From Publishers Weekly
Slow Food, a group of 75,000 members that supports recognition of traditional foods and eating patterns (e.g., the family meal), is an important player in today's battle for the palates and stomachs of the world. As "The Official Slow Food Manifesto" states, "Slow Food is an idea that needs plenty of qualified supporters," but to find them, it's going to need more friendly material than this didactic screed. Italian journalist Petrini founded the group in 1989, changing the name of a previous organization from Arcigola to Arcigola Slow Food in response to the opening of a McDonald's in Rome's Piazza di Spagna, a development described in excruciating detail. Petrini's condescending tone ("When you see the word `flavorings' on the package, don't imagine that it always refers to natural substances") isn't helped by a clumsy translation that adheres to Italian syntax. It's a shame, because the elitist tone and convoluted language obscure Petrini's informed opinions on genetically modified organisms and nutritional education in the schools (he references mainly Italian public schools). Petrini's case against McDonald's is perhaps his strongest card, but it's geared mainly to an Italian, or at least European, audience (it's doubtful that many American parents comfort themselves with the thought that "when they're old enough the kids will develop a taste for Barolo") and more thorough and better written arguments have already been made, most notably in Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Neither a cookbook nor a foodie memoir, Slow Food is nevertheless an important work.... Petrini's work is both a philosophical treatise and a history of the movement all in one slim volume, yet it suffices.
(Library Journal (starred review)
I always felt like Groucho Marx, who said he would never join a club that'd have him as a member, but Slow Food is far more spiritual, nay, religious, than any club (or religion, for that matter) I have been asked to join. Count me in. Carlo Petrini's Slow Food out-Prousts Proust, out-LaRousses LaRousse and out-Artusis Artusi and makes sense for the dreamers and doers of our times.
Everyone who enjoys quality time with fine wines and food should enjoy this book.
If eating is such an intimate, internal process, shouldn't we take the utmost care in selecting everything we consume? Petrini makes persuasive arguments for doing just that.
(Maria C. Hunt San Diego Tribune
Petrini writes with a seasoned eye for telling detail, and a willingness to provide shocking sweets for his presumed anti-globalization readership...At 155 pages, Slow Food may tempt you to race through it, eager to get to the appendices with mouthwatering examples of products to die for...and descriptions of exotic delicacies from around the world. The 'Slow Read' movement advises you to take your time.
(Carlin Romano Philadelphia Inquirer
Petrini tells the story of the movement's origins and successes in Slow Food: The Case for Taste... The book also outlines the philosophy behind good eating.
"Petrini--an Italian whose charming prose ripples with gustatory rapture and thrasonical outbursts--pleads with us to slow down"
(Mark Winne In These Times