Labor Day weekend has come and gone, which in NorCal means that summer has finally begun and we’re enjoying some truly pool-worthy days. It also means that it’s been a full week since Slow Food Nation at San Francisco’s Ft. Mason Center. Modeled after Slow Food’s big Italian festivals, this was an enormous celebration of American food, meant to support a “good, clean, and fair” food system. I’ve been letting my thoughts percolate all week (like a pot of Fair Trade artisan coffee picked by left-handed barefoot celibate nuns), so I feel like I can now offer an objective perspective. Ok, that’s a load of organic bull. But honestly, would you really bother reading if I didn’t give you my honest and totally biased opinions? I didn’t think so. Let’s continue.
First up: Decor. Analysis: Deelish! See pics…
Ticket prices: absurd. Come on Slow Food USA, this was your chance to show your non-elitist side, not just your sides of pork!
Workshops, lectures, dinners: um, I don’t know. Maybe if tickets were affordable I could have gone.
Taste Pavilion: tasty, I think, but I was unwilling to wait in line all day to be handed food with no explanation. Kudos to the coffee tasting booth, where I not only learned something, but also had a fab conversation with a very knowledgeable coffee pro named Peter. Of course, no one seemed to know where I could get my hands on the amazing Ethiopian beans that we tasted. And here I thought it was all about connecting with producers. Did I mention that I didn’t even want to do the wine tasting?!
Slow Food Rocks: Oren was confused because he (rightly so) couldn’t figure out the connection between the music and the food, and there was barely even anything to eat! He ended up leaving to get a sandwich at Safeway. The nice man checking our bags for booze didn’t even get O’s fantastic joke:
Bag Checker: “Could I check your bags please?”
O: “Are you looking for fast food in there?”
Bag Checker: “No, I’m looking for alcohol.”
To sum up: I’m clearly bitter about the event. There was so much potential to reach people (new, young, active, concerned, not always rich people) and open their eyes to the importance of a food system that is sustainable, fair and delicious. Unfortunately, what I saw was a free sample fest for those lucky enough to get in.
However: That coffee really was incredible (Ethiopian Beloya by Abdulla Bagersh — it smelled like tropical fruit and citrus blossoms) and I finally got to try the famous Lillie Belle Farms Smokey Blue Cheese truffle. Best-spent $2 of the weekend.