December 10: What’s on the Menu?

Now in its third year, Slow Food’s global celebration of good, clean and fair local food – Terra Madre Day – is an occasion that takes place in numerous ways, bringing together communities at festivals, dinners, exhibitions, cultural events, conferences and much more. Events not only raise the profile of local food, they showcase to the world the places and faces that are crucial to our communities and food production, and display the creativity of our movement and the potential to bring change through actions big and small.

As Terra Madre Day 2011 approaches, let’s take a look at what the world is cooking up for December 10.

In Romania, local producers will be promoted with a community cookout of family recipes prepared from locally grown, seasonal ingredients. Meanwhile in Dijon, France, the focus will be on using technology to network producers and consumers though an online platform for local food. Shoppers at Alsace’s historic marketplace will be offered a special legume soup by the city’s Slow Food members, while in the Netherlands, beekeepers, millers, cheesemakers, bakers and tea experts will offer their produce at a market being held in a sheepfold in Heeze, normally home to Drenthe Heidenshaap Presidium sheep.

In Africa, a food festival in Kenya will bring together around 2,000 people from three different tribes to prepare their traditional dishes and participate in cooking demonstrations. In Ghana, a similar desire to see ancient culinary knowledge survive into the future inspired the creation of a traditional recipe cookbook for young people, which will be launched on the occassion. Meanwhile in Rwanda, 60 pairs of arms will rise in a special dance performance symbolizing the horns of the local endangered cow breed, to highlight the importance of biodiversity.

Around the world, many events will celebrate specific local products, with dozens of convivial dinners and taste workshops highlighting some of the special and unusual foods protected by the Slow Food network: from Canadian raw milk cheeses to Lebanese wines, from the various varieties of sesame found in Israel to Spanish olive oils. In Slovenia and Malta, bread will be the star of the day, while in Croatia, squid will be celebrated, and in the Ukraine, the festivities will revolve around pickles. While in Indonesia, wild foods will be paired with literature in a festival to re-discover the native edible plants of the region.

Terra Madre Day is also unfolding in competitions and film screenings, cooking classes and many other events dedicated to education: from India, where students from Saiwan will celebrate the harvest in their school garden, to Italy, where students from the University of Gastronomic Sciences will take children on a treasure hunt around the town to discover local specialties.

Many events are also supporting the Thousand Gardens in Africa project – Slow Food’s most ambitious project for 2011 – with a fundraising activities such as a lottery, silent auction and performances.

How will you celebrate this Terra Madre Day?

To view all the events taking place, search for events in your region or register a new event and take part in the worldwide celebration, visit:

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