TOWARDS TERRA MADRE – Travel Diary

21 Sep 2004

Five thousand food producers from five continents-farmers, fishermen, shepherds, cheesemakers … – will meet in Turin in October as part of Slow Food’s groundbreaking Terra Madre event. Until then the site will monitor the preparatory journeys of the project’s collaborators.

Slow Food Ireland

Slow Food has enjoyed exponential growth in Ireland where it now boasts over 400 members divided into 5 Convivia: West Cork, East Cork, Dublin, Kerry and Waterford. These will soon be joined by others: the next to open will be the Garden convivium in Wicklow, south of Dublin.

This year over 100 people took part in the Kenmare weekend, the second national event organised by Slow Food Ireland. Like last year when it was held in Cork in late March, the weekend organized by Irish convivium leaders provided participants with an opportunity to discover the island’s food heritage through dinners, tastings and excursions. Consumers were also made more aware of the origins and quality of foods through workshops and markets.

For information about Slow Food Ireland:

www.slowfoodireland.com

Smoked Wild Salmon Presidium
Irish waters have always been renowned for their abundant salmon, yet the fish is now at risk. The Presidium smoked salmon produced by four Irish salmon smokers is exclusively wild fish caught off the local coast. The residents of the areas in question have always smoked the fish in order to keep it longer.

The Presidium producers all make top quality salmon, but each according to his own recipe: some add a pinch of unrefined sugar to the brine; some smoke the fish on birch wood, sometimes made from the barrels used to age whisky; others use a type of dry salt for a more intense flavour.

The Presidium was set up to encourage the promotion of sustainable fishing and make an active contribution to ecological projects helping to preserve the salmon ecosystem in Irish rivers.

Presidium coordinator:
Sally Barnes [email protected]

Raw Milk Cheese Presidium

Four hundred years ago Ireland boasted over thirty traditional cheeses, but what was left of Irish cheesemaking tradition was wiped out with the famine of the 1840s.

In the 70s and 80s some dairies began making traditional cheeses again. In a short time about thirty small dairies sprang up to make fine quality raw milk cheeses. However no more than ten of these have survived, the others often shutting down on account of excessively strict hygiene regulations.

The Presidium covers four traditional cheese dairies, which work with very different techniques and results: their products range from Durrus, with a slightly washed rind, to Desmond, a great Swiss-style hard cheese.

The two aims are: to defend the right to produce raw milk cheese in Ireland and promote these products and make them more widely known.

Presidium coordinators:
Kevin Sheridan
[email protected]

Jeffa Gill
[email protected]

Colin Sage
[email protected]. .

Silvia Monasterolo is the Europe area coordinator on the Terra Madre project

Adapted by Ailsa Woods

This is an abridged version of an article which first appeared inSlowfood n° 3.

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