In an era when the life experiences of generations differ greatly, and modern conveniences are overshadowing practical skills, we stand to lose great cultural legacies unless we find ways to pass on knowledge. And this is no less the case when it comes to food and everything surrounding it: agriculture, fishing, breeding, cooking, preserving and eating.
Thankfully, the growing interest in better food and local food is accompanied by a renewed interest in the knowledge and skills that go along with growing and preparing raw ingredients in the best way possible, and in retaining the incredible diversity of food knowledge held by the older generations in communities around the world.
In fact, many Slow Food activities organized at the local level do just that, passing on this knowledge and promoting the economic, health and taste benefits of traditional approaches. To further highlight grandparents as the guardians of increasingly forgotten food skills and wisdom, we now have Grandmothers’ Day, conceived and launched at Terra Madre in 2008, by Darina Allen, leader of Slow Food in Ireland, along with Slow Food International Vice-President Alice Waters.
Over the past three years the Irish convivia have celebrated this day, joined by a number of international events, and are once again busy planning a whole host of activities to give younger generations the opportunity to discover a more intimate relationship with food: whether it be through sharing knowledge on plants and herbs, cooking a meal, preserving the season’s produce or building a recipe collection.
This year Grandmothers’ Day will be celebrated on Saturday April 16, and the Irish are bringing two new aspects to the day: convivia will be contributing to the edible landscape for future generations by planting fruit trees; and recipes and food memories connected to grandparents are being collected online.
Wherever you are in the world, Slow Food Ireland invites you to join Grandmothers’ Day by hosting an event to pass on food knowledge and share grandparents’ stories, recipes and skills.
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