Slow Food Sacramento

A Chapter of Slow Food USA

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 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

On April 17, Slow Food Sacramento announced the latest honorees of the “Snail of Approval” program. The Snail of Approval program recognizes local businesses that contribute to the quality, authenticity and sustainability of food in the community.

This year, Slow Food Sacramento introduced two new award categories: Producers and Supporters. Past awards were conferred on restaurants offering menu items that meet the Slow Food mission of good (authentic flavor), clean (grown so it does not harm the environment) and fair (food producers receive fair compensation). In response to the growing interest by auxiliary food businesses and organizations, the new Producer category recognizes businesses producing locally unique and sustainable foods. The new Supporter category acknowledges organizations that encourage sustainable business practices in the food community.  

The restaurants receiving the Snail of Approval are:

  • Spataro Restaurant and Bar
  • Paragary’s Bar and Oven
  • Esquire Grill
  • Centro Cocina Mexicana
  • Juno’s Kitchen and Delicatessen

 Awardees in the Producer category are:

  • Soil Born Farms
  • Devine Gelateria
  • Del Rio Botanicals
  • Revolution Wines

 Awardees in the Supporter category are:

  • Edible Pedal
  • Green Restaurant Alliance of Sacramento
  • Produce Express

 “Sacramento is at the forefront of a national movement of consumers and businesses embracing locally grown, sustainable foods. This is our way of recognizing and honoring the businesses in our region that focus on good, clean, and fair food,” says Karen Auwaerter, president of Slow Food Sacramento.

For more information on Slow Food Sacramento and the Snail of Approval selection criteria, click here.

The Central Valley Region of California was honored to host Paolo di Croce for a regional event on Sept. 11 during his whirlwind visit to Northern California to connect with chapter leaders and Slow Food donors. Paolo is the Executive Director of Slow Food International and serves as International Secretary of the Slow Food International Board of Directors. With him was Shayna Bailey, a Slow Food International staffer who wears many hats, including liaison to Slow Food USA.

On short notice we brought together Slow Food members from 15 counties, including leaders from 8 chapters. Regrettably, three chapters who were signed up had last minute glitches. Those who made the long drive to the border between Sacramento and San Joaquin counties were inspired and energized by the witty, passionate, arm waving Italian. And Paolo was very pleased to hear from chapter leaders about the many and various projects being carried out up and down the valley.

We started with an intimate meeting at my home, where Paolo could hear from leaders of each chapter and could share his thoughts for the future of Slow Food International.

We moved down the road to MacFarland Ranch for the joint Sacramento and Lodi Chapter Heirloom Bean Picnic attended by about 130 people with talks featuring heirloom beans being farmed on the nearby Mohr Fry Ranch. We tasted chef-prepared bean dishes, heard from Ken Albala (author of Beans, A History), the farmers Chip Morris (California’s King of Beans) and Jerry Fry, and from Robert Klein of Olivetto in Oakland (whose Community Grains project is helping create markets for the beans as well as heirloom varieties of flint corn and red wheat). Once again Paolo inspired the crowd—especially to connect to this organization as a global effort. We heard about the Thousand Gardens in Africa initiative and learned that more than 100 chapters in Italy have already “adopted” a garden. We could do that!

The culmination of the visit was a tour of the bean fields. In the height of harvest season these talented farmers had mustered and labeled their equipment and labeled the bean varieties. We wound through the fields learning about the challenges, flexible thinking, and quick action that undergird success. The capper was an exuberant 8 year old who, at about the third stop, announced, “Mom! I want to be a farmer when I grow up, so I can grow beans!” Music to our ears.

Charity Kenyon, SFUSA Governor, Central Valley Region of California

Saturday September 24, 2011

Read about Charity Kenyon our Slow Food  USA Governor, Central Valley California Region and Slow Food Sacramento’s Membership Director:

http://www.lodinews.com/news/article_4aec9af7-4bf6-5072-90a8-219d8012668f.html

Dan Charles
July 15, 2011

The town of Hardwick, Vt., has been celebrated as the scene of a local food revival. In recent years, lots of small farms have started up nearby.

Tom Stearns, president of a local organic seed company called High Mowing Seeds, says there are more organic farms per capita within 10 miles of Hardwick than anywhere else in the world. There’s also a thriving local grocery co-op; a busy farmer’s market; even a classy restaurant — Claire’s — where almost anything you eat grew or grazed on land nearby.

Read more »

Marion Nestle
Sunday, July 3, 2011

Q: I know you say “vote with your fork,” and I do, as often as possible, but it seems so small a gesture. In what other ways can we, as consumers, speak out or act to change our food system?

A: Vote with your fork and vote with your vote. Today’s food movement gives you plenty of opportunity to do both. Voting with your fork means buying and eating according to what you believe is right, at least to the extent you can.

Read more »

By Mark Bittman
Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mass-produced tomatoes have become redder, more tender and slightly more flavorful than the crunchy orange “cello-wrapped” specimens of a couple of decades ago, but the lives of the workers who grow and pick them haven’t improved much since Edward R. Murrow’s revealing and deservedly famous Harvest of Shame report of 1960, which contained the infamous quote, “We used to own our slaves; now we just rent them.”

But bit by bit things have improved some, a story that’s told in detail and with insight and compassion by Barry Estabrook in his new book, “Tomatoland.” We can actually help them improve further.

Read more »