road
West Sacramento, CA 95691

Del Rio Botanical, located on old River road between Sacramento and Woodland, is a privately owned 200-acre ranch producing open-pollinated organically grown seed and freshly packed specialty produce. (More information.)

Devine Gelateria & Café
http://devinegelateria.com
(916) 446-0600
1121 19th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Devine Gelateria & Café features gelato made with a base prepared onsite under the direction of the owner, a licensed pasteurizer, who studied gelato making in Italy so she could produce authentic Italian gelato. (More information.)

Dragon Gourmet Mushrooms
http://www.dragonmushrooms.com/
1225 North B Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Their mushrooms are hand grown, hand picked, and hand delivered. They use the untreated hardwood waste from a local moulding shop for their sawdust. (More Information.)

Feeding Crane Farms
http://www.feedingcranefarms.com/
(916) 698-5171
5333 E. Levee Road
Sacramento, CA 95835

An organic farm in Natomas, Feeding Crane sells beautiful produce at the Oak Park Farmers Market, Corti Bros, and many of our Snail of Approval restaurants. (More Information.)

Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates
http://gingerelizabeth.com/
(916) 706-1738
1801 L Street, #60
Sacramento, CA 95811

Ginger Elizabeth was voted one of the “top 10 chocolatiers in North America.” She uses seasonal items in her chocolates, jams, and sundae sauces. (More Information.

Lundberg Family Farms
http://www.lundberg.com/
(530) 538-3500
5311 Midway
Richvale, CA 95974

Lundberg Family Farms founder, Albert Lundberg, had a favorite saying: “Leave the land better than you found it.” (More Information.)

Revolution Wines
http://www.revolution-wines.com/
(916) 444-7711
2831 S Street
Sacramento, CA 95816

Revolution Wines produces wine under their own label using locally grown grapes from Clarksburg and Sacramento and Amador counties, generally from within 50 miles of their facility. (More information.)

Soil Born Farms
www.soilborn.org
(916) 363-9685

American River Ranch
2140 Chase Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

The Farm on Hurley Way
3000 Hurley Way
Sacramento, CA 95864

Soil Born Farms, located on the American River in Rancho Cordova (40 acres) and in Sacramento on Hurley Way (1.5 acres), organically grows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables linked to the seasons and temperament of the Sacramento region. (More information.)

The Producer category recognizes businesses producing locally unique and sustainable foods. Nominees for this category can include producers such as farms and products such as beverage makers, stores and markets, caterers and food services other than restaurant and drinking establishments.

Bariani Olive Oil
http://www.barianioliveoil.com/
Office: (415) 864-1917
9460 Bar Du Lane
Sacramento, CA 95829

The Barianis make fabulous olive oil and are well-known in the community, attending many farmers markets. “We don’t have any employees and never will. (More Information.)

Del Rio Botanical
http://www.delriobotanical.com/
(916) 991-1843
20030 Old River Road
West Sacramento, CA 95691

Del Rio Botanical, located on old River road between Sacramento and Woodland, is a privately owned 200-acre ranch producing open-pollinated organically grown seed and freshly packed specialty produce. (More information.)

Devine Gelateria & Café
http://devinegelateria.com
(916) 446-0600
1121 19th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Devine Gelateria & Café features gelato made with a base prepared onsite under the direction of the owner, a licensed pasteurizer, who studied gelato making in Italy so she could produce authentic Italian gelato. (More information.)

Dragon Gourmet Mushrooms
http://www.dragonmushrooms.com/
1225 North B Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Their mushrooms are hand grown, hand picked, and hand delivered. They use the untreated hardwood waste from a local moulding shop for their sawdust. (More Information.)

Feeding Crane Farms
http://www.feedingcranefarms.com/
(916) 698-5171
5333 E. Levee Road
Sacramento, CA 95835

An organic farm in Natomas, Feeding Crane sells beautiful produce at the Oak Park Farmers Market, Corti Bros, and many of our Snail of Approval restaurants. (More Information.)

Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates
http://gingerelizabeth.com/
(916) 706-1738
1801 L Street, #60
Sacramento, CA 95811

Ginger Elizabeth was voted one of the “top 10 chocolatiers in North America.” She uses seasonal items in her chocolates, jams, and sundae sauces. (More Information.

Lundberg Family Farms
http://www.lundberg.com/
(530) 538-3500
5311 Midway
Richvale, CA 95974

Lundberg Family Farms founder, Albert Lundberg, had a favorite saying: “Leave the land better than you found it.” (More Information.)

Revolution Wines
http://www.revolution-wines.com/
(916) 444-7711
2831 S Street
Sacramento, CA 95816

Revolution Wines produces wine under their own label using locally grown grapes from Clarksburg and Sacramento and Amador counties, generally from within 50 miles of their facility. (More information.)

Soil Born Farms
www.soilborn.org
(916) 363-9685

American River Ranch
2140 Chase Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

The Farm on Hurley Way
3000 Hurley Way
Sacramento, CA 95864

 

New in 2013 – Slow Food Sacramento initiates Slow Food U

What do lemons, bacon and pickles have in common? All will be featured in upcoming Slow Food U cooking classes. As Slow Food U Coordinator Karen Auwaerter explains, “While talking with several food producers during a recent Snail of Approval mixer, we realized the need, actually the opportunity, to learn how to prepare good, clean, fair food that is literally falling from the trees around us.”

Slow Food U is a new program to provide hands-on learning toward using the food bounty of our region. The seminars, to be taught by local culinary experts, will be limited to 6 to 20 participants depending upon available training space.

The first-ever Slow Food U event, Lemons in February, is coming soon! Details below.

Lemon Seminar – Saturday, February 23, 6-9pm

Kathleen Albiani, Culinary Instructor at the Art Institute, will conduct a hands-on seminar focused on using the Meyer lemons that are so plentiful this year. Items to be prepared include: lemon curd, preserved Moroccan lemons and a chicken and green olive tagine using the preserved lemons, lemon marmalade, and limoncello. The seminar will be held in Elk Grove and a list of items that participants should bring, such as small canning jars and appetizers for supper, will be provided upon signup. $16 plus ticket fee – Click HERE to sign up.

Our February selection is The Book of Salt by Monique Truong, a novel is set in Paris. This is a fictional memoir of the Vietnamese chef who cooked for Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas at the famous apartment at 27 rue de Fleurus. We’re bringing the action back to California for our April meeting with Novella Carpenter’s book Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer. And for June, we’re looking to history to explore contemporary themes with John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

Our upcoming meeting dates:

·         April 11, 2013 – Farm City, Novella Carpenter

·         June 13, 2012 – The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

If you would like more information, please contact Kathleen Albiani at katonthyme@gmail.com

As the holidays approach and we prepare for our annual membership meeting on December 10, we have taken a look back at the many events that Slow Food Sacramento organized in 2012. From casual mixers to al fresco gourmet dining, from book club meetings to film festivals, and from soup swaps to bike tours–we had something for just about everyone and every budget. We are always looking for ways to get members engaged and involved, and we welcome your suggestions for future events! 

January 24:  It was standing room only for our first 2012 mixer at Masullo, a great Land Park pizza restaurant known for their Neopolitan-style pizza.

February:  Mixer at Snail of Approval awardee Taylor’s Kitchen.  We awarded the next slate of Snail of Approval winners and introduced our new categories of Producer and Supporter.

February 13:  About fifty people attended our membership meeting at the Grange Hall in Sacramento.  Everyone brought a food-related item to swap and a potluck item to share.  We reviewed the membership survey and solicited ideas for chapter activities and events.

February 8:  The book club discussed The Dirty Life:  On Farming, Food and Love by Kristin Kimball.

March 10:  Sacramento Food Film Festival at The Guild Theater in Sacramento.  Films included Dive, Farmaggedon, Lunch Line, The Last Crop, The Future of Food, Ingredients, and What’s Organic About Organic?

April 12:  The book club met to discuss Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton.

June 9:  4th Annual Urban Ag Fest fundraiser featured a school garden showcase highlighting eleven local garden programs; tours of the Rosemont High School Green Academy; keynote speaker Delaine Easton’s passionate support of the benefits of school gardens; a delicious take on school lunches by the Crocker Cafe by Supper Club.  We raised $8,100 for the Rosemont High School Green Academy and the O.W. Erlewine Elementary School garden program.

June:  The book club discussed Much Depends on Dinner: The Extraordinary History and Mythology, Allure and Obsessions, Perils and Taboos of an Ordinary Meal, by Margaret Visser

August:  The book club discussed The American Way of Eating:  Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table by Tracie McMillan.  For nearly a year, McMillan worked, ate, and lived alongside the working poor to examine how Americans eat when price really matters.

July 24:  The mixer at Cafe Bernardo featured fabulous farm to table foods and a great talk by Chef Shannon Berg highlighting all the local purveyors whose ingredients her staff had transformed into a great seasonal meal.

September 11:  This month’s mixer was a collaboration with GRAS’ David Baker, who organized a chenin blanc tasting for local restaurateurs, with the goal of encouraging them to add the endangered chenin blanc to their wine lists.

September 19:  Carol Duke hosted our DIY Food Swap in her lovely home on a warm summer evening.  The items to trade included pickles, raspberry shrub, figs in red wine sauce, Provencal shortbread, fig jam, and syrah.

September 30:  Sacramento Waldorf School hosted Back to School Gardens–A Celebration of Food Literacy.  Activities included a delicious lunch, tours of the garden led by the Waldorf students, and the official check ceremony to the Urban Ag Fest beneficiaries, O.W. Erlewine Elementary School and Rosemont High School’s Green Academy.

October 6:  Our bike tour of edible gardens in Curtis Park and Land Park included front yard veggie gardens, the Bret Harte Elementary School garden, biodynamic garden, a container garden.  The hosts/gardeners gave informal talks about biodynamics, beekeeping, soil structure and ideas for using your backyard bounty.

October 11:  The book club discussed The Reach of a Chef by Mark Ruhlman and enjoyed a delicious potluck dinner.

November 4:  The Harvest Dinner at Mulvaney’s B&L included the awarding of Snails of Approval to eight local restaurants, farmers, grocers, and artisan producers.  The B&L staff prepared a fabulously delicious meal and Corti Brothers donated all the wine, which was paired perfectly with each course.  Darrell Corti gave a short talk about each wine and even found a wine that paired well with ice cream (a notoriously difficult food to stand up to wine, we learned).

 

For a foodie it is Disney World, or the Taj Mahal or the World Series, no the World Cup because it is truly world wide.

Yes the biennial extravaganza of gastronomy or gluttony, depending on your point of view, known as Salone del Gusto arrived in Turin once again.  The five-day event is an amazing combination of eating, shopping, tasting, classes, lectures, and demonstrations. The mass of humanity can be a bit like Walmart’s 6am shopping the day after Thanksgiving.

Your only limits are the scale when checking your luggage at the airport (damn I did have room for that bottle of Genepy, a sage-like herbal digestive in liked), your bathroom scale, soooo much to taste, or your bank account, there is no free lunch even at Salone.  And what the beagles allow you to bring back into the US without losing it.

Region by region Italy’s best selling, as well as traditional, products are showcased.  And this year beer is big in every region.  That of course would never make it home, much less out of Turin.

And as much as I love me Italian products, I sampled the Colanata lardo every time I went by, I find I am more intrigued with the other countries offerings.

A man waves vanilla beans under my nose, “Madagascar,” he says.  It smells heavenly, and I buy them.  You can never have too many vanilla beans.  Besides, I want to make vanilla extract out of rum.  Oh yeah it’s gonna be good. . .

“Yogurt and white chocolate, try,” a woman says with a bright smile, “Iceland tradition.”  I try and it is very good.  The small paragraph in English says it is white chocolate with a filling of skyr yogurt (much thicker than Greek yogurt) ” and has the shape of a cow’s teat.” It would make an interesting dessert presentation.  But I’m not entirely sure how native white chocolate is to Iceland.  When I ask, she tells me it is a collaboration between the dairy and a design school.

I am very happy to see the wooly pigs are there and I recognize the woman I visited in Hungary.  No samples though.  And yes, they do look like sheep with thick wooly coats necessary to withstand the harsh Hungarian winters.  I have pictures somewhere.

Sea salt and honey are predominant offerings from many of the smaller countries and food communities. Uruguay makes a very tasty Dulche de Leche liquor FYI.  Pepper corns from Cambodia and Madagascar taste just a bit different.  Lentils, grains, rice and beans, dried and smoked fish products, chocolate, teas and coffee were all there.  As were the Camel wool producers of Ahal, Turkmenistan, the shea butter producers from Burkino Faso, the date producers from Jericho, and the frankincense producers from Somalia.

The breadth of counties and products is fascinating.  I can’t believe I missed the Viennese Snail Breeders and the reindeer suovas from Sweden, what was I thinking!

– Lisa Frank, Frank & Delicious, is attending Terra Madre, 2012.

 

For a foodie it is Disney World, or the Taj Mahal or the World Series, no Superbowl, no the World Cup, because it is truly world wide.

Yes the biennial extravaganza of gastronomy or gluttony, depending on your point of view, known as Salone del Gusto has arrived in Turin once again.  The five-day event is an amazing combination of food shopping, tasting, education, for young and old alike, specialized classes, lectures, and demonstrations. The only downside is that many of the daily lectures are in italian, (without translation.) The mass of humanity can be a bit like Walmart shopping the day after Thanksgiving.

In the former Fiat factory now known as the Lingotto Fiere, there are three pavilions organized by regions of Italy, the obligatory Enoteca, we are in Italy after all, one area of 8 rooms dedicated to the tasting/cooking classes, and the Lingotto Oval (where much of the hockey was played during the 2006 Olympics) that houses products from the rest of the world.  Italy’s regions have an overwhelming and interesting mix of products available from very small Slow Food Presidia up to large industrial producers/sponsors, like Lavazza coffee, Garofalo pasta, and Lurisa water.

While in the Oval, despite the dominance of nearby European countries, the offerings are mostly Presidia products or Slow Food Communities.  Africa, Asia/Oceania, and Latin America are represented.  North America, Canada and the United States, has the smallest area.

Many of the products from the less developed countries are similar, they are what is available or can be harvested: sea salt, honey, cocoa, coffee, herbs and spices.  These are not highly processed, complicated products.  There is no fancy packaging or marketing in different languages.  Just folks selling what they have to make a living.  There is something refreshing about that and something that seems more in tune with the Slow Food way.

Even if they have come all the way from Sri Lanka, Bhutan or Uruguay.  This is not the time for the discussion about vehicle miles travelled. . .

 

– Lisa Frank, Frank & Delicious, is attending Terra Madre, 2012.