First launched in 1996, Terra Madre Salone del Gusto is one of the world’s most important events dedicated to artisan and small-scale food and wine producers. The art of eating, however, isn’t the only focus of Terra Madre. The event is also an opportunity for producers, consumers, and advocates from across the world to gather together to exchange ideas, challenge preconceived notions, and unite around the common cause of good, clean and fair food for all. Terra Madre 2018 attracted thousands of delegates from over 100 countries across the world, not to mention hundreds of thousands of public visitors!
It was an honor for me to attend this one-of-a-kind event as a delegate on behalf of Slow Food DC. Though I had many amazing experiences, my two favorites were those that fostered a sense of unity and connection – with both the food and one another. Coincidentally, these were also the first and last events of my Terra Madre experience! The first was a bike ride through Torino hosted by the University of Gastronomic Sciences (aka “Slow Food University”). On this culinary tour of the city, we had the experience to eat some of Torino’s best artisanal foods and meet the hardworking producers who make it all possible! It was also an excellent opportunity to learn more about the history of Torino and meet many other fellow slow foodies.
The last event of my Terra Madre experience was a true honor: experiencing baru gong yang –a meditative way of eating with gratitude in the Buddhist temple – with famous Buddhist nun Venerable Jeong Kwan. By eating in silence and focusing only on the simple yet delicious food before us, this experience allowed everyone involved to fully digest their Terra Madre experience and all they had learned from Jeong Kwan about the intersection of food, faith, and meditation.
To see photos from Terra Madre – including photos from the Torino culinary bike tour – check out our Facebook Album.