It’s a Terra Madre afterall

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.

Casa Artusi: The Art of Eating Well

 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

Festa Artusiana


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

Thank You for a Successful 2012 Urban Ag Fest

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




GRAS – Green Restaurants Alliance Sacramento

3416 J Street #2, Sacramento, CA 95816  •



Produce Express

2630 5th Street, Sacramento, CA 95818  •  (916) 446-8918   •



Devine Gelateria & Café

1121 19th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811  •  (916) 446-0600   •

View full list of Producers


Revolution Wines

2831 S Street, Sacramento 95816  •  (916) 444-7711   •

View full list of Producers


Soil Born Farms

   •  •  (916) 363-9685    •   
American River Ranch  •  2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670 
The Farm on Hurley Way  •  3000 Hurley Way, Sacramento, CA 95864 

View full list of Producers