Archive for February, 2012

Traditional Food Methods – Keeping Tradition Alive

It’s interesting to think about what is known about food, and how much more can be added to that by delving into old family traditions, preserving old recipes and having a try at mastering older food traditions.  The many food oriented programmes on TV, and those like Nigella Lawson who bring back earlier traditions to the table, usually put their own individual touches to recipes, or ones their mothers prepared.  In this way, the connection with the old is not lost, merely adapted to what suits now.  There just isn’t the time in the day to make cheese, for example, and it might be best left to the professionals who know how to do it right, like Pat Morford of Rivers Edge Chevre in Oregon.  In this story, a quick view video from Rebecca and Fred Gerendasy’s  Cooking Up a Story, she explains the process few would know about, and that knowledge makes her status as an artisan cheese maker sound.  Yet this knowledge would not have been common in her era, and she probably had to dig it out.  Slow Food’s Carlo Petrini talks about his belief in protecting traditional food sources, and food heritage, and those beliefs have spread throughout the world over the past decade and Australia has its own preservation body connected with this, The Australian Ark of Taste, which makes good reading and is part of Slow Food Australia.  Similar preservation bodies exist around the world, especially in Europe, and the idea is that nothing is lost, and that food traditions can endure into the next generations.  Pat Morford, on her property where she farms goats in humane and quality ways, builds on the tradition each season, creating artisan cheeses that please people.  Even if people don’t all have the time to make what ancestral cultures did, it is gratifying to know at least someone is doing this, and that they are doing it well.  In this way, food culture is protected and is enjoyed by future generations.  Cooking up a Story is full of fascinating media on food and all things connected with food tradition, highly recommended, as are Slow Food sites around the world, for more on preserving global food heritage.

words and image: copyright M. Roleff, 2012

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February 5, 2012 at 11:42 am Leave a comment


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Henry David Thoreau – Philosopher

"Heaven is under our feet, as well as over our heads."
February 2012
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