“From the Slavs to the Legions” through the centuries: an exhibition and gastronomic event to celebrate Independence Day in Poland together with the Slow Food Dolny Śląsk Convivium.
The Ślężański Cultural Center, the Muzeum Ślężańskie and Slow Food Lower Silesia opened the first of three events as part of the annual Independence Day celebration in Sobótka, Poland.
“ The meeting – Anna Maria Rumińska, Slow Food Convivium leader and food anthropologist, explained us – was devoted to the culinary heritage of Dolny Śląsk (Lower Silesia) between the 10th and the 20th century. The partner was Slow Food Wroclaw Breslavia community with their food cooperative who provided the products. This event has opened an exhibition of posters created by Andrzej Rumiński on the Polish Legions, a historic military formation from occupated Poland, that fought for independence in 1914-1918. An opening word and a lecture on the patriotic exhibitions was given by the partner venues’ CEOs: Michał Hajdukiewicz (RCKS) and Monika Szima-Efinowicz (MŚ)”.
Anna Maria Rumińska also gave a lecture and showcased a presentation of traditional foods of early medieval Lower Silesia tribe Ślężanie and of the Polish Legionists, to show the gastronomic continuation between those two communities. With this, she presented sustainable and low-cost techniques of cultivation, processing and consumption that have been successfully implemented into the present organic food system.
The local raw materials and products necessary for the presentation were provided by Tomasz Rumiński and Marek Roth-Boroński who coordinate food coop within Slow Food Wrocław Breslavia community, along with Tomasz Iwanowski, the coordinator of the Lowersilesian Figurative Pepperbread community, and Monika Frania who coordinates the Polish Eagle Bean community.
Anna also explained the #SlowForaging approach based on historic research. Slow Food published her text on this project when she launched it within Terra Madre 2020 (pandemic, online edition). She encouraged participants to foraging free food and to cut food waste, and prior to this, to learn which uncultivated, friendly, traditional, local plants (by some called ‘wild’) have been food in the past and can be harvested for food nowadays.
The culinary presentation included inteoduction to the Slow Food philosophy followed by showcase of some Lowersilesian Ark of Taste products: Gomółka dried cheese, Lowersilesian Figurative Pepperbread, symbolic bean variety: Polish Eagle Bean.
“Cultivation of this ‘patriotic bean’ – Anna explained – was banned in Poland 100 years ago due to the foreign occupation and the bean’s patriotic connotation. Since 8 years, we’ve been running its reintroduction in our region, also as a part of our contribution to the Slow Beans programme”.
Among the participants, also local producers were present, like beekepers and cheese makers. This shows that the theme of historic food and culinary reenactment that Anna practice, is also commercial, modern. and possible to practice now, when sustaonable methods ofproducing good, clean, fair, local food is more important than ever before. “We can learn from the past” – Anna said.
This beautiful, sentimental, patriotic and highly practical meeting has opened a new series of Slow Food devoted events in Sobótka, in Muzeum Ślężańskie. We’re looking forward to this!