Behind every place lie stories, gastronomic traditions, artisanal flavours and time-honoured practices, preserved by women and men whose identities and cultures have been constructed over centuries.
Slow Food Travel offers a new model for tourism, made up of meetings and exchanges with farmers, cheesemakers, herders, butchers, bakers and winegrowers who, along with the chefs who cook their products, will be the narrators of their local areas and unique guides to the local traditions.
The aim is to bring travellers closer to the preservation of food biodiversity and an understanding of local cultures, identities and gastronomies. Journeys will often include visits to Slow Food Presidia, encounters with Ark of Taste products and stays with Terra Madre food communities.
Hospitality will be offered directly by the producers or by hoteliers and chefs who use local “good, clean and fair” ingredients in their kitchens.
The first region in Canada to be offered as a Slow Food Travel destination is a Newfoundland Circumnavigation trip. Slow Food in Canada has partnered with Adventure Canada to make this happen.
Starting and ending in historic St. John’s, guests of Adventure Canada’s 2018 Newfoundland Circumnavigation embark on an intimate experience of Newfoundland’s local food, lively culture, and dramatic scenery via daily expedition stops, community visits, and engaging presentations. Travellers visit Red Bay’s Basque Whaling Station (where locals depend heavily on food from the land, just as the Basque whalers did), learn about North America’s Viking history at L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, and enjoy a taste of the Mi’kmaq culture in Miawpukek First Nation. Later, explore the remote village of Conche and enjoy a community meal of the best cod in Newfoundland before visiting the French island of Saint-Pierre to sample its cheese and wine, all in the company of local artists, culturalists, and naturalists.
“We all want to experience the places that we’re travelling to, whether through food, music, language or landscape. As responsible travellers, we want to do so in a way that is meaningful but does not intrude on the ecology and regional characteristics of where we are,” says Cedar Swan, CEO, Adventure Canada. “Our partnership with Slow Food brings together clever ways to appreciate customs, respect ecological and social boundaries and support local economies. Between ourselves, leaders at Slow Food, and leaders in the communities that we visit, we hope to come up with real viable ways to incorporate a reverence for taste and place into the travel culture that we share with our guests. We’re delighted to explore the rich traditions and reinvigoration of Newfoundland and Labrador food culture on our expedition cruise.”