I have been putting off writing a blog post about Terra Madre because the experience was overwhelming. If I had done nothing but gone to TM this year I would have a backpack full of stories. First of all, getting to and away from this event were odysseys in themselves. Then there were all of the amazing people I met, from my two roommates (a farmer from Pennsylvania, and a marketing entrepreneur from DC) to the welcoming contingent of farmers, chefs, grad students, etc. from British Columbia whom I ended up spending much of my time with. Add in the odd 50-100 other fascinating characters who introduced themselves while waiting for lunch, or in the line to the bathroom, and about 1,000 different producers at the Salon De Gusto, and then round up. When you mix in the various presentations, tastings, conversations over dinner and at various food stalls…whew, you can see my problem. A narrative is difficult to achieve.
Tasted: smoked cheese and mead from Poland, approximately a bajillion samples of cured or fermented meats from Italy, some Mexican mescal, some Yak cheese from Tibet, white truffles in Ea-taly, and lots of good wine.
Sat in on an incredible presentation by World Watch on their new Nourishing the Planet initiative, got to see a bit of the Irish and Indian regional meetings, met a bunch of people from Vermont etc.
On the last night of the conference I hung out with the friendly BC contingent. We got dinner and then tasted wines in the Enoteca until it closed and they had to kick us out (my friend informed me that one of the few others getting kicked out with us was Alice Waters). When we were walking out of the Salone, one of the stands was celebrating another successful year by blasting ‘we are the champions’ by Queen. People in suits and other business attire were standing on tables waving glasses of wine and ‘singing’ at the top of their lungs. An excellent finish to what my friend titled ‘summer camp for foodies’.
I have posted some photos to my Picasa page, which you can access through clicking on the slideshow…