EXCLUSIVE – This week, on Tuesday June 10, the prestigious British daily The Times published an interview between journalist Nick Wyke and Carlo Petrini. The Slow Food international president was mildly critical of British food and the Brits’ approach to eating.
Asked the question ‘How has British food and our attitude to it changed in your lifetime?’ he responded, ‘Observing from the outside but as a frequent visitor to the UK, it seems to me that you’ve lost all sense of food as pleasure. By that I mean not only the actual eating, but also the joy of sitting round the table and talking and generally enjoying the occasion. In a word, conviviality. A meal should be a moment of exchange and affection, in the family, at the workplace, out with friends. The British media talk abut food obsessively but the British people seem to me often to eat their meals as if they were stopping at the petrol station to fill up their cars. Eating as fuel consumption.’
He went even further in his criticism. His answer to the question ‘What annoys you about the food culture in Britain?’ was ‘The British fascination with celebrity TV cooks and chefs. It’s all about ego, glamour, style, design. The more a country feels the need to be bombarded by recipe after recipe, the less connected it is with its food roots.’