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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Something Fishy in Genoa: Slow Fish 2009

Sometimes trying to achieve sustainability, we have to conserve, reduce, and suspend practices that deplete resources. But sustainability should also be about taking pleasure in the world’s bounty. Taking care of the sea and its resources can also mean an awareness of what bounties are seasonable, abundant, local, and of course, delicious. Leave it to Slow Food to provide the tasting, learning, and viewing opportunities this April 17th – 20th in Genoa, Italy, the site for fourth annual Slow Fish Festival. According to the organization, “Slow Fish 2009 doesn’t want to celebrate a lost world. Instead we want to strongly and clearly emphasize the seriousness of the situation so that no one can claim ignorance.” Workshops at the Genova Fairgrounds include instruction on eating seafood seasonally, such as sea urchins in summer and dolphinfish in winter. Food events include explorations of Italian fish soups, smoked fish and artisanal beer, European oysters, and seaweed delicacies. Meet fisherman from Lira, Slovenia, Cabras, the Oristano Lagoons, and Orbitello. Film screenings include Cry Sea, by Cafi Mohamud and Luca Cusani, which won an honorable mention at last year’s Slow Food on Film festival. Other films include Silent Snow, a short documentary about a village in the Antarctic ; Cooking in the Danger Zone , a BBC program on whale hunting; and classic documentaries from the Cineteca di Bologna archive dealing with the fishing industry in post-war Italy, Street food is a big part of Slow Fish 2009. You can wander the streets around the fairgrounds and sample traditional Italian dishes using local and lesser-known species like palamita (Atlantic bonito), blue whiting or scabbardfish. Other offerings range from pizza, panini, and focaccia to arancini, lampredotto (tripe) and fried olives all’ascolano. While you are wandering you can listen to Trallelero groups, a traditional folk music, and other musical offerings from the Liguria region of Italy. And last but not least, no Slow Food event would be complete without wine tasting, Around 1,000 different wines will be available, including those featured in the Vini d’Italia 2009 wine guide produced by Slow Food and Gambero Rosso.

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