Journey to the Origins of Taste

From Linz to Torronto, Slow Food convivia are introducing sensory education to community festivals around the world. This weekend, Slow Food UK is taking part in the Children’s Food Festival at Northmoor Trust Farm, South Oxfordshire, with their own pavilion dedicated to an interactive educational activity called The Taste Adventure.

Inspired by Slow Food’s To the Origins of Taste education program, the activity has been organized by Slow Food UK and Slow Food Oxon convivium, and is designed to help children better understand the relationship between the enjoyment of food and use of the five senses.

Children will pass through five ‘islands’, with various activities that explore all the sensory aspects of food. Following this, they will be able to listen to farmers and producers tell the story of their products, and put their new awareness into practice as they try their specialities.

Early this year in April, around 200 Canadian school children stepped into a sensory world to discover more about taste when they completed the interactive activity To the Origins of Taste – presented by Slow Food Toronto and Slow Food Prince Edward County – at a Maple Syrup Festival in April 2009.

Meanwhile in Austria, the Linz convivium presented the course at the city’s major festival held from May 30 to June 1, and attracted more than 200 festival goers – adults, youth and kids – to complete the three-stage activity. Following exposure at the Linz fair, a local company asked the Linz convivium to organize the activity for their 300 employees, in cooperation with the company’s canteen.

To the Origins of Taste begins with an introductory video in which participants are familiarized with basic sensory concepts and descriptors, and then moves to a series of interactive tasting games at six stations: taste, sight, smell, touch and hearing. Finally, participants use a pre-recorded lesson to guide them through a tasting of apples and chocolate.

To the Origins of Taste has been prepared in eight languages and was first presented at the Terra Madre 2008 meeting, where more than 1,800 farmers, artisan producers, cooks, academics, and students completed the course. Through having a greater understanding of a taste qualities, food producers are better placed to understand their own product’s unique traits and how to improve production, find market opportunities, and thus to protect biodiversity and our quality of life.

To make enquiries about acquiring the kit, contact Slow Food at [email protected]

To view the To the Origins of Taste video, click here.

For more information about the Children’s Food Festival this weekend:

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