Thursday, June 01, 2006

Slow Food News Items

Slow Food/Local Food has made it in print and on the pavement during the last two days.

The Wednesday, May 31, GSO News and Record featured Laurie O'Neill in "Close to Home", an account of Laurie's month in the Eat Local Challenge wherein she almost exclusively ate food within 100 miles of Greensboro. As she recounts, some foods were hard to give up, ie. cocao beans for chocolate are not grown here, but on the whole the experience was fun, pretty easy, and delicious.

She grows some of her own food and gets most of the rest from the local farmer's market on Yanceyville and Lindsay. Creativity in the kitchen plus home grown herbs plus fresh produce and free-range meats made the task of cooking an enjoyable one. Laurie is already thoughtful about local food, but this past month heightened her awareness of food, our farmers and herself. That's pretty much what Slow Food is about.

Sarah Jones, another Slow Food advocate, wrote in her bi-weekly column, "Local food offers extra helpings." She pointed out that eating locally is not only about eating fresh and delicious food; it affects the world. 1) Local food is better for the environment; it's transported just a few miles and it's usually freer of chemicals; 2) local food supports the local economy by returning more money to the farmer/grower; and 3) local food preserves endangered varieties of vegetables whether its kale, tomatoes or apples, and endangered varieties of animals. Added to this is the social conviviality of the marketplace: friends, tastings, chatter.

If that's not enough, Masoud has reopened Zaytoon as a Mediterranean Cafe: Local, Natural, Organic. It is located in downtown Greensboro at 301 N. Elm Street on the ground floor of a modern office building. One of two entrances is off of a lovely urban plaza so there is outside seating. The hours are M-F, 7:30am-6:00pm. Phone in orders at 336-373-0211.

Debby and I ate there on opening day June 1 and there was a steady stream of customers...satisfied customers. We had the baba ghanouj platter and the falafel wrap. The baba ghanouj was light on the tahini so you could taste the delicately seasoned eggplant. The falafel was crunchy yet moist with cucumber accompanying it. Its internal color was a lime green and we wondered if it contained mashed fava beans along with the chickpeas. Real authenticity and our bill came to $10.68!

The rooms are bright and spacious with local watercolors by known artists on the walls. Feel free to linger too over some baklava and turkish coffee.

We are happy you are back, Masoud and Annah.

Charlie Headington

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