Yesterday I was able to attend a Slow Food Mother City event in Cape Town and this is an album of the pictures I took there.
The slow food movement was originally created in reaction to the invasion of Italy by fast food chains and has spread all around the globe. The movement is concerned that everyone in the world have access to food that is good for human consumption, good for the grower and good for the environment. Its foundational principles are good (delicious and healthy), clean (protecting ecosystems and biodiversity) and fair (a fair price both for the consumer and producer). It is a movement that embraces not just the finest taste in food but also how it is grown, elevating the status of food growers. Food production is a ‘gastronomic act’.
The event was hosted by Abigail of the restaurant 4 Roomed Ekasi Culture, in Khayalitsha, to celebrate the Slow Food movement’s ‘Disco Soup Day’.
It was as I imagine a slow food event would be, graceful, sensuous and deep deep green, celebrating the beauty of food culture, and with quite a lot of other beauty added in. Abigail’s home, which is part BnB is full of visual delight !
At first I went to look at the action in the kitchen where a bunch of people were chopping bunches of fresh greens brought by Ria Schuurman from local vegetable gardens affiliated with Ubuhle Bendalo, an educational garden in the area which helps people start backyard food gardens. It seemed like the cooking went on all day as one course after another came out. It was as leisurely as eating in rural Italy.
Later I moved to the street to join those sitting outside in the bleached light of the winter sun. The road formed a large plaza between the houses. We enjoyed the soft Moroccan leather poofs and cushions set out on a chequerboard of plaster and grass beneath a really gnarled tree.
There was a warm buzz of excitement. For myself, never having been to a slow food event before, I was surprised to hear people talking about food wastage, gardening, and all my favourite topics without any embarrassment. Instead of feeling like an eco-nurd I began to really enjoy the connectedness.
Many interesting people from our local slow food and permaculture scene were there, from Ria and Abigail to Xolisa who designs and runs the food forest garden at Ikhaya garden, and has been on national television and traveled to the Terre Madre slow food festival, to Loubie Rusch, a fynbos foods fundi, Ishay Govender and her team from the (truly fabulous) website food and the fabulous and Zikhona Mdalase, a conservationist, ex Crew and working now with schools in Hout Bay.
Loubie Rusch gave a short talk encouraging people to join the slow food movement. My ears pricked up when she explained that membership used to be pricey but there is a new system where membership is free, and what is so exciting is that anyone can form a group of people interested in some aspect of food and join the movement and communicate their concerns or issue to a broader audience.
We had beautifully done firm and fruity black olives, bread with the crispiest crust, various salads with sugar beans, indigenous dune spinach, basil and feta, carrot top pesto (delicious) lemon juice, with amazing combinations of herby and pickled flavors.
Later came two slow stewed soups: a herby meat broth, and a pumpkin soup. They were served with golden curly pieces of pork on the bone which was succulent and delicious. Never ever put these down anywhere they will leave a permanent mark !
All in all it was a wonderful day thanks to Abigail, the
perfect hostess. I would like more of this kind of heart warming and thoroughly
enjoyable experience, so I’ve joined the
facebook group based in Cape Town Slow
Food Mother City.
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