Slow Food Sacramento

A Chapter of Slow Food USA

Browsing Posts published by Slow Food Sacramento

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.

 It is true that man does not live by bread alone; he must eat something with it. And the art of making this something as economical, savory and healthy as possible is, I insist, a true art.  ~ Letter to Pellegrino Artusi from poet Lorenzo Stecchetti, 1845-1916

Pellagrino Artusi was such an artist.  A businessman, gastronomist, author, he is considered to be the father of Italian home cooking. In 1891 at the tender age of 70, after being turned down by several publishers, he self published a manual for cooking called Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well.   His first edition of 1,000 copies was an overwhelming success. He saw 15 editions published before his death in 1911 at the age of 90.  Originally containing 475 recipes, the last edition of Artusi, as the book is simply called, contained 790 recipes, many of which had been sent to him from home cooks across Italy. It is still one of Italy’s best selling books and has never been out of print. (Take that Pinocchio!)

Artusi travelled throughout the Italian peninsula. He became familiar with many of the regions and their culinary traditions, and he began collecting recipes that later became the foundation of his book. Family wealth enabled him to retire at the age of 45 and he devoted himself to his passions, culture and cuisine.

Artusi wrote his manual three decades after the unification of Italy.  His was the first to include recipes from many different regions in one cookbook and he is credited with establishing a national Italian cuisine.  He also wrote in the Italian language, which helped to develop a uniform language for working in the kitchen and beyond.  Italian historian Piero Camporesi said, “Science In The Kitchen has done more for national unification than Manzoni’s novel The Betrothed.”  [The Betrothed is an historical novel considered the most widely read book in the Italian language.].

Artusi himself was leery of books about cooking. In his preface he says, “Beware of books that deal with this art: most of them are inaccurate or incomprehensible, especially the Italian ones.  The French are a little better. But from either, the very most you will glean are a few notions, useful only if you already know the art.”

He considered his book a teaching manual, “I practice using this manual, one simply needs to know how to hold a wooden spoon,” he wrote.  “The best teacher is experience. . .Yet even lacking this, with a guide such as mine, and devotion to your labours, you should be able, I hope, to put something decent together.” 

His book is chatty, containing anecdotes and short stories, in addition to the recipes, which adds to its charm and shows his wit and wisdom.  He provides menus based on what is in season (sound familiar?) and menus for holidays and religious feasts.

Casa Artusi, established in 2007, is a tribute to the man who single handedly put Italian home cooking on the culinary map.  Housed in a renovated convent and church in the small town of Forlimpopoli, Casa Artusi has a restaurant, l’Osteria, wine store, culinary school, library, meeting space, art exhibits and museum.  It is a place to read, learn, practice, taste and appreciate the treasure that is “Italian home cooking.”

The library contains around 45,000 books including Artusi’s personal library, bequeathed to the city, the Italian Gastronomy Collection (books, magazines, films, etc. about food culture, especially home cooking), and the Forlimpopoli Council library.

There is a Restaurant, l’Osteria, and wine cellar housed in the complex.  The Restaurant and l’Osteria serve traditional, regional dishes and prepare some of Artusi’s recipes, depending the season.  The wine cellar is associated with the Enoteca Regionale Emilia-Romagna and has over 200 different kinds of wine from the region.

The Cooking School offers a variety of day classes with some of the area’s best chefs.  Also demonstrating regional and traditional Romagnolo home cooking is the Associazione della Mariette, named after a woman whom Artusi said, “. . .is both a good cook, and a decent, honest person. . .”.

Starting in 1997, Forlimpopoli has held an annual gastronomic event dedicated to Artusi, The Festa Artusiana. For over a week every night between 7pm and midnight, Casa Artusi and the historical center of the town  come alive as a “city of taste.” Streets, alleys, courtyards and squares become stages for food stands featuring Artusi’s dishes, exhibitions, performances, multi-media productions, tastings and gastronomic tours, concerts, children’s events, cultural events, art displays, and more.

In 2013, the Festa Artusiana will be from June 22 through the 30.  For more information contact the Festa or Casa Artusi.

Off the beaten path, along the via Emilia between Forli and Cesena, Forlimpopoli was founded by the Romans in the 2nd century BC and has been inhabited ever since.  It is the birthplace of Artusi and home to Casa Artusi.  It makes an interesting diversion for anyone interested in the history of Italian cooking, excellent traditional cooking, or wines from the Emilia-Romagna region.

Casa Artusi

Via Costa 27, 47034 Forlimpopoli (FC)

+39 0543 743138

www.casartusi.it

info@casartusi.it

Festa Artusiana

http://www.festartusiana.it/

 

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

http://www.carighttoknow.org/?utm_campaign=20120822_daily3&recruiter_id=8455&utm_medium=email&utm_source=labelgmos

Thank you to all who attended, sponsored and donated to our Urban Ag Fest 2012! Eleven schools participated in the school garden showcase with 12 community sponsors. Another dozen Urban Ag Partners joined us to show how they are supporting school gardens. The dinner on the Senior Lawn catered by Matt & Yvette Woolston (of the Supper Club at the Crocker and Matteo) was a delicious play on the school lunch menu. Speaker Delaine Eastin was truly inspiring. This educational and coalition-building event raised funds for the gardens at Rosemont High Green Academy and O.W. Erlewine Ecology Center.

In conjunction with Rosemont High Green Academy, we launched Slow Food Sacramento’s new Sacramento School Garden Coalition.

Our guests were wowed by the students, parent volunteers, and community support. A few comments:

“Loved those kids” — sponsor

“I loved seeing how excited the children were about gardening.”– sponsor

“Thank you for inviting us to Saturday’s event, it was an honor to be there and see so many supporters. Please keep us in mind for the different resources that the after-school program can use.”–school participant

“Please extend our thank-you to the other Slow Food members for helping our cause. Also, we were thrilled to meet Delaine Eastin and to hear her amazing speech. I’m ready to vote for her for governor!”–school participant.

The schools and their sponsors:

Rosemont High School Green Academy •  Teichert, Inc.
O.W. Erlewine Elementary School Ecology Center •   Lippe, Gaffney, Wagner LLP  and Marguerite Roth
Grant High School GEO Environmental Science and Design Academy •   Art & Susan Scotland
Luther Burbank High School  •   David & Maga Triche
Alice Birney Elementary School •   Mennemeier Glassman Stroud LLP
Sam Brannan Middle School •   Sam Brannan Special Ed Program
Sequoia Elementary School •  David & Maxine Clark
Theodore Judah Elementary School  •   Tony & Joan Stone
Leonardo da Vinci K-8  •   Porter Scott
Fruit Ridge Elementary •  Kingbird Farms
Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School Landscaping & Horticulture Careers Program, and Sustainable Environments Academy • Sacramento County Office of Education

 

 

Read about the upcoming event: http://www.sacramentopress.com/headline/69083/Urban_Ag_Fest_Saturday_at_Rosemont_High_School

www.GRASacramento.org
P.O. Box 160424
Sacramento, CA 95816

GRAS (Green Restaurants Alliance Sacramento) is working to build a sustainable food community in Sacramento. Their foremost program is kitchen-scrap composting, which collects valuable kitchen waste and diverts it to local farms, school and community gardens for nourishing compost. They promote their message of recycling of kitchen waste not only to restaurants, but also to schools, nonprofits, businesses, small children, home cooks and accomplished chefs. As of this year, the GRAS composting program has diverted 175,000 pounds of kitchen scraps from the landfill to fertilize local farms and gardens. They encourage use of products and processes in restaurants that minimize waste, including recyclable and compostable food containers and cork recycling. They also produce Zero-Waste compostable food and supplies with Atlas Disposal.

http://produceexpress.net/
(916) 446-8918
2630 5th Street
Sacramento, CA 95818

Produce Express has been located in Sacramento since 1983 and serves over 1,300 food service establishments with delivery of fresh produce seven days a week. Their service features primarily locally grown produce from throughout northern California, much of it organic and seasonal as well as farmstead cheeses, local dairy products, olives oil, and edible flowers. They actively establish strong working relationships with local small farmers in the region and work to educate their customers about the source of the produce being sold. Capay Organics, River Dog Farm and Del Rio Botanicals are among the organic farms that Produce Express delivers from. Their website features the weekly Market Outlook to alert restaurants to the freshest seasonal produce available. Their staff actively discusses the importance of sustainable foods and its positive effect on the environment with customers. In addition, Produce Express encourages restaurants to work with GRAS (Green Restaurants Alliance Sacramento) to recycle kitchen waste, compost and use recyclable containers.