Lambs’ Ears braves the teeming hordes at Slow Food’s Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2016 to share a remarkable food experience.
In an effort to ensure that you, dear reader, are not feeling totally neglected while I am on holidays in sunny Italy I want to share a brief taste of the wonderful experience that is Slow Food’s Terra Madre Salone del Gusto.
This is an event which is held every two years in Turin, Italy, and is simply the food festival to end all food festivals.
Billed as “the largest and most culturally-significant food and wine fair in the world”, the four day event combined what was previously two separate international food gatherings and was held in various locations in Turin. Much of it was open air and, with the exception of workshops, forums and conferences, was free to the public giving them a chance to meet food producers and explore food from all regions of Italy and from many, many corners of the world.
I attended some of the conferences and had a fantastic afternoon getting familiar with the world of vermouth in a workshop (more about that in a later post). However, the most popular part of the whole event was easily the enormous range of food products that were on exhibition. Arranged over several separate city locations, it was possible to to taste pistachios from Bronte, bush tucker from Noosa or cheese from Scandinavia.
I was particularly excited to discover and taste the little-known Mishavinë cheese from Albania. Just a couple of weeks before I had listened to a BBC Food Programme about this cheese. It is a fermented cheese made in only a very small region and was nearly lost because of political posturing during the communist rule. It has been rediscovered just in time and is heralding a new future for Albanian cuisine.
On a par with our experience last year at the Bra Cheese Fair (where I discovered that “too much cheese” really is a thing) this festival requires a degree of commitment. All of the locations were popular and very crowded – especially over the weekend. Getting to each and every stall would have involved a mammoth effort and more stamina than this blogger has, but I can assure you – after our day of tasting I went to bed tired, happy and very full.