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Slow Food Vancouver celebrates Terra Madre Day

Photography by Monica Reyes

On November 19, Slow Food Vancouver celebrated Terra Madre Day, an international event about sustainability and biodiversity. Held at the W2 Media Cafe, entry was by donation with the funds to help support local farmers. This year’s theme was the joy of preserving -- learning about the older ways, how different cultures preserve their food and safeguarding that knowledge. Joanne MacKinnon, coordinator, stresses the importance of preserving, “Once that [knowledge] is lost, it's gone for good. We need to get back to traditions, eating for pleasure.”

Smoked Steelhead prepared by Chef Bothwell

Food produced locally was available for purchase and samples cooked up by chefs were offered to attendants. Those seeking to learn more about preserving techniques and cooking could go to the demonstrations. Meeru Dhalwala, co-owner of Vij’s and Rangoli showed how to make paneer, an Indian cheese. With only milk, lemon juice and a flour cloth, the process is easy enough to make at home.

Meeru Dhalwala making paneer 

Meeru Dhalwala, co-owner of Vij’s and Rangoli 

Alice Macpherson from Canoe Creek Community Kitchen on making chutneys

Masa Shiroki of the Artisan Sake Maker taught tsukemono, a Japanese pickling technique. SakeKasu, an ingredient that are the remains of pressed fermented rice mash from making sake, that helps give it a distinctive taste. While it doesn’t have the same alcohol content as the sake Shiroki produces, SakeKasu can have up to 9% alcohol content.

With Terra Madre Day being an international event, the organizers hope that people will have a better understanding of their food choices and that it is possible to eat affordable healthy food. Being at the event and seeing the demos made me realize that preserving and making my own food doesn’t have to be difficult.

Check out Slow Food Vancouver’s upcoming events at

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