We all know about fast food, but what about its opposite? Slow Food began where so many delicious things do: Italy. The movement got its start in the 1980s, when Carlo Petrini opposed a McDonalds slated to open near the Spanish Steps in. Philosophically averse to the tyranny of convenience, Slow Food hallows the ancient taste, the artisan nibble, and the backyard glean. These strictures have earned its adherents the sticky elitist label in the past, but the catholic Slow Food Nation festival theyve mounted this weekend should go a long way toward bringing in the unbelievers. With an almost indigestible number of events planned, the festival sprawls over four days, featuring Taste Pavilions (offering beer, bread, charcuterie, and native foods), lectures, films, dinners, dance, art, hikes, road trips, and rock concerts. Yes, even Gnarls Barkley apparently supports Slow Food. Be quick when it comes to registering; many events are already sold out. You dont need tickets for the massive farmers market that kicks off today. With more than 60 California farms participating, itll be a treat for the senses.
The Slow Food Market opens at 9 a.m. at Civic Center Plaza, Polk & McAllister, S.F.
Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 2008