Slow Food Slovakia

The Slow Food movement started in 1989 as a response to the opening of McDonald’s restaurant in Rome. Carlo Petrini, the Italian journalist who launched the movement, thought it was unfortunate that a city with high-quality local cuisine had opened its doors to mass-produced food.

Since then, the Slow Food movement has spread to more than 160 countries and attracted millions of people around the world. Slovakia joined in 2012 with three major communities (convivia) in Pressburg (the old name for Bratislava), Banská Bystrica and Tatry.

bio zelenina
Slow Food market in Pezinok near Bratislava

The Slovak convivia have just begun to gain more attention from the public by organizing regional markets, where local farmers and small-scale food producers gather to promote biodiversity, sustainable farming and traditional regional products. Bratislavské rožky (Bratislava rolls) filled with ground poppy seeds or walnuts certainly belong to this category:

bratislavske rozky
Famed Bratislava rolls are made by quite a few bakeries in the region, but only some adhere to the Slow Food principles.

To be approved by the Slow Food community, the farmer or the food producer must meet three main criteria:

Good – offer food staples that grow and ripen naturally in their typical season, have high nutritional value and pure, unadulterated sensory properties

Clean – use responsible, environmentally friendly farming methods and technologies that are free of chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or GMO

Fair – give an accessible price to the consumer, a fair pay and good working conditions for the workers, while still ensuring sustainable growth for the farmer/producer

PEMAK is a small, family-run farming company that grows high-quality poppy seeds and makes a few poppyseed-based products like oil, honey or chocolate.

At a recent market in Pezinok near Bratislava, the Slow Food Pressburg also introduced a small producer of an ancient species of wheat, which had been pushed out of the market by the new, modern cultivars. This dvojzrnka, as the wheat variety is called in Slovak, has different genetics and therefore a different gluten formula, so it’s generally better tolerated by people sensitive to the gluten of the modern wheat.

psenicna muka dvojzrnka
‘Dvojzrnka’ is a Slovak name for an ancient species of wheat, which is now back in the fields and some shops thanks to the small eco-friendly farm ‘Prazrnko’.

Apart from the local food markets and promotional fairs, the three Slovak convivia take part in national projects, international campaigns, as well as gastronomical events in and outside Slovakia.

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