Slow food to tell its story

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Celebrating precious memories of food from years gone by will be a big focus of the Slow Food Swan Valley group’s presence at the Gidgegannup Small Farm Field Days this year.

A food memories trail and display will be a delicious addition to the event, with “slow food” the hero and designed to engage all visitors.

The tent will be near the cafe and entertainment area, near Gate 1 and the Small Landowners Marquee.

It will be the first time such an event has been held at the field day, with Il Paiolo catering company chef Vincenzo Velletri taking charge of the event.

Mr Velletri, who lives on a small farm, is the Swan Valley and Eastern Regions Slow Food Convivium leader. He has been involved with the Slow Food Movement for more than 20 years after being introduced to it in 1996.

Founded in 1989, Slow Food is a global, grassroots organisation that aims to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions.

It aims to inspire people to take an interest in the food they eat and where it comes from.

“When you say slow food, people understand slow cooking and then you have to explain that it has nothing to do with that,” Mr Velletri laughed.

“I find great satisfaction from explaining what slow food stands for and the impact that the movement has on the food system around the world.

“Slow food is about good, clean and fair food for all, small and family farming, protecting biodiversity and food culture.”

The Swan Valley and Eastern Regions Slow Food Convivium’s Food Memory Trail will include contributions and memories from students at Helena College.

It will involve an interactive display of food memories stories inside the tent, with free tastings of some of the food featured in the display.

Mr Velletri said the term “food memory” referred to any food-related experience that reminded you of home, another place, or a moment in time.

He said the taste, smell, and texture of food brings back memories not just of eating the food itself but also of experiencing it.

The trail is designed to engage young children and educate them about the importance of food, encouraging them to associate food with positive experiences.

“We are trying to engage the community with where their food comes from and what is behind the food,” Mr Velletri said.

“We want to give them the opportunity to think about why some foods stay in their mind, and that food memories are very important.”

I find great satisfaction from explaining what slow food stands for and the impact that the movement has on the food system around the world.

Vincenzo Velletri

Reducing food waste is also a focus of the event, with a pop-up store promoting cycling, sustainability, health and happiness.

The display will see people take to a stationary bike to cycle, with the force powering a blender to make delicious smoothies.

The Slow Food Movement began in 1986, after the opening of McDonald’s on the Spanish Steps in Rome.

At the time, a group of friends saw the rise of the fast food industry and the homogenisation of taste as a potential threat to traditional cuisine, agricultural practices and good food, and decided to start the Slow Food movement.

The movement has evolved, developing activities, food policies, educational programs in relation to food with a comprehensive approach that recognises the strong connections between plate, environment, indigenous communities, citizens, politics and culture.

The group is part of Slow Food International, a non-for-profit, global, grassroots group founded to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions.

In Perth, the Swan Valley and Eastern Regions Slow Food Convivium organises long table events, taste workshops, cooking classes and conferences.

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