SLOW FOOD – CE: Culture, Heritage, Identity and Food

“Identify, protect, valorise” are the SlowFood-CE three key words.

The project connected public and private actors from five central European cities: Venice (Italy), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Brno (Czech Republic), Kecskemét (Hungary) and Krakow (Poland) by creating a replicable model that gives local and traditional food the value it deserves. Thus, the project contributed to increase the capacity of local actors to valorise the intangible heritage of food in line with a vision of integrated economic, environmental and social sustainability.

After building a shared methodology for the identification and promotion of the cultural resources linked to food heritage, a specific pilot project was set up in each city in order to try out innovative solutions for the promotion of local gastronomy to citizens and tourists in different urban spaces.

Finally, the lessons learned over three years of work have been condensed into a common strategy for the sustainable promotion of food heritage which represents a road map for institutions who want to follow a similar path to protect their gastronomic heritage.

The project experiences and tools are available online on the Food Paths Network platform.

 

  • Main Goals

    Its main goal is to improve the capacities of local actors to promote the intangible heritage of food in a vision that integrates economic, environmental and social sustainability. This is made with an alliance among five European cities, which have mapped their territory and planned specific pilot actions, developing a transferable model for any other city.    

  • The Partnership

    The project connected public and private actors from five central European cities: Venice (Italy), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Brno (Czech Republic), Kecskemét (Hungary) and Krakow (Poland).

    In Italy, the gastronomic festival “Saór – Saperi e sapori veneziani in festa” was organized in Venice. With guided tours, cooking classes, practical workshops, tastings, exhibitions and producers’ markets, Saór took over the city’s historic center, lagoon islands and nearby mainland from September 27 to 29, 2019.

    Krakow, named the European Capital of Gastronomic Culture in 2019, selected six gastronomic specialties, including bagel-like obwarzanek, Ojcowski trout, piaszczańska sausage and głąbik krakowski (stem lettuce). The project led to the creation of four “Slow Food areas” with the objective of revitalizing some of the Polish city’s lesser-known neighborhoods and promoting them to tourists.

    In Croatia, Dubrovnik chose to organize a multimedia, edible exhibition, entitled “City Breadwinners,” in the city’s Museum of Natural History, raising awareness and actively involving the public in the conservation of its local gastronomic heritage. For years, this city on the Adriatic coast has been one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, meaning there has been no lack of visitors. But what is needed is more support for the local producers and restaurateurs who are keeping Dubrovnik’s culinary heritage alive.

    The Green Market in Kecskemét has long played an important role in the Hungarian city, with around 300 producers using the market to sell the fruits of their labors. Now, on the last Friday of every month, an area is set up outdoors where shoppers can meet producers selected according to Slow Food guidelines, talk to them and find out more about how they make their food. Tastings and presentations were also organized in Kecskemét, involving children as well as adults and teaching them about environmental sustainability.

    Education was meanwhile the focus of activities in Brno in the Czech Republic, brought to schools, where sensory education courses were launched to teach pupils how to distinguish flavors and recognize quality products, and to the streets, where workshops and tastings were organized. During the eight-week-long Children’s Farmers’ Market project, young people had a chance to get to know more about agriculture, from production to the organization of the local distribution chain.

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