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Slow Food

In 1986, Piedmontese journalist Carlo Petrini led the fight against the arrival of a MacDonald's fast food restaurant by the sacrosanct Spanish Steps in Rome, jokingly vowing to react by creating its antithesis, Slow Food, to counter multinational corporate blandness and promote local dishes and ingredients. It was an idea whose time had come: three years later the international Slow Food Manifesto was signed in Paris:

Born and nurtured under the sign of Industrialization, this century first invented the machine and then modelled its lifestyle after it. Speed became our shackles. We fell prey to the same virus: 'the fast life' that fractures our customs and assails us even in our own homes, forcing us to ingest "fast-food".

Homo sapiens must regain wisdom and liberate itself from the 'velocity' that is propelling it on the road to extinction. Let us defend ourselves against the universal madness of 'the fast life' with tranquil material pleasure. Against those - or, rather, the vast majority - who confuse efficiency with frenzy, we propose the vaccine of an adequate portion of sensual gourmandise pleasures, to be taken with slow and prolonged enjoyment.

Appropriately, we will start in the kitchen, with Slow Food. To escape the tediousness of "fast-food", let us rediscover the rich varieties and aromas of local cuisines.

In the name of productivity, the 'fast life' has changed our lifestyle and now threatens our environment and our land (and city) scapes. Slow Food is the alternative, the avant-garde's riposte.

Real culture is here to be found. First of all, we can begin by cultivating taste, rather than impoverishing it, by stimulating progress, by encouraging international exchange programs, by endorsing worthwhile projects, by advocating historical food culture and by defending old-fashioned food traditions.

Slow Food assures us of a better quality lifestyle. With a snail purposely chosen as its patron and symbol, it is an idea and a way of life that needs much sure but steady support.

In 1996, when the Slow Food movement held its first Salone del Gusto ('Taste Congress') in Turin, it created the 'Ark of Taste': a kind of Noah's Ark (now known as the 'Presidium) of local, small-scale fruits, vegetables, cured meats, animal breeds, cheeses, breads, sweets and more that are in danger of being decimated or swept away in the flood of uniformity.

Since they've taken action, nearly 600 unique animal breeds, agriculture varieties, and products have indeed been saved, not only in Italy but all around the world.

acqua

water

aglio

garlic

agnello

lamb

Agri

fresh cow or goat's milk cheese

albicocca

apricot

alici

anchovies

amarena

black cherry

andarinos

helix-shaped pasta

anguilla

eel

anice

anise or anise-flavoured liqueur

arancia

orange

arselle

three clams in one!

Asiago

cow's milk cheese

asparagi

asparagus

Bagoss di Bagolino

cow's milk cheese with a pinch of saffron

bale d'asu

'ass's balls' sausage

barattiere

unripe musk melons

bardiccio fiorentino

Florentine sausage

Bettelmatt

Cow's milk cheese from the Walser valleys

biroldo

ancient Tuscan blood sausage

Bitto

beloved cheese from the Valtellina

bollo

round sweet bread flavoured with anise

bottarga

tuna or mullet roe

Botìro di Primiero di Malga

butter from mountain meadows

broccolo

broccoli

Bros

manky cheese transfigured

buristo

a Tuscan sausage

Caciocavallo

hanged sheep or cow's milk cheese

Caciofiore

fresh sheep's cheese made with vegetable rennet

Cacioricotta

a soft, mixed cheese

Canestrato

partially cooked cheese made in a basket

cappero

caper

cappon

a capon...or a fish

caprino

goat cheese

carciofo

artichoke

Carmasciano

sheep's cheese from Avellino

Carnia

cow's milk cheese from near Belluno

carosello

unripe musk melons

carota

carrot

carruba

carob or St John's bread

Casieddu di Moliterno

goat's milk cheese

Casizolu

cow's milk cheese from Sardinia

Casolèt

'little' mountain cheese

Casoperuto

sheep and goat's milk cheese from Caserta

castagna

chestnut

Castelmagno

The 'King of Cheeses'

Casu Axedu

Sardinian cheese, sometimes with maggots

cavallo

horse

cedro

citron

Cevrin di Coazze

cow's and goat's milk cheese

chinotto

myrtle-leaf orange and a drink

ciarimboli

dried pork sausage

ciavar

'mad' sausage

cicciarelli

little silver fish

cicerchia

grass pea

ciliegie

cherries

Cinisara and Modicana

black cattle of Sicily

cinta senese

Tuscan swine

cipolla

onions

ciuìga

salame made of pork and turnips

colatura

anchovy sauce, a descendant of ancient garum

Conciato Romano

ancient 'pickled' cheese

coniglio

rabbit

coppiette

'little couples'—Roman jerky

copuleta

pastries filled with almond paste

cuddrurieddra

a sweet doughnut made with boiled potatoes

culatello

choice 'little bum' ham

cuz

mutton preserved in fat

erba di San Pietro

rock samphire or balsam herb

fagioli

beans, beans, beans and more beans

Fatulì della Val Saviore

smoked goat cheese

fave

broad beans

Felciata di Morano

'fern' cheese

femminello

aromatic lemons

fico

fig

filetto baciato

gourmet Piedmont salame

filindeu

'God's threads'

fior di latte

cow mozzarella

Fiore Sardo

Sardinian sheep cheese

Formadi Frant

a mix of cheeses blended in cream

Formaggetta della Valle Argentina

little white cheese from the Ligurian mountains

formaggio

cheese

fragola

strawberry (and some other things)

gambero

prawn, shrimp or crayfish

garagolo

'pelican foot'

Genepy

wormwood liqueur

gioddu

fermented sheep or goat's milk

gota

cured pig's cheek

grano saraceno

buckwheat

Graukäse

'grey cheese' from Alto Adige

lampascioni

bulbs of the grape hyacinth

lardo

fatback

lenticchie

lentils

limone

lemon

lonzino di fico

fig salame

lucanica

pork sausage

Macagn

creamy buttery cheese

Maiorchino

a sporty Sicilian sheep cheese

mais

corn (maize)

mallegato

Pisan blood sausage

mandorle

almonds

manna

sweet sap of the Mediterranean ash tree

Marcetto

sheep cheese with little worms

marcundela

pork sausage wrapped in caul

marocca di Casola

chestnut flour bread

Marzellina

goat's and sheep's milk cheese

Marzolino

a Tuscan sheep cheese

Marzotica

Pugliese sheep's milk cheese

masculina da magghia

traditionally caught Sicilian anchovies

mazzafegato

'mad' liver sausage

mazzi

dried pork intestines

mela

apple

melanzane

aubergine (eggplant)

melone

melon

merca

mullets preserved in marsh samphire

miele

honey

Molana

fresh white goat and cow's milk cheese

moleche

soft-shelled crabs from the Venetian lagoon

Montasio

iconic mountain cheese

Monte Veronese

cheese from the Lessini mountains

Montebore

'castle cheese'

Mora romagnola

black pigs of Romagna

Morlacco del Grappa

cow's milk cheese from the Grappa hills

mortadella

Bologna's famous salame

mortandela

spiced sausage meat speciality

moscato

muscat wine

moscioli

mussels in the Marche

mostarda

candied fruit in a mustardy sauce

mozzarella

mozzarella

Murianengo

Piedmontese cheese, similar to gorgonzola

mustardela

black pudding from Piedmont

Musulupu

fresh sheep and goat's milk cheese

nduja

hot Calabrian salame

oca

goose

oliva

olive

orzo

barley, or barley-shaped pasta

palamita

Atlantic bonito

paletta

pork shoulder ham

Pallone di Gravina

aged Puglian cheese

Pannerone

'white gorgonzola'

papaccella

sweet pepper from Campania

paste di meliga

cornflour biscuits

patata

potato

pecorino

sheep's milk cheese

peperone

peppers (capsicums)

pera

pear

pesca

peach

pestat

lard and vegetable sausage

peta

smoked meat from Pordenone

pezzente

fatty pork sausage

pezzogna

blue spotted bream

Piacentino Ennese

sheep cheese flavoured with saffron

piattelle canavesane di Cortereggio

rare white beans

pistacchio

pistachio

pitina

smoked mountain meatball

pollo

chicken

pomodoro

tomato

pompia

'monstrous citrus' fruit

porchetta

herby slow roast pork

prescinseua

curdled milk

prosciutto

ham

Provola

cheese from Campania and Sicily

Puzzone di Moena

smelly cheese from the Dolomites

radic di mont

wild chicory shoots

radicchio

red chicory

ramassin

damson plum

rapa

turnip

Raschera

semi fat cooked cow's milk cheese

Raviggiolo

fresh cheese

reblec

fresh mountain cheese

Rebruchon

Piedmont's answer to reblochon

ricotta

soft whey cheese

riso

rice

Robiola

soft white cheese in many forms

roveja

wild pea

salame

salami

Salato

cow's milk 'salt' cheese

sale

salt

salmerino

char or brook trout

salsiccia

sausage

Salva Cremasco

'saved' cheese

Saras del fen

Piedmontese ricotta in hay

sasaka

pork pâté

scarola

endive lettuce, escarole

sciacchetra

wine made from raisins on the Cinque Terre

sciroppo

syrup

Scuete fumade

smoked ricotta

sedano

celery

sfratto

pastry filled with walnuts, honey and spices

sfusato

very special Amalfi lemons

signora di Conca Casale

country sausage from the Molise

Slattato

raw cow's milk cheese from the Marche

soppressata

pressed salami

spalla

pork shoulder

Stelvio//Stilfser

semi hard cow's milk cheese

Stracchino

fresh, creamy cow's milk cheese

Strachitunt

Bergamo's layered blue cheese

susianella di Viterbo

pork salame

susina

plum

tacconi

broad bean flour pasta

tardivo di ciaculli

Sicilian mandarins

tarese Valdarno

Tuscan mountain bacon

telline

a species of baby clam

testa

head cheese, brawn

testaroli

fried and then boiled pasta

Testun

cheese aged in chestnut leaves or Barolo

tinca

tench

Toma

hard or semi hard cow's milk cheese

Tombea

Alpine cow's milk cheese

Tuma

a Sicilian cheese that travelled far

ur-paarl

rye and spelt bread of the monks

uva

grape

Vastedda

DOP sheep cheese (or bread) from Sicily

ventricina del vastese

spicy Abruzzo salame

verdello

green lemons

Vezzena

cow's milk cheese from Trentino

vin santo

'holy wine' made from raisins

zafferano

saffron

zibibbo

muscat of Alexandria

Ziger

cheese made from goat's milk whey

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls