Tag Archives: terra madre

Terra Madre 2010 & the Salone Del Gusto

This is gluttony at its finest.

We began our weekend at the US Delegation Meeting in Terra Madre’s Lingotta Fiere Oval. It felt very American. The various speakers, including Alice Waters, Josh Viertel, Raj Patel and Carlo Petrini, among others, were inspiring, concise and funny. Alice told us how proud she was of the progress of Slow Food in the US and how she wants to bring the conference to Washington DC. Josh is a great speaker and told us stories about his first trip to Terra Madre: He arrived in Torino and was forced to wait for hours for a bus from the air port to the convention. While waiting he met some delegates who had traveled for three days just to get to Torino. Josh became impatient after being told for the fifth or sixth time that they would be leaving in 30 minutes. He told this to his new delegate friends who responded, “Enough. You have the watches, we have the time.” This seems to have become a sort of mantra for Josh and he used it to illustrate that although the progress of Slow Food is in fact slow, it is progress.  We cannot constantly look down at our watches and judge our work by the time it took to do it.

Alice Waters speaks
Alice Waters speaks

Carlo Petrini spoke slowly and carefully and told us that Slow Food exists to support Terra Madre, not the other way around.  Interesting that he was at our meeting and not attending the Italian meeting, occurring a few stalls down from us.  We peaked in at the end and saw that it was pretty dead… Strange.

food chaos
food chaos

Vast, overwhelming, crowded, stuffed, tipsy, delicious.  That’s pretty much how I would describe the Salone del Gusto.  I think I tasted around 80 different types of salami and prosciutto and more different kinds of cheese.  40 pecorinos, oxtail stew, honeys, breads, crackers, biscotti, nougat, oysters, mussels, lardo, almonds, pine nuts, lentils, tomato sauces, salsas, beers and wines, all of that in just 30 minutes.  And I spent about five or six hours there!

lardo
lardo!
nougat
nougat! almond and honey.

The best way to describe the Salone del Gusto is as a huge food convention.  20 football fields of small growers, producers, butchers, whatever.  Restaurants, wine bars, breweries, grappa producers.  Anything that can be consumed had at least 10 representative stands offering samples.  The pictures really give the best description of what it was like.

induja
induja
farinata
farinata
Banyuls Vinegar Tasting
Banyuls Vinegar Tasting

Eatily was also an amazing store, full of artisinal gastronomic products and featuring six or seven different food bars, each offering completely different Italian cuisines.  On the weekend by 7PM each bar was packed with people eating and drinking.  Eatily also has a pretty incredible beer and wine selection downstairs in their enoteca and delicious sounding bar food including a hamburger that looked American and juicy.

cured meat @ Eatily
cured meat @ Eatily
espresso @ Eatily
espresso @ Eatily

On Sunday we left the Lingotto area a bit early to explore a tiny little piece of central Torino.  We ventured through Piazza Castello into the Galeria Subalpina, which is amazing, and into one of Torino’s most famous and beautiful cafes, Baratti & Milano.  We each ordered a Bicerin, a thick, creamy hot chocolate and espresso mixture that really just tastes like hot chocolate.  Delicious though.  Also, we saw an awesome book store in the Galeria Subalpina selling all kinds of antique cookbooks.  Definitely a place to visit again.

Bicerin @ Baratti & Milano
Bicerin @ Baratti & Milano

Below are the pictures….  It’s almost like being there.  All of my pictures from Terra Madre are available here via Facebook and here via Flickr.