At Seven Hills' cozy & twinkle-light lined shop in Melrose, MA, fellow slow foodies and pasta-lovers donned in aprons and Prosecco glass in hand joined each other around the table as Chef Giulio Caperchi led us through his artisanal pasta-making process hailing from his hometown of Rome, Italy.
Giulio is an avid supporter of Slow Food and the meal reflected it. Not only is their pasta made using the movement's values - with high quality durum wheat semolina flour and water, slowly kneaded and extruded through a bronze-dye to achieve the ideal rough outer texture perfect for clinging onto every drop of pasta sauce - Giulio often experiments with ingredients in Slow Food's Ark of Taste, such as Jacob's Cattle Bean, a beautiful white and reddish-brown speckled, plump kidney bean originating from the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. Giulio reflected on the importance of highlighting these ingredients - both in the kitchen and in the fields at his farm in Rutland, MA - which are native to our land, promoting local biodiversity one seed at a time.
We ended the night with robust slices of panettone ("It's so fluffy that if you dip it in your cup of coffee, it will soak up the entire cappuccino!", Giulio excitedly exclaimed), and heavenly homemade gelato made with Dutch-processed cocoa powder for a decadent, chocolatey finish.
Guests left with full & happy bellies, and the words of the Slow Food manifesto fresh in their minds:
"Our century, which began and has developed under the insignia of industrial civilization, first invented the machine and then took it as its life model.
We are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to eat Fast Foods.
To be worthy of the name, Homo Sapiens should rid himself of speed before it reduces him to a species in danger of extinction. A firm defense of quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Life.
May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.
Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food.
Let us rediscover the flavors and savors of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food.
In the name of productivity, Fast Life has changed our way of being and threatens our environment and our landscapes. So Slow Food is now the only truly progressive answer.
That is what real culture is all about: developing taste rather than demeaning it. And what better way to set about this than an international exchange of experiences, knowledge, projects?
Slow Food guarantees a better future. Slow Food is an idea that needs plenty of qualified supporters who can help turn this (slow) motion into an international movement, with the little snail as its symbol."
To those who attended and our generous hosts at Seven Hills, thank you so much for such a fun night celebrating what Slow Food is all about. Check out some photos & descriptions by social-media-helper Yuchen below, and stay tuned for more Slow Food events ahead in 2020. Happy and slow eating to you all!"