Slow Food in County Clare

Up at the top of a Tuscan valley, there are two eighty-year old men who know how to make the local sausage. They are the last people to know how to create the delicacy which is made from the meat of a similarly endangered breed of a small hardy red cow. 

This and similar scenarios led the Italian food critic and journalist Carlo Petrini in 1986 to found the Slow Food movement that went international in Paris in 1989. He was propelled into action when the first McDonald’s fast food restaurant opened in Rome. 

Slow Food aims are first and foremost to educate people about wonderful local culinary resources in the face of the over-commercialisation, globalisation and homogenisation of our food. 

The Slow Food intervention involves the enlistment of young people to learn the art of making unique regional foods, incentives for local farmers to breed and expand the shrinking number of farm animal breeds, the recording of the production parameters and assistance in seeking a wider, lucrative market, enabling the product to become self-sustaining, redounding to the benefit of consumers who are guaranteed access to the once-endangered food, the producers and the wider local socio-economy.

For more information, please refer to Slow Food Ireland.

From Italy to Clare

Birgitta Hedin-Curtin set up the Clare Convivium of Slow Food Ireland in the early 2000’s after she met Carlo Petrini, the founder of the Slow Food movement, at a Terra Madre event. 

Every year, the Slow Food Clare Convivium organises the Burren Slow Food Festival in Lisdoonvarna. It usually takes place in May and attracts foodies from all over the country and even internationally. 

Birgitta, who is the driving force behind the Burren Slow Food Festival, always engages the most interesting speakers and experts aligned with the annual theme. Cookery demonstrations give hands-on examples and guidance to the many aspects of food preparation. 

Another aspect of the festival is the farmer’s and crafts market inside and outside of the Pavilion in the town of Lisdoonvarna. 

The Burren Slow Food Dinner featuring locally produced foods is a firm favourite in the festival programme.

In recent years, the festival started on a Friday night with a very popular boat trip – either as a picnic under the Cliffs of Moher, or as a trip to the smallest of the Aran Islands for an enjoyable seafood buffet in a pub. 

Want to know more about the next Burren Slow Food Festival? Click here