Slow Food - The Joy of Eating
Think of food, and Italy will undoubtedly be among the images that float around in our mind. Au contraire to the modern concept of under-30-minute home-delivered Domino pizzas, Signor Carlo Petrini founded Slow Food® in 1986 to “prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat”. That does sound like the opposite of a cheap pizza ordered online for a football Saturday night, regardless of how tasty that pizza might be.
The idea of protecting a good life surrounded by the good food of an Italian man who was proud of his local cuisines has now become a global movement in 160 countries with various projects and millions of people. Some older country members such as Italy, Japan, Switzerland and the U.S.A. have Slow Food®’s organizational structures on a national level. Their activities range from celebrations of the gastronomic traditions of Europe and Asia to biodiversity projects. In other words, the Slow Food® movement is anything but hippyish. It unites individuals and groups from all walks of life for one common purpose: protecting resources and preserving traditions that create those childhood memories of freshly-baked-pie crumbles, freshly-picked-berry stains and savory treats sneaked from under the counter. It is about enjoying the flavors , the taste, the texture of the food you are consuming.
The concept of Slow Food, somehow, is pretty close to 'Shojin Ryori', a traditional Japanese cuisine under the influence of Buddhism. It is about putting your pure minds and heart into consuming food as a way to appreciate all the creatures have been used as your food.
Chie Takemoto in Traditional Japanese Buddhist Cuisine (Shojin Ryori): A Starter’s Guide gave a very detailed explanation of the concept of Shojin Ryori.
According to Chie Takemoto:
- Sho (精) means “to focus.”
- Jin (進) means “to go forward” or “to advance along the way.”
- Shojin (精進) implies a procedure of constant reflection.
- Ryori (料理) is the word for cooking or cuisine.
A very interesting video about how to eat Shojin Ryori :)
Slow Food - The Joy of Cooking
Beyond the simple enjoyment of eating, there is something endearing about the art of gathering colorful and diverse gifts from Mother Nature and transferring them into something that brings delight to others. Great food sparks conversations and bonds. Even when the end results turn out to be disastrous, they still guarantee laughter and humor, and slightly embarrassing stories to be retold countless of times by that one chatty friend.
It is not just the finished dishes, but the cooking itself that makes Slow Food so enjoyable, both for the cooks and their guests. Imagine if our parents could have ordered an apple pie online or commanded her A.I. chef to prepare a 3-course dinner, there would have been no childhood adventures born from those anticipating hours before dinner time. Who still remembers the back of our mother/ father cooking, chopping and humming along with the music? 😋
Source: Modern Girls & Old Fashion Men
We would not have had learned to be patient for hours just to have our imaginative endeavors interrupted by a mouth-watering aroma coming from the kitchen’s window. We would not have then raced each other back home with the biggest piece of grandma’s pie as an award. I would not have known what to write for this article, because what intriguing about an online food order besides some reviews regarding its speed of delivery and price values?
I have met many who rejected the idea of cooking for leisure. Their ambitious projects at work already consume much of their time and energy. For some, they work hard in order to afford culinary delights offered by star-studded chefs at award-winning venues. Many such places are part of the Slow Food movement as they bring local and seasonal produces to guests through the most creative manners possible. There is no deny in the joy of dining and experimenting what the gastronomic world has to offer outside of our homes. In fact, it should not be an either-or decision. One can find inspiration for a new experiment in the home kitchen by trying out something new at a local eatery or even at a street food vendor abroad. Choosing a local restaurant that promotes traditional cuisines using local ingredients is also a tummy-filling way to support sustainable development.
Then, when it is cold outside, there is no other joy that is better than sitting in front of the oven with our favorite book and a mug of home-made cocoa drink as our sourdough loaves start to expand. I can already smell its aroma, can you?
From our product: Handmade Madaline Pottery Mug
Slow Food - The Joy of Appreciation
My husband and I brought back a marvelous set of porcelain tableware from our holiday in Vietnam. They are very simple, almost minimalistic with only a black brush stroke or two of a tree branch and some more red dots of apricot blossoms. The Asian crockery was the highlight of our apartment in Switzerland. My husband is in love with the set as he never fails to compliment it and to comment how fantastic of a purchase decision it was. Moreover, he started to eat much more slowly and attentively, even when it was just some store-bought müsli for breakfast.
That is the essence of Slow Food: appreciation. Appreciate all the delicious ingredients that come from our soils and oceans; appreciate our time together with family and friends over the Christmas table; appreciate Mother’s syrup and jam sent over from home to aid with our intense exam periods. All those hours laboring in the kitchen, all those stories, all that goodness deserve to be displayed on the most beautiful plates, dishes, and bowls. In fact, the more elaborate the dish is, the simpler its container should be. That is a true beauty. Sophisticatedly engraved dinnerware is stunning, but they can easily shift the focus away from what really matters: the effort and joy that were poured into preparing the dish.
Simplicity does not equal plainness. The Japanese are an expert in this regard: By using very simple pieces of tableware in different shapes, sizes, and colors, they turn the whole table into a piece of art. Such diversity creates a sense of harmony that is inspiring, something that can’t be attained by using dining sets with busy decorative motifs. The Scandinavians will agree as their world-famous minimalistic approach in design celebrates a similar idea. A visit in any Scandinavian interior design store can demonstrate it better: Everything is simple and unique in shapes and colors, yet they all seem to compliment each other so well regardless of how random the pieces of furniture are placed.
Image from our collection: Flowery Pattern Ceramic Plate
After all, food is like a beautiful painting: When we have worked on it so hard create a masterpiece, we wouldn’t want to place it within a frame that may clash with or even take away the attention of the painting itself, would we? Just like how we deserve good, clean and fair food, our food deserves simple, aesthetic and complimenting containers. Happy taste buds and pleased eyes, that is the true joie de vivre.
So, How is your personal relationship with food and cooking? Share with us your stories!:)