Slow Recipe Showdown

11 Feb 2011

Nine home cooks from rural towns in the UK’s northwest, including a 76-year old gentleman from Leeds, have been named finalists in the first national Slow Food Recipe Competition. Organized by Slow Food UK in collaboration with the grocery store Booths, the competition is designed to protect traditional Northern recipes from being lost, with the winning dishes to be promoted on recipe cards in the stores and on the organizations’ websites.

Each competitor will explain their dish’s history and offer a tasting to a panel of judges – including The Times food critic Charles Campion, Booths chairman Edwin Booth and Slow Food UK CEO Catherine Gazzoli – who will be looking for the recipes that best combine local flavours, memories and traditions.

Many of the recipes originate from the 1930’s and 1940’s when ingredients were stretched to make them go further and cheaper cuts of meat were used, which are increasingly coming back into fashion. The judges will sample Plum Jumbly Tart, Farmers Sausage Meat Hotpot, Barley Lamb Broth, Honey Tea Bread and Blackberry Cake, among other dishes and baked goods.

“Many of these recipes don’t exist in cookbooks – they come from great-great-grandmas or grandpas who have been cooking these dishes for years,” said Slow Food UK’s Catherine Gazzoli. “These recipes encapsulate all that is good about Slow Food – delicious, local dishes prepared with love, and families coming together around the dinner table to take time to talk, eat and enjoy life.”

“We’re thrilled with the response we’ve had to this competition… people have delved deep into their family cookbooks to share some amazing recipes that combine family history, local tradition and local produce,” said Booths marketing manager Sarah Burns. “Many of the dishes are treasured culinary secrets that date back generations and have only been saved in people’s memories. We want to champion these beloved family dishes and protect them for many more generations to come.”

Slow Food UK and Booths established a partnership in April last year to promote the quality, provenance, seasonality and regionality of food. This competition is one of the first of many initiatives the partnership has embarked on to encourage people to think about what they are eating and to take time to treasure family meals.

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