Ludlow to host national Slow Food meeting
A county town will take its place back at the heart of the foodie scene, directly before this year's food festival.
Ludlow has been selected to host Slow Food England's national meeting for 2017 – the day before the Ludlow Food Festival.
Ludlow was among the first town in the UK to sign up to the international Slow Food movement, which champions the cause of locally produced food around the world, so the annual meeting will be returning to its roots – as well as providing a boost for the town's food festival in a time when such celebrations of local produce are now commonplace in towns all over the map.
Sue Chantler, chair of the Ludlow and Marches Slow Food group, said: "There will be delegates arriving from all over the country, who will stay on and enjoy the delights that the town has to offer.
"The local slow food group has been going for many years organising regular events that promote good practice in food production and excellence in taste. Every year they run a programme of taste workshops, a key element of the Food Festival’s repertoire.
"The group has been successful in getting local food items that deserve particular promotion due to their culinary qualities and local distinctiveness, into the Slow Food ‘Ark of Taste’, a kind of Noah’s Ark for threatened or forgotten foods. These include the Shropshire Prune Damson, Mortimer Forest Venison and Three Counties Perry.
"The highlight of the meeting will be an evening meal at the Riverside Inn, Aymestrey, hosted by chef patron Andy Link, which will feature and celebrate many of these distinctive foods."
She said a good way of defining 'slow food' was to see it as the opposite of fast food.
"The slow food principle values small scale farming and food production methods as opposed to mass production, as well as fair pay for the farmer and not forgetting the importance of flavour."
"Ludlow and the Marches is blessed with fantastic quality food and drink, much is produced relatively small scale and is available locally from our excellent butchers, bakers, delis, farm shops and farmers’ markets," she said.