Category Archives: News

Cultivating Coffee Appreciation with Vigilante Coffee

In addition to being pioneers of specialty coffee in the Washington, DC area, Snail of Approval winner Vigilante Coffee is also dedicated to increasing the coffee knowledge of both retailers and consumers.  Working from the perspective that coffee should never be intimidating, Vigilante has developed a special “Lab Series” designed to present the world’s most interesting coffees in an intimate, engaging, and comfortable environment.

During a special Slow Food DC Lab Series on July 23, local Slow Foodies learned all about Panamanian Gesha coffee from Ninety Plus Coffee, a single-origin, single-variety grower and producer in both Panama and Ethiopia. In addition to the rarity of this particular varietal, the Gesha coffee’s uniqueness also comes from the special natural processing methods Ninety Plus uses to emphasize and preserve the bean’s flavor and aroma characteristics.

Along with producing award-winning coffees, Ninety Plus is known for their ecological and sustainable cultivation methods, principles Vigilante Coffee also embodies.

Owner and founder Chris Vigilante explained during the event that he personally visits each and every producer the company buys from and when possible, imports beans directly from the source, allowing growers to recoup a higher percentage of profits.  This hands-on approach is also an avenue for encouraging and sharing sustainable business practices, enabling Vigilante to offer harvest incentives for producing higher quality beans.

Director of Retail and Marketing Austin Redington demonstrated four different ways to brew these special Gesha coffee beans, including cold brew, espresso, aeropress, and siphon.  Each method highlighted different aspects of the coffee’s unique flavor profile that participants could compare and contrast.

Lab Series participants were fortunate enough to take home their very own sample of Gesha, roasted during the class by Vigilante’s expert roaster Franklin Ventura.  Each coffee that Vigilante offers is specially roasted on site at their Hyattsville location, according to what level of roast will showcase the best of that bean’s flavor and aroma profile.

This special Lab Series was a great way to learn why Vigilante is known for their award-winning, single origin coffee and there’s much more to learn!

Vigilante Coffee offers classes at their Hyattsville location several times a week that are open to both wholesale partners and the general public.  Classes cover everything from different brew methods to coffee cupping to latte art basic.  Find out more on their website at:  http://vigilantecoffee.com/classes/.

Growing hyperlocal ice cream flavors with Cultivate the City

On August 16, Slow Food DC and Snail of Approval winning Cultivate the City held an ice cream making demonstration in a slightly unusual location: the rooftop of a hardware store on Bladensburg Avenue! This particular rooftop has been transformed into the home base for an urban garden center and CSA that is changing how we think about growing food in dense urban areas.

Cultivate the City is the work of many people in the community, with Niraj Ray running the show and Dan Weisshaar managing the farm. Their focus is on maximizing growing potential by implementing vertical gardens and building a steadfast volunteer force rooted in existing communities. Cultivate now has 25 gardens throughout the city, a full-fledged CSA program for both produce and seedlings, and they’re always trying out new things including growing plants from the Slow Food Ark of Taste catalog.

For our H Street Farm rooftop garden tour and frozen treat session, Chef/Farmer Dan introduced us to lemon basil and melon sorbet and chocolate mint ice cream featuring herbs from their garden, of course. The delicious cantaloupe melon had been a volunteer that sprouted in the compost pile from last season! We also taste-tested papaloquelite (a common Mexican culinary herb that tastes a little like cilantro) and bitter melon (a fascinating and unusual plant that’s also full of nutritional value) along the way.

Also on the rooftop were three greenhouses and an aquaponics operation: a closed loop growing system featuring basil, tomatoes, and tilapia sharing the circulated water. (Fish fry later this fall, btw.) Niraj emphasized that some people have misconceptions about hydroponics being less flavorful than soil-grown, but this is because the hydroponic tomatoes we usually have access to have been shipped great distances. Produce that is picked at peak when fully ripe and fresh — including hydroponically grown veggies and herbs — and served immediately, locally, has absolutely the best flavor!

One of the major goals Cultivate aims for is to help people understand farming, gardening, and cooking as viable occupations.  The H Street Farm aggregates produce from their 25 gardens across the city and distributes it to CSA clients, local restaurants, and locals who volunteer with them. The business also focus on working with the communities around their gardens to help locals learn to grow their own food, offering services such as a home consultation for just $100 or the option to work at the farm for discounted CSA shares and event passes.

The ice cream was tasty, the garden beautiful, and Cultivate the City is truly Good, Clean and Fair! Check out Cultivate’s upcoming volunteer opportunities and events here.

Preserved strawberries and ground cherries!

Slow Food Nations: Going Beyond the Fork

The concept of identity is a complex one that brings up some deep questions when we consider its meaning. What is the identity of the Slow Food movement, for example? What is my identity as a food and farm advocate, and how do other “slow foodies” identify themselves? These questions have been on my mind over the last month, since I attended Slow Food Nations in Denver, CO July 14-16.

Carlo Petrini, the founder of the slow food movement, opened Slow Food Nations with this proclamation: “We don’t want food that doesn’t have an identity.” When we think about food and identity we often think about having an understanding of where our food comes from, who produces it, and under what circumstances it came to be on our plates. One way we could also consider this concept, however, is through our own identities as eaters, growers, and advocates of good, clean, fair food.

I was fortunate to be invited to speak to Slow Food Nations Delegates as part of a panel discussion on Federal Food and Farm Policy, which covered an array of issues including the Farm Bill, SNAP, Child Nutrition, and fisheries. The goal of the workshop was not only to discuss public policy’s role in food and agriculture, but also to give attendees strategies on how they could have a positive impact. My fellow panelists inspired me – and no doubt many others in the room – with their stories, their advice, and their passion for a good, clean, and fair food and farm system.

One thing I found surprising, however, was that our panel was one of the few Delegate workshops that dealt directly with public policy. Slow Food today is perhaps most closely associated with the act of eating, but it started as an act of advocacy. Carlo Petrini didn’t just fight against the expansion of the fast food empire in Italy by patronizing and celebrating chefs and restaurants who were doing things right; he launched a grassroots campaign to protect good food and farms that eventually went global. Petrini has been politically active his entire life, and I have no doubt he understands the role that governments and policy have to play in shaping our food and farm system – but do we as Slow Food members?

In some sense, I worry that we have lost track of the original identity of Slow Food as an advocacy movement. Our own identities as Slow Food members are often firmly rooted on the farm or in the kitchen, but rarely in the halls of Congress or even our local city councils. Whether or not we want to admit or acknowledge it, the fact remains that policy dictates much of the shape of our food and farm system – everything from the price of the foods we eat, to the rights of food and farm workers, to agricultural conservation requirements that protect the water we drink and air we breathe.

Voting with our forks is not enough. If we truly wish to keep the Slow Food movement alive, we cannot shrink from engagement with policy. We all have a role to play; together we can reclaim our identity as advocates for good, clean, fair food and become a force that drives local, regional, and federal policies.

Slow Food Nations was in many ways a love letter to good food. It was also a time to commune with one another, and to get inspired. In all, 25,000 people attended Slow Food Nations’ 155 events featuring 305 speakers and 70 exhibitors. For many, the amazing food is what they’ll remember most. Personally, however, I came away with much more than just a full belly – I came away energized to amplify the policy conversations within this community of foodies, and to help build back up the historic identity of Slow Food as a food and farm advocacy powerhouse.

Our thanks to Reana Kovalcik, Slow Food DC Board Member, for this outtake from Slow Food Nations and her inspiration for us all to be advocates for good, clean, and fair food for everyone.

Snail Winner Catoctin Creek is Raising the Standard of Rye, Locally and Sustainably

About 20 Slow Food DC members and friends took advantage of a warm spring evening on April 29 to visit Snail of Approval winner Catoctin Creek for an exclusive, hands-on cocktail making class and distillery tour.  The first distillery to operate in Loudoun County since Prohibition, Catoctin is making a big name for itself with its award winning craft spirits and community-driven approach.  Located in a former car dealership in the heart of Purvellville, VA, our group was warmly welcomed with a cocktail made from Mosby’s Spirit, Catoctin’s version of white whisky.  

This refresher prepared us for the distillery tour portion of the evening, during which our kilt-wearing guide Jonathan introduced us to the two stills responsible for producing all of the company’s spirits:  Barney and Ron Swanson.  Barney apparently gained his purple hue fromdistilling pear brandy and Ron, well, he’s just a whisky-loving type of guy.  Committed to producing spirits from locally sourced and organic ingredients, all of Catoctin’s whisky – as well as their gin – is produced using 100% organic rye. 

If you’re wondering how gin snuck into a rye whisky producer’s rotation, know that it’s all part of Catoctin’s plan to be a zero waste facility.  By redistilling the byproduct of the whisky making process (the “tails,” for you hard-core distillers) with traditional gin botanicals, such as juniper, citrus, and coriander, Catoctin produces a smooth and lovely gin that started from rye mash. 

After distillation, Catoctin’s Roundstone whisky is aged for just under two years in new white new oak barrels from Minnesota, lending the spirit a dark caramel color and deep flavor and aroma.  Whisky that is not barrel-aged is bottled as Mosby’s Spirit. Sustainability is in practice at this stage as well.  Each run through the still produces enough spirit to exactly fill one barrel.  Catoctin also readily supplies spent whisky mash to local farms, and sells used whisky barrels to beer distillers. 

After the tour, our group sidled up to the horseshoe-shaped bar where our bartender Chad gave a brief and illuminating history of how rye became the grain of choice in early American cocktails.  Although early settlers to the area attempted to grow crops they were familiar with at home, rye was one of the few that flourished in the warm, muggy region of Virginia.

Armed with jiggers and cocktail shakers, Chad then guided us through the process of recreating a few of these early American, rye-based cocktails with Catoctin’s signature Roundstone Rye and Watershed Gin.  Despite some shaky pouring skills, Catoctin’s expertly crafted spirits helpful guides ensured we couldn’t fail to make some superb cocktails. 

The next time you’re in Loudoun County, stop by Catoctin’s welcoming facility for a visit or even better, sign up for one of the distillery’s many events. We’re already looking forward to our next visit!

 

Snail of Approval Auction Challenge – Win a Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Gift Set!

Did you have fun at our February 28 Snail of Approval party? We sure did, especially jockeying for those awesome silent auction goodies! If you were a silent auction winner, we want to see how you’re using the items you won! Post a photo of you using the Snail of Approval silent auction item(s) you won in February – hashtagged with #SnailAuctioninAction – to our Facebook or Twitter page for a chance to win a Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom gift set!

Entries will be accepted until May 30 and a winner will be selected at random. Keep the Snail of Approval momentum going and show us your #SnailAuctioninAction!

 

“All Roads Lead Back to Food” – Food Tank’s Third Washington, DC Summit

Partnering with the World Resources Institute and the George Washington University’s Sustainability Center, Food Tank hosted its third annual Washington, DC Summit on February 2.  With a nod to the political changes that emerged from 2016, the focus of this year’s summit was “Let’s Build a Better Food Policy,” offering perspectives and recommendations for improving food systems both domestically and internationally.  Once again, the summit featured an impressive line-up of speakers, moderators, and panelists touching on nearly the full spectrum of food issues, including food policy, trade, climate change, labor, infrastructure, nutrition, and food access.

Closely tied to food policy in the United States is the farm bill, an omnibus, multi-year law that governs a wide spectrum of agricultural and food programs.  With the farm bill up for renewal in 2018, speculation about how the new administration will shape this piece of legislation is off and running.  Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director of the GW Sustainability Center, predicted there could be a push to “sharpen the knives” on the organic portions of the farm bill.  While this might have been a fairly easy cut several years ago, today more and more consumers are seeking out organic products, and companies are responding.  Anne O’Connor from Organic Valley, the largest farmer-owned organic cooperative in the U.S., pointed out that organics are a $43 billion industry and the fastest growing sector of the food industry.  Organic Valley alone is a $1 billion company working with 2,000 farmers across 35 states, producing only organic products.  This type of consumer driven demand, which now has the attention of major corporations, will not be easy for legislators to ignore.

Likewise, the popularity of farmers markets and demand for seasonally grown foods is also growing, but that demand must also be accompanied by consumer awareness of what it actually costs to produce food.  With more than two-thirds of farmers working second jobs just to make farming viable FRESHFARM Markets Executive Director Mike Koch, stressed that the perception of farmers markets as expensive flies in the face of economic reality.  As a small organic farmer herself, Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree knows these challenges firsthand.  Shifting more funds toward local food programs and infrastructure, said Pingree, is critical to keeping farms connected, solvent, and a viable option for new, young farmers.

Food access is another important and politically charged issue that will certainly be part of the next farm bill discussion.  Matthew Herrick, a senior Vice President at the public affairs firm Story Partners, noted that certain members of Congress are already proposing to decrease the budget of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), despite the program’s proven success in achieving the lowest rate of child food insecurity in our nation’s history.  Reduced federal funding for these types of programs could mobilize local governments to become more proactive, as exemplified by Washington DC’s Food Policy Council, which brings together stakeholders and government officials to discuss local food business, access to food and nutrition education, urban agriculture, and food-system education.

While many other threads emerged from the one-day conference, each speaker was clear that none of these issues can be considered in a vacuum.  To paraphrase the World Resources Institute’s Janet Ranganathanj, “All roads lead back to food.”

 

 

Why Do We Need To Support the Slow Food Movement?

Apr. 6, 2016

Slow Food USA

As children, we have all heard the proverb slow and steady wins the race, and enjoyed the epic anecdote that goes with it.  Speaking of childhood, it makes us nostalgic to think of all those lousy days when all that was required of us was to giggle with anyone and everyone, play around, and have our glass of milk.  Life was slow, but simple and happy. What went wrong?

Thank Heavens, there still are people who work solely to remind the world to sit back, have a glass of fresh milk, and enjoy good, natural food without a care in the world.  There are people who extend their unconditional love and care to the degraded, global south humans and other deploring species that share the planet with us; all this, by reviving faith in good, clean, and fair food. Slow Food, we owe you!

Operation Falafel and Slow Food’s share a mutual love for

  • preserving old age traditions
  • cultural food
  • sustainable food production
  • valuing grassroots constituents

It has brought the two together on this emergent global bereave.  The fast food culture has gashed numerous cultural strings which linked us to our purer, cleaner past.

As a prompt amendment, we must introduce to the world “Slow Food,” as a means of bringing humans together, conserving biodiversity, and transitioning our lifestyles from fast and furious to slow and steady.

Slow Food Movement is exactly the Good Samaritan our bruised Earth needed.  Present Earthlings better succumb to its terms and conditions and get in line to sign up if they wish to leave convivial home for future baby Earthlings. Why?

Here’s why:

It’s a Slow Movement

What is slow and gradual stays for longer.  We don’t ask for bloody revolutions to fill that hole up in the Ozone layer.  We don’t ask for fast paced internet lives to connect the world.

We ask for backyard food tastings and low-key meet ups where people from all ethnic and national backgrounds are invited to share their views on conserving biodiversity and defending bees.

Vegetable Soup

Slow Food is a Healthy Alternative to Fast Food

When you think of fast food, the daunting images of burgers, deep fryers, and obesity cloud your mind, don’t they?  As a solution to these nightmares, we suggest you move onto fresh farm food and traditional street food.  Not just adopt it as a lifestyle, but also promote and preserve it as a cause.

Vegetables

Slow Food Cares for the Earth

Dear planet Earth,

We, Earthlings, are extremely sorry for turning you into a trashcanAs a result, we humans suffer losses and near our extinction with each species we lose and each gallon on carbon we expel into the air.

However, we are working to fix that.  Slow Food is very vigilant about climatic havocs.  It is taking steps to improve industrial food production process, and curtail mindless exploitation and exhaustion of natural resources.

Root Vegetables

Slow Food is Animal Friendly

When we say animals, we refer to all species biologically considered animals and not just humans.

Slow Food ensures that all animals that contribute to our daily meals live and die with as little pain and fear as possible.  They are constantly shedding sweat, blood, and tears to get this ideology viral globally.

These kind people are raising their voices for a number of causes that interlink food and people.  Below are some of the many people’s problems Slow Food takes under its wing:

Garden
  • the land grabbing prevalent in global south countries
  • protecting the rights and promoting the welfare of family farms
  • bringing biodiversity through restoring the cultures and customs of indigenous people
  • registering concern and disapproval for GM food and GMOs
  • convincing EU into coming up with more holistic food and farming policies that, above all, go in line with the interests of the people and the Earth

Slow Food is Educating the World

A major part of all campaigns and conferences, Slow Food designates some time in making people understand how their food comes into being.  This initiative urges one to reflect upon how easily we cast away uneaten food as waste; the very food which was made available to us after hefty, tiring hours of cultivating, cooking, and processing.

Vegetable Basket

Not only do they make people realize this global fault, but also work towards seeking solutions for it.

Slow Food Knows and Respects the People Who Farm our Food

Food and Taste Education also specifically mentions where and by whom our easy, canned food was first cared for.  This helps develop a beautiful link among cultures and people, and shows how our food choices impact the lives of people living oceans apart from us.

Slow Food is among the pioneering world saver organizations.  Operation Falafel feels great pride in befriending this association of merry convivium working towards making this world a better place.

 Thankfully, we are somewhat doing our bit in saving mother Earth, are you?

(Photo Credits: Shutterstock)

Rachel Stinson

Rachel Stinson

Dubai

An avid reader and writer, love music and movies.

Spotlight on Pulses: A Superfood Before its Time

Pulses, a source of nutritional meals throughout the world, are getting special recognition this year. The United Nations has designated 2016 as the “International Year of Pulses,” highlighting not only their nutritional benefits but also their role in sustainable food production, food security, nutrition, and reducing the environmental impact of food production.

Part of the legume family, pulses are grown and harvested solely for their dry edible seeds. Dried beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils are the most commonly known pulses, all of which are high in protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals such as zinc and iron. Legumes that are harvested green, such as green beans and green peas, are not considered pulses (though are equally tasty).

Pulses have been a part of traditional diets for centuries not only for their high nutritional value, but also for their low impact on the environment and long shelf life. Often grown by small farmers in regions such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America, pulses can be stored for months without losing their nutritional value, increasing food availability between harvests.

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Additionally, pulses can contribute to sustainable agricultural production. The Food and Agriculture Organization’s fact sheet on pulses highlights that these crops are more water efficient compared to other protein sources. Just 13 gallons of water are needed to produce 2.2 pounds of split peas or lentils compared to 1,142 gallons for the same amount of chicken, and 3,434 gallons for the same amount of beef. Due to their unique nitrogen fixing properties, pulses can also improve soil fertility, reduce the need for fertilizer, and extend farmland productivity. Crop residues from grain legumes can also be used as animal fodder, further reducing waste.

In addition to being nutritious and good for the environment, pulses are also delicious! Baked beans, split pea soup, daal, falafel, and chili are just a few examples of pulse-based meals you have undoubtedly eaten and enjoyed.

Pulses figure prominently in Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, a living catalog of distinctive foods that are in danger of disappearing. Identifying and championing these foods keeps them in production and on our plates. In the mid-Atlantic region, pulses such as the Cherokee Trail of Tears Bean, the True Red Cranberry Bean, and the Turkey Craw Bean have been identified as having specific historic or cultural importance.

You can search Local Harvest’s website to find local producers of these ingredients, and many more included in the Ark of Taste. More information about the UN’s “International Year of Pulses” can be found on the Food and Agriculture Organization’s website.

Below are a few ideas to whet your appetite for incorporating more of this superfood into your diet.   Already have some favorite recipes using pulses? Let us know!

Lentil Salad with Radicchio and Almonds
Serves 4
Adapted from Plenty More, by Yotam Ottolenghi

1 cup Puy Lentils
2 Bay Leaves
Scant 3 Tablespoons Honey
1/4 tsp Red Chile Flakes
1/2 tsp ground Turmeric
3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 medium head Radicchio
2 oounces Pecorino
1 cup toasted almonds
2/3 cup Basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 1/3 cups Dill leaves, coarsely chopped
Salt and Black Pepper

Place the lentils in a saucepan, cover with plenty of water, add the bay leaves, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender.  Drain well and return to the pan.

Whisk together the vinegar, half the oil, the honey, the chile flakes, the turmeric, 3/4 tsp salt, and some black pepper until the honey dissolves.  Stir into the lentils while they are still hot, then leave to cool down a little, discarding the bay leaves.

To cook the radicchio, pour the remaining oil into a sauté pan and place over high heat.  Cut the radicchio into 8 wedges and place the wedges in the hot oil.  Cook them for about 1 minute on each side and transfer to a large bowl.

Add the lentils, almonds, pecorino, and herbs to the bowl.  Stir gently and serve warmish or at room temperature.

Hummus
Makes about 2 cups

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (or roughly 2 cups drained, cooked chickpeas)
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon), plus more to taste
1 small clove of garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Drain canned or stovetop cooked chickpeas into a strainer and rinse under cool running water. If you have the time and patience, pinch the skins from each of the chickpeas to make a smoother hummus.

Combine the chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process the hummus until it becomes very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to integrate any large chunks.

Taste. If using any of the variation ingredients, add those now and process again. If your hummus is stiffer than you’d like, add more lemon juice or olive oil to make the hummus creamier.

Scrape the hummus into a bowl and serve with pita chips or raw vegetables.

Hummus will also keep for up to a week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Variations – your imagination is your only limit here!

  • Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of spices for more flavor, such as cumin, sumac, harissa, smoked paprika, or zatar.
  • For a roasted vegetable hummus, blend in 1 cup of roasted vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, or garlic.
  • For an olive hummus, fold in 3/4 cup of chopped green or black olives.
  • Drizzle a little pomegranate molasses or sprinkle a pinch of sumac on top.

 

 

Slow Wine 2016 Pours Italian Wines Across America

By Elena Grigashkina, Slow Food USA International Campaigns Intern

“Wine, just as food, must be good, clean and fair.”  Slow Wine as a natural extension of Slow Food.

Slow Wine

Over the last decade, Americans have been eagerly embracing the idea of sustainable agriculture, natural food and a healthier life style. Yes, the natural food movement has changed the way people eat today. We consider where our food came from, who grew or produced it and how far it traveled to get to our plates. But I wonder, do we ask ourselves the same questions when buying a bottle of Pinot in a local liquor store or having a glass of wine with our meal?

Slow Food believes that wine, just as food, must be good, clean and fair. In the end, wine is an agricultural product, and has an impact on the lives of people who produce and consume it, and on the environment. Pesticides, herbicides, excessive water and energy consumption are all commonplace in conventional wine production.

The program that supports good, clean and fair wine already exists in Italy. The Slow Wine guide, produced by Slow Food editore, promotes small-scale Italian winemakers who make quality wines using traditional techniques, working with respect for the environment, biodiversity and terroir. Once a year the Slow Wine team and select winemakers hit the road to Asia, North America and Europe in order to debute that year’s guide and to present a selection of the best Italian wines. (More on the 2016 Slow Wine Tour here.)

Slow WineHistorically, most of the wine in Italy has been produced by families, with minimum intervention and rarely with chemical inputs. In the United States, by contrast, wine production is more industrialized, made with the techniques optimized for bringing wine to the marketplace as quickly as possible. Producers who make wine in industrial quantities are more likely to use additives with long, unpronounceable names to ensure consistency in the product. Grapes are sprayed with pesticides that damage the soil, the environment and the health of the workers who pick those grapes. As a result, the consumer ends up with wine which is pumped, fined, filtered, has less complex taste and a greater negative impact on the environment.

The good news is that the whole industry is steadily changing. Resource depletion and the consumer demand for sustainable products and services encourage local winemakers to move towards more sustainable farming practices and wine production techniques. More and more wineries across the United States are becoming environment-friendly, whether by organically growing their grapes, using biodynamic methods or following sustainable farming practices.

But how does one understand what wine is good, clean and fair? Organic, biodynamic, natural, green, eco-friendly, naked or sustainably-farmed… all these terms are confusing for the average wine drinker. To clear up this confusion, I’ll be writing a series of wine blog posts featuring different slow wine related individuals, projects and discussions that, perhaps, could be a first step forward in building a strong Slow Wine movement in the US.

In the coming weeks we will interview California wine producers to get a snapshot of what sustainable winegrowing means in practice; we will learn about a recent Slow Wine project in Oregon; and we will sit down at the table with Slow Wine team, Italian winemakers and local wine industry representatives to talk about sustainability and the future for Slow Wine in the U.S.

Cheers and stay tuned!

A Preview of What’s in Store for the Snail of Approval Party

rislogo1This year’s Snail of Approval Party is just around the corner – Saturday, April 18 at Ris – and in addition to celebrating a new batch of awesome Snail winners, there’ll be all sorts of goodies to enjoy!!  First, Chef Ris has prepared an incredible menu for all to enjoy, including:

  • Fresh Ricotta Gnudi-smoked tomato vinaigrette, spinach and lemon salt  
  • Mini Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with mustard cream
  • Eggplant Parmesan Sliders
  • Fried Scallops on Fried Lemon with tartar sauce
  • Goat Cheese, Fig and Olive Crostini
  • Deviled Eggs
  • An assortment of chocolate and lemon tarts
  • A specialty, seasonal cocktail

Plus, new Snail of Approval winner Port City Brewing Company will be pouring tastes of their local craft beers, and new winner Meat Crafters (formerly Simply Sausage) is providing samples!

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But the fun doesn’t stop there – we’ve got an amazing selection of products and experiences from our region available at our silent auction.  Check out the list below to find out what great items you can come  bid on:

  • Gift packs from Olio Olive Oil
  • A Staub Dutch Oven
  • A Growler Pack from Port City
  • A Tasting at Barrel Oak Winery
  • MOM’s gift certificate
  • A Fresh Farms Market Gift Basket
  • A Barrel Kit from Copper Fox Whiskey
  • A cooking class with Chef Mark Haskell
  • Fermentation Crock Pottery from Artist Marlisa Jeng
  • A Le Creuset Casserole Dish
  • An incredible array of cook books from Phaidon Books
  • Coffee Classes from Vigilante Coffee
  • Autographed Washington Capitals Player Card
  • Infield Box Tickets to a Washington Nationals Game
  • Glens Garden Market CSA Share
  • Mosser Glass Crystal Cake Stand
  • Gift Certificate from Route 11 Potato Chip Company
  • A night at Belle Meade B&B in Sperryville Virginia
  • Beehive Handmade: Pewter Measuring Spoons
  • Tickets to Contemporary Vegetarian Cuisine Cooking Class with the Guiding Knife
  • Wine Tour and Tasting at Chrysalis Vineyards
  • Group tour and tasting at South Mountain Creamery
  • Distillery Lane Ciderworks Cider
  • Book Lecture and Book Nora Pouillon at 6th & I

We hope you to see you there, so get your tickets now!!

Contributors Poster Snail 2015_Final_3-1