Many of us have swallowed the idea that when it comes to food, faster is better. We are in a hurry, and we want meals to match. But many people are waking up to the drawbacks of the gobble-gulp-and-go ethos. On the farm, in the kitchen and at the table, they are slowing down. Leading the charge is an international movement with a name that says it all: Slow Food… All over the world, Slow Food activists organize dinners, workshops, school visits and other events to promote the benefits of taking our time over what we eat… On the economic side, Slow Food seeks out artisanal foods that are on their way to extinction and helps them gain a foothold in the global market.
This book isn’t hopelessly unrealistic. It allows that all of us will occasionally grab a meal at McDonalds. “Slow Food is realistic. It recognizes that every meal cannot be a four-hour banquet of handmade delicacies.” But in buying more unprocessed food, cooking more, and paying attention while we eat, we can enjoy “the pleasures of the table.” The book motivated me to read a bit about the Ontario chapter of Slow Food, and to drive less than a kilometer to a cheese artisan’s shop called The Cheese Boutique. I bought, among other things, some vintage cheddar produced in 1998 from unpasteurized Ottawa Valley milk, cured and matured in their vault. Mmmm. You’re welcome to come over and try some.