Slow Food Sicily has been growing steadily in recent years as an alternative to fast food and protecting ‘at risk’ unique food produce on the island. As part of the international Slow Food movement it promotes ‘good, clean and fair’ food. At Slow Food’s Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto at the end of October, Slow Food Sicily members, chefs, producers, farmers, fisherfolk and activists were out in force. There are now more than 30 Presidia products from Sicily – that is, foods unique to a specific locality, have historically significance and thought to be at risk. Initially, the products are identified and catalogued in Slow Food’s Ark of Taste to gain recognition and then once their status has been established, promoted as Presidia products through collaboration between Slow Food and the producers.
The products on display from Sicily included the ‘pane nero’ (black bread) from Castelvetrano:
The Cartucciaru melon from Paceco is another:
Preserves from Belladonna Pedara on the east coast…
The story of the capers from the Aeolian island of Salina interested many, including the BBC Food Programme recording a series of interviews with ‘Ark of Taste’ producers from around the world.
Also from Salina, Alfredo’s granite was popular through the week at the large and vibrant Sicily stall in the packed Salone del Gusto…
The Slow Food Sicilia stall was the venue too for the lunches, dinners and wine tastings, where visitors could learn, for example, how to peel fichi d’india or taste real caponata . Introduced, as always, by Saro Gugliotta, President of Slow Food Sicilia and the inspiration behind many Slow Food Sicily events, these were convivial and stimulating events, which brought more understanding of Sicily’s rich history and culture.