One of the many things I love about Cambridge is the food! From street food in the market to fine dining and everything in between, this city has so much to offer. And now, Slow Food Anglia is hoping to establish a Slow Food Cambridge group. At a gathering in Thirsty on Chesterton Road last week, they spoke about their ethos and shared their thoughts on how the group might work here.
The Slow Food movement was set up in Italy in 1986 by Carlo Petrini to promote local food, food producers and traditional cooking. It encourages us to think about the sustainability and traceability of our food, as well as reducing food miles by buying seasonal local produce. Slow Food has also developed the “Ark of Taste”, designed to preserve heritage foods which are in danger of being lost. In the UK, these foods include Colchester Native oysters, Dorset Blue Vinney cheese and Jersey Royal potatoes.
The Slow Food Anglia group has run events very successfully in Norfolk. The plan for Slow Food Cambridge would be to run an event in the city later this year, at Harvest Festival time, culminating in a feast, a communal meal with everybody coming together to celebrate local food and community.
Of course, there are many fabulous food enterprises already happening in the city and Slow Food Cambridge plans to work in tandem with them. But it needs a group of people to get this enterprise off the ground. Do you care about your food, where it comes from and what you do with it? Do you have skills that could help get a group up and running? If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes!”, please get in touch with your thoughts and ideas. Just leave a comment on this post or get in touch via my Contact page and I’ll feed back (pardon the pun!) to Slow Food Anglia.
Now I love to cook. Pottering around my kitchen makes me really happy. But catering for more than about ten people makes me feel a little bit panicky, so I take my hat off to Cambridge Sustainable Food who are teaming up with Cambridge Foodcycle to feed a thousand, yes A THOUSAND, people from surplus food that might otherwise have been thrown away. This amazing event is happening on Friday 20 October outside Sainsbury’s in Brooks Road and is part of the Sainsbury’s backed “Waste Less, Save More” campaign which aims to raise awareness of food waste issues. All are welcome to join in, meet the incredible team of cooks and enjoy the free food.
Feed the 1000 launches the third Cambridge Pumpkin Festival, a city wide celebration of food and autumn. Events include a Vegan Pumpkin Feast at Arjuna on Mill Road, a children’s cake decorating workshop at lifestyle cafe Co. in Cherry Hinton, a pumpkin picnic, cookery workshops and Dinner in the Dark, a charity feast with extra puddings for the best fancy dress! Restaurants and cafes across the city will be offering seasonal pumpkin based dishes.
Children will love the Kids’ Disco Soup event, to be held at St Andrew’s Church Hall on 23 October. Here’s a chance for them to chop vegetables which would otherwise have been wasted, cook them into a delicious soup and eat the fruits of their labours together while a DJ takes care of the music so that everyone can throw some shapes on the dance floor! Sam Dyer, Food Partnership Co-ordinator at Cambridge Sustainable Food, tells me that Disco Soup is now an international phenomenon, part of a worldwide movement to inspire action against food waste.
Many of the Pumpkin Festival events are free. If you’d like to get involved as a volunteer, there’s more information on the website.
The Pumpkin Festival will draw to a close on 28 October with a Farmers’ Market (held in conjunction with Thirsty) at the Museum of Technology. Here you will meet local producers and suppliers, sample their wares and enjoy plenty of free activities including apple pressing and bike powered smoothie making. It’ll be a fitting end to a week which will leave us a bit more thoughtful about the ways we can minimise our food waste, enjoy a healthy and sustainable diet and support our wonderful city’s sustainable food economy. And we’ll also have had a lot of fun celebrating all things pumpkiny!!