Photo: Becca Dilley
More About Slow Food Minnesota (Twin Cities)
Our chapter’s gatherings focus on food and the environment and always have an educational component. Most events are moderately priced, but we occasionally hold a fundraiser with a higher ticket price. Our efforts help to support the youth farm program of the Urban Roots and the immigrant farmer training program of Minnesota Food Association. We hold periodic drives for the Keystone Community Services foodshelf.
Past events have benefited indigenous cacao growers in the Amazon rainforest, victims of the August 2007 floods in southeastern Minnesota and a farm family struck by arson. Through our fundraising efforts, we are able to offer our Terra Madre delegates grants for travel to Turin, Italy. We have also helped delegates from the Third World.
Slow Food Minnesota (Twin Cities) is a subordinate chapter of Slow Food USA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax deductible. Slow Food Minnesota has no paid staff, and virtually all proceeds from our events are used to support local programs and those of Slow Food USA and Slow Food International.
Click here for our chapter’s history >>
About Slow Food in Minnesota
We have a short growing season in Minnesota. But given the limitations of climate, we have seen a burgeoning in the availability of sustainably produced local foods. Small farms and dairies provide us with artisanal cheeses from sheep, goat and cow’s milk. Thick cream in glass bottles, butter from grass-fed cows, naturally-produced meat, poultry and eggs from local farmers can be found at Twin Cities food co-ops, farmers markets and small grocery and butcher shops.
We have numerous farmers markets, including mini-markets that make weekend appearances in neighborhood parking lots. At the large St. Paul market, everything sold is produced within a 50-mile radius; in early October a visitor will find Brussels sprouts on the stem, rainbow-colored carrots, heirloom tomatoes, shiny zucchini and deeply flavorful winter squash of every variety. At the Mill City Market in Minneapolis, everything is local and sustainably grown. Minnesota produces dozens of varieties of apples: not enough to ship around the country, but enough so that residents of the Upper Midwest can enjoy these crisp, juicy and unwaxed treasures each fall.
Something magical has happened at Twin Cities restaurants in the past few years. A growing number of chefs support local farms and use minimally processed foods to create seasonal menus that take advantage of what our rich soil has to offer.
The beautiful thing about being here right now is that slow food production is reaching maturity. The cheeses are full-flavored; the duck is rich and tender. A critical mass of chefs and patrons care about what they eat and where it came from. In late fall and winter we depend more on foods from warmer climates, but we have our aged cheeses and our free-range turkeys to remind us of what Minnesota has to offer until we can enjoy the first greens of spring.