The top 10 videos of Terra Madre

23 April 2021

With this edition of Terra Madre being largely digital, we knew we’d need to provide more videos than ever before.

Besides the by-now-familiar formats like conferences and forums held via Zoom and other platforms, we wanted to offer something new.

In the end we decided on two formats. First there’s How It’s Made, which, as the name suggests, are more practical videos showing a recipe, a technique, some aspect of food production on the practical level. Then there’s the Food Talks, ten minutes talks on specific issues by experts who offer their vision of the environment, agriculture and food: a collective framework of the future we want and need.

We weren’t sure how many videos we’d be able to produce over the six months of Terra Madre, but in the end we’ve seen a tsunami of content: 45 Food Talks and 78 episodes of How It’s Made! But as we always focus on quality over quantity… to celebrate the end of this journey we decided to put together a list of ten of our favorite videos we’ve had the pleasure of hosting at Terra Madre 2020-2021.

So, in no particular order, here they are! The top 10 videos of Terra Madre:

DAVID QUAMMEN – THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN ECOLOGICAL DESTRUCTION, PANDEMICS AND THE FOOD WE EAT

There are connections between ecological destruction, pandemics and the food we eat. And those connections are important. According to Quammen, all the choices we make as individuals and communities have consequences. And these consequences affect the health of animals, of ecosystems, and our own health. This concept is defined as ‘one health’, by some scientists who underline who our well-being is interdependent.

ADOBONG MANOK: CHICKEN WITH CHERRIES AND CINNAMON

Lots of dishes have influences that are expanded and enriched over the years as the dish itself evolves. That’s the case with Adobong Manok, a chicken dish served with cherries and cinnamon from the rain forest of Cebu, in the Philippines, a recipe that bears the influences of different cultures. Our friend Sweetie Maurillo guides us through the forests to show us where the ingredients come from, then shows us how to cook it. Our chicken must always be organic and free range: they have much better flavor and nutritional properties!

JONATHAN FRANZEN – BIODIVERSITY MAKES LOVE POSSIBLE

What does it mean to be a green continent? What can we do as individuals, to make the planet more livable?  What’s the correct course of action? We reflect on some of the big questions with writer Jonathan Franzen.

MARIANELI TORRES BENAVIDES – WATER: A COMMON GOOD

Our planet is covered by 1365km³ of water, 97% of which is saltwater, and just 3% fresh. All this water—salt and fresh—is the basis of all life on this planet, for plants, animals and human beings. We discuss water as a common good with Marianeli Torres Benavides, national coordinator for the defense of the mangrove ecosystem in Ecuador.

KARSAMBAÇ – A UNIQUE DESSERT MADE OF MOUNTAIN SNOW

Resul Kök is a snow-harvester and native of Çamlıyayla, a small town nestled high in the Tarsus mountains of southern Turkey. In the spring and summer he travels alone up the mountains on horseback to gather this precious ice, bringing it down to the town where sweet syrups are added to create one of Turkey’s best-kept culinary secrets. This is karsambaç: a dessert made from the snow of the mountain itself, a natural ancestor to granita and snow cones, a popular specialty Tarsus despite the small number of people who continue to harvest snow in the traditional manner.

WHAT IS SOWN IN THE FIELD: THE MILPA

The name milpa comes from Nahuatl, the original language of the Aztec people, and means “what is sown in the field.”  It’s a complex Mesoamerican system of crop association – in particular corn, beans and pumpkins  – that dates back to the Neolithic period.   The milpa has long represented the key to ensuring food security for many indigenous and rural populations in Mexico.

ROOTS KITCHEN – ITAL IS VITAL

We treat ourselves to a trip to the beach: specifically to Antigua, to discover what Ital cooking means, and what it means to use ingredients that are dadli, i.e. locally-sourced, traditional and native to Antigua, also known as Wadadli by the native population. Guiding us on this journey is Rastafarian chef Bongo First, who shows how to make a vegetable soup with eddoes, yam, sweet potatoes and bean, cooked in coconut milk. Perfectly ital, perfectly vital!

MELANIE KIRBY – SEDUCED BY BEES

Melanie Kirby, like so many in her line of work, speaks of beekeeping a process of seduction, where the bees seduce their keepers. Melanie’s love for her bees is a profound bond, one expressed in poetic language, full of feeling. It was love at first sight, too, made even stronger and more authentic by the prospect of working in a space without walls, with fresh air, flowers and freedom.

BEEF STROGANOFF

From Russia a dish whose origins are still debated. Beef Stroganoff is one of the great classics of 19th century Russian cuisine, and in the 20th it became popular the world over, with significant variations on the original recipe. The beef Stroganoff is composed of strips of sautéed beef served in smetana, a sour cream sauce produced using lactic-fermented cream and widely used across Eastern Europe. It’s a versatile sauce, with a delicate and lightly acidic flavor that can accompany both main courses and desserts, cold or hot.

CÉLIA XAKRIABÁ – THE WORLD’S LUNGS ARE INDIGENOUS

The crisis we’re living through teaches us that it’s necessary – and urgent – that we rethink our lives and our relationship with natural resources collectively. And with indigenous peoples, whose knowledge and whose spirituality are fundamental for the survival of the human race.

That’s why it’s important to understand that those who survive Covid-19, and this respiratory, planetary war, will have to go through a second, equally-dramatic phase. Because the planet is in a feverish state, a state of upheaval. Society, humanity without indigenous peoples will be thirsty, but it will have is dirty water. A society without indigenous peoples will be hungry, but it will only have poisoned food. The struggle of indigenous peoples isn’t just to take care of the Earth, it’s also for people’s lungs, and above all the lungs of the Earth itself, which are unwell. And the lungs of the Earth are indigenous.

Did we miss one of your favorite videos? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

by Jack Coulton, info.eventi@slowfood.it

Cover image courtesy of www.independent.co.uk