AsiO Gusto, Asia’s first international Slow Food event, will take place from October 1 to 6, 2013 in Namyangju, a few kilometres from Seoul. AsiO Gusto aspires to become a biennial occasion that will gather producers, artisans, food communities, chefs, youth and food lovers from more than forty countries from across Asia and Oceania.
AsiO Gusto was inspired by Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre in Turin (Italy), the world’s largest event dedicated to quality, sustainable and small-scale food production. AsiO Gusto is organized by the Slow Food Cultural Centre and the City of Namyangju in cooperation with Slow Food International.
The event will also be an important occasion to discover Ark of Taste products from Asia, Oceania and around the world. The Ark is an international project aimed at cataloguing foods that are part of the cultures, history and traditions of communities around the world that today risk disappearing. The Ark was launched to help resist the tragically rapid rate of extinction of our planet’s biodiversity heritage. Fruits, vegetables, animal breeds, cheeses, breads, sweets and cured meats are now part of the online catalogue which now counts more than 1200 products from 74 countries.
Five new products from South Korea are officially boarding the Ark today, during the Ark of Taste media day at the Sejong Cultural Center in Seoul. The new Ark products have been cooked for the first time during the media day and served at the restaurants at AsiO Gusto. Among the new arrivals are Pureun Kongjang, a soybean used to made a soybean paste, a traditional Korean fermented food and Anjeunbaengi Wheat, smaller than common wheat with a low gluten content and a notable sweet taste and pleasent aroma. Hanson’s Lily from Ulleung-do Island also boarded today, a bright yellow flower normally eaten as a side dish or ground up and used for medicinal purposes. It joins the Yeonsan Ogye a small chicken that is completely black – from its feathers to its skin, claws, beak, bones and eyes; and the Chik-so, or Tiger Cattle, a Korean cow recognized for its black and yellow stripes.
The Ark will find fertile ground in Asia, where a Korean Ark Commission has recently been created in order to evaluate and board new products. AsiO Gusto is therefore the ideal moment to discover and taste the biodiversity of this vast continent, from the 100,000 varieties of traditional rice that are still cultivated to the pungent flavours of traditional fermented food and drinks, authentic expressions of varied landscapes and ancient cultures.
The organizers are expecting around 200,000 visitors, who will be able to discover producers and their products in the exhibitors area and participate in Taste Workshops and food education activities. Traditional Korean culinary specialties will be showcased in dedicated stands, and an international area will allow visitors to discover and taste Slow Food Presidia and Ark of Taste products. Among them will be also Kusamba Sea Salt from the Balinese coast, which today risks extinction due to the expansion of tourism and competition from corporate-mass scale salt production; Nagasaki cabbage from Japan; Rimbas black pepper from Malaysia; and the Wessex Saddleback Pig, originally from the New Forest in the south of English and introduced to Australia some 80 years ago.
Photos of the new five Korean Ark of Taste products available
To find out more about Slow Food Presidia and Ark of Taste products, visit:
Find out more about AsiO Gusto 2013 at http://www.asiogusto.org/
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Slow Food International Press Office
Paola Nano, +329 8321285 – [email protected]
AsiO Gusto Press Office
Hyesoon Woo, +82-10-7135-0614 – [email protected]