As a sane reaction against the abominable American phenomenon of fast food, the "slow food" concept was invented in 1986 by an Italian sociologist, Carlo Petrini, dismayed to find a McDonald's outlet erected near the Piazza di Spagna in Rome. Three years later, the international Slow Food movement was founded in Paris [click here to visit their website], with Petrini as president [a position he still holds], and it now counts 80,000 members throughout the world. The movement's mission is clear and precise: Slow Food works to defend biodiversity in our food supply, spread taste education and connect producers of excellent foods with co-producers through events and initiatives.
While reading the news this evening, I learned that the movement had chosen September 15 to organize its first national Slow Food Day in France. Unintentionally, I happened to respect the spirit of this event. For lunch, I prepared myself one of my favorite simple cold dishes: king prawns, mayonnaise [home-made, of course], Provençal olives, Gamone lettuce, tomatoes and pickled walnuts.
Local chapters of Slow Food are designated by a lovely old Latin word: convivium. Apparently, the theme of French conviviums today was one of the planet's most ancient and noble foodstuffs: the potato.