Did you know that the Slow Food movement was started as an antidote to fast food? A plan to build a burger joint (a MacDonalds) at the foot of the historic Spanish Steps in Rome back in 1986 inspired Carlo Petrini to look for alternatives so we have a choice about what we eat and (the cheekily named) Slow Food movement was launched.
Slow Food is not about fancy fine food and drink with a high price tag. It is about good, clean and fair produce available to as many as possible. The movement has championed small scale, indigenous farmers and wine makers all over the world and done a huge amount to promote and preserve crop, diets and cooking under threat.
All this makes Slow Food producers and supporters natural bedfellows for Slow Adventure and we have sought out local producers of artisanal, honest food and collaborate with them to ensure you can enjoy their amazing produce, by our carefully selected farmers and wine growers.
Conviviality is at the heart of the Slow Food movement. What does it mean? Slow Food is about the integrity of the ingredients we eat, it is also about taking pleasure in the process of cooking, eating and sharing meals with others. Our adventures embrace all of these attributes. If you’d like to experience them for yourself, read on for our pick of the best Slow Food Adventures to go on next year.
On this slow journey you will travel slowly through Valtellina’s majestic vine terraces that cling to the hillsides. As a result of the geography the average size of each vine holding is very small and understanding the challenges of production makes each sip of the wine you take even more delicious. Janice Robson of the Financial Times describe Valtellina wines as “fresh, pure, expressive and mineral” in her article on the history and production of wines from Valtellina.
You will also visit the home of pizzocchro Valtellina’s very own traditional type of pasta. This local speciality is made from long noodle like pasta made out of wheat and buckwheat The name pizzocchro is thought to come from ‘piz or ‘pit’ meaning a little bit of or a pinch of and could refer to the pressed shape it comes in. Pizzocchro is so loved that there is evenan Academy of Pizzocchro dedicated to protecting its true recipe and much more.
For a totally different take on slow food try our Taste of Geothermal Living adventure in Iceland. On this trip you will be fed on unique tasting Icelandic lamb that is reared roaming free in a pristine environment. You will try and catch your supper too! Trout are abundant and fishing is on the menu as is making rye bread. This involves burying your dough in the bubbling geothermal bakery for 24 hours for it to rise. A really slow experience! On your final night you will dine on local lobster which are like large langoustines. The Icelandic lobster grounds are found along the south coast and in Faxafloi bay in the west. The sweet and succulent meat of this local delicacy can be prepared in many ways and our favourite is served with garlic and lashings of butter.
Our Swedish Midsummer Gathering is set around the much loved Midsummer festival of food and drink to honour the arrival of the summer solstice. From the middle ages Swedes have set up maypoles decorated with ‘maja’ ie flowers and foliage and danced through the night to celebrate the summer season. You will join with the local village to welcome in Midsummer with fine seasonal delicacies including gravlax, herring and potato salad dishes and strawberry cake all washed down with aquavit.
On other days you will a visit farm that continue to practise sustainable farming methods practised for centuries and hear about fabodkulturen - the mountain farming culture of the Sami people who welcome you to their community for an al fresco feast. Transhumanance has been practices by many nomads and farmers across the world and describes the seasonal droving (moving) of livestock to high pastures in summer months. During the adventure you will sample locally produced ‘farm to table’ dishes, dine on top of a mountain and celebrate slow food.
If you want a staycation our Hiking and Food Culture Escape in Scotland is perfect for all foodies. You will meet two outstanding pioneers of the local food economy. Our microbrewer and our expert in all things venison have built amazing businesses while staying true to their ethos of outstanding local sourcing. Our venison queen produces award-winning charcuterie from local wild venison with no food miles. The deer have traversed the Lochaber wilderness unhindered all their lives. The beer is also award-winning and made with the crystal clear waters cascading off the hills. This adventure takes place in Lochaber, rightly known as the Outdoor Capital of the UK. Our expert guide will walk with you across old drove roads and introduce you to the geological history and flora and fauna of the Highlands. We have not forgotten the all important fuel needed on your hikes. Your guide has teamed up her network of local suppliers to create delicious and sustaining picnics for you to enjoy on your hikes.