Time and food are bedfellows. And since women have walked away from the stove and into the office, strategies designed to help us manage the interplay of cooking and time have multiplied. Slow Food, fast food, 30 Minute Meals, Super Fast Dinners Grown on Your Rooftop in Brooklyn, Lunching Entirely On Homemade Pickles – there are a wide variety of options out there, some of which are hopelessly but quaintly unrealistic.
So in the next three posts, we’ll examine ways to couple time and food, and talk about why they make sense. Or not.
I had the very good fortune of being able to attend the Salone de Gusto in Turin Italy, which is a massive yearly celebration held by the Slow Food Movement. I pigged out in a ridiculous way, didn’t even go to see the Shroud, and still have nightmares about how I looked when I tried on a stretchy denim mini-skirt at a boutique just down the street from the convention hall. The puzzling thing is that I still bought it.
But gluttony and subsequent curvaceousness aside, this was a real opportunity to get to know food. The event is held in a massive convention centre, and there are literally four football fields worth of individual producers offering samples of food they have grown with their own hands. In another venue, there are days and days of seminars offering education in specific ingredients – you sit around with people from everywhere on earth, but mostly Italy and France, and compare the relative virtues of, for example, small-batch honeys cultivated in different climates.
There were cheeses so moldy and funky they looked like stuffed animals. Growing, breading, and then deep-frying vegetables seemed to be popular. And there was pork. Lots of pork.
(“You maybe ate a little too much pork…” whispered the top button of the denim miniskirt.)
The whole idea here is to slow down, to savour each bite, and to celebrate farmers who are doing it right. It’s about the long-simmered ragu, the artisanal loaf, and taking back food from the factories and chemists. It’s a truly worthy movement shepherded by a lot of people who care about what you eat. You should attend if you ever have a chance – this year’s event is coming up on October 25th.
Nevertheless, I wonder if it is practical to slow down in a world that’s speeding up like a rocket. I adore the baker with the sourdough starter and I admire the farmer who knows his cows by name. I just wish, really, that one of them could come over to my house in between my night shifts and tell me what to make for dinner.
(“Salad…lots of salad…”, suggested the denim mini from the Skinny Clothes storage tub under the bed)