North African Food Biodiversity at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto

A delegation of 90 people from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt is set to take part in the most important international event dedicated to food culture.

Organized by Slow Food in collaboration with the Region of Piedmont and the City of Turin, the 12th edition of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto will be held from September 20 to 24, 2018, in Turin, Italy. Over 5,000 delegates from 140 countries, over 800 exhibitors, 300 Slow Food Presidia, and 500 Terra Madre food communities are taking part in the event.

The Slow Food delegation from MoroccoAlgeriaTunisia, and Egypt includes family farmers, producers, academics, chefs, activists, members of the Slow Food Youth Network (SFYN), and students who will bring their knowledge and experience to the numerous activities that will be offered during this 5-day event. Food for change is the guiding theme of this 12th edition: This year the focus will be on people and the change that everyone can help create.

The International Market, located in the Lingotto Fiere and Oval, will host four Moroccan Presidia products that will be available for the public to taste and buy: Taliouine SaffronAlnif CuminArgan Oil, and the Rif Einkorn Wheat (about to become a Presidium). Fishers from Tunisia’s  Kerkennah Islands Traditional Fishing Presidium will also be attending Terra Madre Salone del Gusto and will be involved in the Slow Fish thematic area. It will also be possible to buy some of the Tunisian artisanal pasta made from ancient durum wheat varieties. From Egypt, the public can taste Siwa Oasis Dates (Slow Food Presidium) and other local products.

An area of the International Market will be dedicated to the Terra Madre Kitchens where chefs from four continents will prepare authentic dishes, using products from their home countries with creativity and passion, including:

  • A tasting of a Tunisian couscous known as ghalla (Ark of Taste product), typical of the Kerkennah Islands, which will be prepared and served by a group of local women, according to traditional methods and customs;
  • Nassiira Facih from Algeria will prepare plombs, a traditional Maghrebine pasta also known as berkoukesh;
  • A tasting of Argan Oil, the Presidium for which was established in 2001, is one of the oldest in Morocco.
  • A tasting of the golden tea made from Moroccan Taliouine Saffron, another historic Moroccan Presidium, led by a few producers and representatives of the local “house of saffron” (dar al safran).

This year, the beating heart of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto will be the #foodforchange thematic areas: Slow Food has identified five major themes (Slow MeatSlow FishSeedsFood and Health, and Bees and Insects). Here is the list of events where the North African delegation will be involved within these areas:

Slow Meat:

Dr. Adel Salem, a veterinarian from Egypt, and coordinator of the Bigawi Chicken Presidium, will take part in the Terra Madre Forum Subject of Breeds (September 21 at 4:00 p.m.– Torino Lingotto Fiere), a meeting dedicated to the discovery of some ancient breeds that are now at risk of extinction.

Slow Fish:

During the Taste Workshop Mediterranean Caviar: Discovering Bottarga (September 22 at 4:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere), Rafram Chaddad, Tunisian chef and artist, will guide the public through the waters of the Mediterranean Sea to discover bottarga’s history and culture, from Tunisia to Sardinia, from aperitif with slices of bottarga paired with boukha (a fig brandy), to the classic spaghetti alla bottarga.

Taste Workshop Morocco: Aglou Mussels (September 24 at 11:00 a.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere). In Aglou, a small seaside village in the province of Tiznit, southeastern Morocco, about 20 artisanal fishers and nine cooks have created an association, joining forces to raise awareness about the richness of these seas and the importance of traditional fishing practices, which are respectful of the sea and the work of local communities. This event features a light tasting of couscous and tajines with dried mussels from Aglou.


During the Cooking School A Two-Thousand Staple: Egyptian Fava Beans (September 22 at 11:00 a.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere), Mennat Allah El Dorry, Egyptologist and archaeologist, will explore the rich Egyptian culinary heritage that, in its 7,000 years of history, has undergone many changes and become a real melting pot. Thanks to the collaboration of chefs Omar El Marsafy and Nabil Gaballa, of the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance, the public will discover traditional Egyptian fava bean-based dishes, at the heart of modern Egyptian cuisine.

Sara El Sayed from Egypt will take part in the Terra Madre Forum Cultivating Cities (September 22 at 4:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere). A PhD student at Arizona State University and founder of Slow Food Cairo, Sara is conducting research on how small-scale farming communities in Egypt can scale, while remaining sustainable.

During the Taste Workshop Feeding the World: Couscous Made With Ancient Grains (September 23 at 11:00 a.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere), two Moroccan chefs will prepare two different types of traditional couscous: the Rif Einkorn Wheat (soon-to-be a Slow Food Presidium) and Ifnousen couscous, made with alfalfa and durum wheat from the oasis.

Habib Ayeb, Tunisian geographer, film director, and member of OSAE (Observatoire de la Souveraineté Alimentaire et de l’Environnement) will take part in the Terra Madre Forum Seed Biodiversity As a Response to Climate Change (September 23 at 11:00 a.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere) during which delegates from the network will discuss how a rich and diverse agricultural system is better prepared to tackle climate change than a monoculture-based system.

Food and Health:

Menar Meebed, Slow Food Egypt coordinator, will take part in the Terra Madre Forum Malnutrition and Health Education (September 21 at 4:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere), during which the three aspects of malnutrition will be discussed in depth.

Said Gharbi, professor and researcher at Ibn Zohr University and a member of Slow Food Taroudant, will speak about the Moroccan Argan Oil Presidium in the Terra Madre Forum Fats: Not All Harmful (22 September at 2:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere).

Beyond the thematic areas, Jeanne Chiche, Moroccan anthropologist and researcher in rural geography, will attend the Terra Madre Forum Bringing Tradition and Innovation Together (September 24 at 10:30 a.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere) together with Piero Sardo, president of Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, to discuss what is meant by Agriculture 2.0.

Egypt will be the protagonist of some thematic itineraries developed for Terra Madre Salone del Gusto outside the Lingotto Fiere Pavillon, in collaboration with the Egyptian Museum of Turin. The Museum will offer special guided tours and workshops for families dedicated to the theme of food in ancient Egypt, an itinerary to discover the nutritional and medicinal properties of food and natural products to provide well-being, prevention and relief from disease, and a sensory journey through the fragrances of ancient Egypt to discover the secrets of cosmetics and the importance that perfumes had for both body care and religious rituals.

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018 Press Office

Slow Food, +39 329 83 212 85 [email protected] – Twitter: @SlowFoodPress

Region of Piedmont, +39 011 432 2549 – [email protected]

City of Turin, +39 011 011 21976 – +39 342 1100131 – [email protected]

To request press accreditation, please click here.

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto is an event organized by the City of Turin, Slow Food, and the Region of Piedmont in collaboration with MIPAAF (Italy’s Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies). It has been made possible thanks to its many sponsors, including the Official Partners, GLEvents-Lingotto Fiere, IREN, Lavazza, Lurisia, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pastificio Di Martino and Quality Beer Academy; with the support of Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione CRT-Cassa di Risparmio di Torino, Associazione delle Fondazioni di Origine Bancaria del Piemonte, and Coldiretti; and with the contribution of IFAD, the European Union, and CIA (Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori).

Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it, and good for the planet. Slow Food involves over a million activists, chefs, experts, youth, farmers, fishers, and academics in over 160 countries.

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