An idea, a way of life and a way of eating, the Slow Food Movement has had an impact on a global scale. With a focus on locally sourced, delicious regional produce, the movement exists to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions. Seeking to counteract the fast life and rekindle interest in the food we eat.
For Insight, locally sourced produce has been at the heart of our journeys for many years. Our farm-to-table dining experiences are a feature on many of our tours. Along with the finest restaurants, there are endless ways to enjoy home produced and locally sourced cheeses, meats, vegetables, fruits, bread, seafood as well as honey and jams.
THE SLOW FOOD ETHOS
Slow Food is a global, grassroots movement that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. The movement strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem.
It also supports and promotes local small businesses producing sustainable foods, with a focus on food quality, rather than quantity. Core to the mission is the concept of taking pleasure in the making and eating of food and appreciating the delights and benefits that can come with a slow meal.
FROM THE SEEDS OF PROTEST, GREAT THINGS GROW
The Slow Food Movement originated in Italy in the 1980s. Initially intended as a protest, it has grown to become an international movement of high regard by food lovers everywhere. Calling for a celebration of food that is locally grown, nourishing and appreciated, the slow food story has surprising origins.
WE DON’T WANT FAST FOOD
Founder Carlo Petrini first came to prominence in 1986 when taking part in a protest against McDonalds opening its first restaurant in Rome. They chose lovingly made pasta as the symbolic opposite to mass produced fast food and, whilst protesting, handed this out to people on the street. It was here that they chanted “we don’t want fast food, we want slow food”.
They did not stop McDonalds, but the slow food movement gained traction and a loyal following. Three years later, representatives from 15 countries met to sign the Slow Food Manifesto.
CHAMPIONING VARIETY, REGIONAL AND SEASONAL FLAVORS
The movement emphasizes our need to support plants and species facing extinction, championing variety and richness. Over a century ago people ate over 100 different species of food whereas today we concentrate on roughly 10 – 12 species for our diets. This leads to a lack of variety and less flavors and increases the risk of over cultivation.
The slow food movement also champions the importance of preserving a region’s unique cuisine. Including the specific foods, species and farming methods of that region. Eating and sourcing local and fresh produce ensures support for regional producers and also ensures delicious food and exciting, flavorsome menus.
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THE SLOW FOOD MOVEMENT TODAY
Today slow food represents a huge global movement involving people and projects in over 160 countries. Whether officially members of the movement or not, a great many establishments and producers align to this ethos and manifesto.
EXPERIENCE SLOW FOOD WITH INSIGHT
The concept of locally sourced produce has been part of the Insight dining ethos for a long time. Our farm-to-table dining experiences have long been integral to our tours. Historically we have been dining in places that are close to the food source because it is the way of life in a lot of countries that we travel through.
Going one step beyond, on our experiences guests also meet the owners and food producers of the places we visit for farm-to-table meals. This helps travelers understand what goes into the creation of the meal, beyond what is on the plate, and creates a connection to their destination.
In addition, many of the great restaurants that we source for our tours have a focus on fresh, locally sourced produce. This results in delicious seasonal regional menus, packed full of flavor and character.
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CASE BARONE, ITALY
A great Insight slow food example is the small but mighty Casa Barone, located on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. The area has long been an agricultural goldmine, its soil infusing crops with a unique volcanic and mineral-rich flavor. Casa Barone is renowned as one of the world’s only producers of Piennolo tomatoes, a tasty and endangered fruit that only thrives in the fertile volcanic soil. The endangered Piennolo also benefits from a cultivation method with low environmental impact and with reduced use of irrigation water.
Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience at Casa Barone with Insight and learn all about the farm and its cultivation methods. Taste the delicious results for yourselves, along with other local produce, on a Farm-to-Table lunch with glorious views of Mount Vesuvius.
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LES ECURIES DU PARC, LUXEMBOURG
One of the many restaurants aligned to the movement that you can enjoy with Insight, Les Ecuries du Parc offers a truly tantalizing culinary experience. This elegant establishment stands proudly as a guardian of the tastes and flavors of the region of Clervaux in Luxembourg.
A family run establishment, Chef Arend’s menu features locally sourced produce, all prepared on site. Extensive and constantly changing, his dishes dancing around the bounty of local favors. Think venison and mushrooms and from May to August dine on the delicious local mussels. Keen on educating future generations about the delights of food, the children’s menu features half-gourmet dishes to educate and enthuse their young palates.
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If you are inspired by the slow food movement, and keen to enjoy delicious locally sourced produce on your travels, then why not join us for an Insight premium guided tour?