Slow Food USA

Slow Food Santa Fe, one of two chapters of Slow Food USA in New Mexico, is a local organization with international roots that develops programs to “promote conviviality, educate to improve food literacy, support local food producers and purveyors, and develop collaborative partnerships with other local organizations,” says Lissa Johnson, executive board member and treasurer.

Events in 2019 included a talk and tasting at the Santa Fe School of Cooking with Steve and Jane Darland, who are producing traditional authentic balsamic vinegar on a small organic farm in Monticello; a session at the Institute of American Indian Arts with the Los Luceros Grain Team; a tour of three Dixon farms, two wineries, and a visit to the Embudo Valley seed library; and an exploration and tasting of New Mexico chiles with Native foods historian and chef Lois Ellen Frank.

On the agenda for 2020 are A Taste of the Tewa World, a lunch and conversation with chef Ray Naranjo at a private home in Santa Clara Pueblo in April; Foraging for Mushrooms with the New Mexico Mycological Society at the Santa Fe Ski Basin in August; and a new Santa Fe farm tour in September.

First up, though, is a tour and tastings at Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery’s taproom and production facility. “Slow Food Santa Fe tries to partner at least once a year with a local food producer and purveyor,” Johnson says. “Tumbleroot aligns with slow food principles in its use of locally grown hops, attention to seasonal availability of herbs, and wild harvesting of local botanicals.” Visitors will have the opportunity to taste both brews and spirits, munch on hops and malt, and talk with the brewers and distillers.

Advance registration is required for the Feb. 15 event. Tickets are $25 per person, plus the Eventbrite handling fee. The deadline for purchasing tickets is Wednesday, Feb. 12. For more information or to buy tickets, go to slowfoodsantafe.org.

Another Slow Food Santa Fe program, Dinner and a Book, has been running for just over 10 years. Its purpose, says board member and book club organizer Ellen Lampert, “is to get people talking about food in all its aspects: historical, political, agricultural, family, and cultural contexts.” She initiated Dinner and a Book after doing graduate work in sustainable agriculture and accessible nutrition in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Peru, Bolivia, and the Adirondacks. “During that course of study,” she says, “I learned a lot about agricultural and food practices around the world and came to understand that food informs absolutely every human activity.”

Books currently scheduled for review include Food Town, USA: Seven Unlikely Cities That Are Changing the Way We Eat on Feb. 17, with author Mark Winne present at the meeting. The Truffle Underground: A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World’s Most Expensive Fungus by Ryan Jacobs is scheduled for March, and A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression by Jane Ziegelman and Andrew Coe is on the boards for April. For a complete list of upcoming books, see slowfoodsantafe.org. To get on the Dinner and a Book mailing list, send an email to slowfoodsantafe@gmail.com. If you would like to attend one of the potluck and discussion sessions, email ellenlampert@q.com for more information and directions.

Slow Food events are open to both members and nonmembers, but membership with Slow Food USA (slowfoodusa.org) is encouraged (choose Santa Fe as the local chapter affiliation). Among the membership benefits Johnson cites: “becoming part of a global community; learning more about the Slow Food movement; and supporting an organization working toward the change you want to see.” Members also receive regular newsletters with advance information on all upcoming events. 

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