Slow Food Sacramento

A Chapter of Slow Food USA

Browsing Posts tagged Slow Food USA

Slow Food Sacramento is engaged in another international program, the Ark of Taste project of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity.

To make this work possible, Slow Food USA has regionalized its Ark of Taste Committees. Slow Food California’s new Ark of Taste committee is headed up by Linda Elbert of the Orange County Chapter. Our own Suzanne Ashworth of Del Rio Botanical has agreed to serve on the jury that selects foods to be boarded. And David Baker of GRAS has submitted Slow Food Sacramento’s application to board the Clarksburg Chenin Blanc — a grape variety we are losing to Chardonnay. Chenin Blanc grows best in three places in the world: Clarksburg, the Loire Valley of France, and South Africa.

If you attended our mixer and tasting at Revolution Wine, you know we want to keep the grape in production here! We owe a big debt to Revolution Wine’s Gina Genshlea, David Baker, Darrell Corti, and all the vintners that have helped David and SFS with this project. Want a good Chenin Blanc? Stop by Revolution Wine. Want to help with the work of the Ark of Taste Committee? Contact charity@slowfoodsacramento.com.

Read more about the program to protect threatened food varieties of all kinds here: http://www.slowfoodfoundation.com/pagine/eng/arca/cerca.lasso?-id_pg=36

chenin_haarmeyer

Photo courtesy of Craig Haarmeyer.

Chenin Blanc from the Clarksburg AVA is described as a light, dry white wine with notes of light honey, nectarine, and peach.

The grapes are native to the Loire Valley in northern France. In addition to the Loire Valley, the world’s finest and most distinctive Chenin Blancs originate from South Africa and right here in our backyard, in Clarksburg in the Sacramento River Delta.

Chenin Blanc thrives in the Sacramento Delta because of the welcoming natural conditions: the Delta soil, which is composed of various alluvial layers including sandy loam and dense clay, paired with the hot summer days and maritime-influenced cool nights.  Gerald Asher of Gourmet magazine once wrote “It’s the right grape in the right place.” And local gastronome Darrell Corti proclaimed “Chenin Blanc loves rich Delta soil.”

Chenin Blanc was once a popular and prolific grape grown throughout California. In the late 1970s, Charles Krug produced 125,000 cases of dry Chenin Blanc. Yet, today, its production is threatened by wine industry trends. Acreage is at an all time low, falling almost 80% since the 1980s, and most is grown in the Central Valley as an anonymous blending grape. While many vineyards have chosen to replace Chenin Blanc with better selling varietals, several wineries have continued to carry on the tradition of Chenin Blanc, creating unique and award-winning wines, and preserving this distinctive expression of our local region. Producers of Chenin Blanc in our region include Wilson Ranch, Bogle Vineyards, Heringer Vineyards, Baranek Vineyards, Six Hands, and Dancing Coyote.

Originally settled just after the 1849 Gold Rush, Clarksburg has been a productive agricultural area for over a century (producing pears, alfalfa, tomatoes, and cattle). The transformation to vineyards began in the early 1960s. Chenin Blanc was first introduced to the area and quickly became a star, putting Clarksburg Chenin Blanc on the national stage through the 1970s. Almost all of the growers have been farming here for five or six generations, since prior to 1900.

Because of Chenin Blanc’s uniqueness and rich history, Slow Food Sacramento and the Green Restaurant Alliance of Sacramento are working on a nomination of Chenin Blanc from Clarksburg AVA for Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, which preserves unique flavors from particular regions. We are proposing it be certified as a heritage product, outstanding in terms of taste—as defined in the context of local traditions and uses, at risk biologically or as culinary traditions, and produced in limited quantities.

To learn more, join us for an upcoming Chenin Blanc tasting and Slow Food mixer on April 23. Details and tickets available here.

The tasting will feature these great wineries:

  • Revolution
  • Bogle
  • Rendez Vous
  • Heringer
  • Clarksburg Wine Company
  • Dancing Coyote
  • Blue Plate
  • Twisted River
  • Dry Creek Vineyards

 

 

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.