The People of Bangladesh

Please do not forget the people of Bangladesh who lost over 1,000 friends and family in the collapse of a factory.
They try to organize to make changes happen but a Woman Union leader was attacked and beaten.
Be generous. Please help someone. Merci.
I’ll be there mid January to lend some support.


Salone Del Gusto Terra Madre 2014

Here is the article in the Chestnut Hill Local about my experience in Torino:

Finally, I made it to Salone Del Gusto 2014. I have been involved with Slowfood for the past 20 years, so it made me very happy to witness what happens when many dedicated people from all over the world congregate in the old Fiat factory which turned into a convention center in Torino. I chose to stay in a hotel in town so I would have both worlds – the flavor of the town and the bustle of the Salone. I arrived in the early afternoon; I took a cab to the hotel except the driver could not find the building. We saw two suspicious individuals coming to the car and asking the driver if I were Mrs. Haines. They grabbed me and said that they had an apartment for me to which I responded that I did not book an apartment. To be cautious, my driver gestured me to not follow them. After taking off, it took an hour and a half of travelling from hotel to hotel to find a room because everything was booked due to Salone Del Gusto. Finally, a very nice receptionist in a hotel found a room for me in a nice neighborhood through the Internet. I rushed to the metro to get to the Salone and arrived promptly to the reception. It was very impressive to see the parade of all of the flags representing all of the countries which partook in the event from Afghanistan to Peru.

I had signed up for five workshops (International Network of Affineurs, Champagne: Extra-Brut and Nature, Which Dosage?, The Cheeses and Wines of Turkey, German Pastry-Making: Sweet Berlin, The Sergeant Recruits the Best in Paris) and two dinners (At Dinner with Brussels and Antonia’s Vision). I was glad to hear Claudia Roden speak. She is very well known for “The Book of Jewish Food, an Odyssey from Samarkand to New York.”

It is very difficult to explain the intricate planning of all of the different programs from workshop to educational programs for children to panel conferences, demonstrations, dinners, wine tastings, and so on.

Each country had an exhibit where they were bringing what they thought was the finest of their country. Of course, being in Italy, Italy had a whole pavilion to itself with markets and exhibits. It was amazing to taste all the cheeses from the different parts of Italy, from Puglia to Piedmont, to taste all the salami and ham, all the wines, etc.

Going to the international pavilion, you would be enticed by the saffron from Iran, precisely from Mashad, a town famous for its saffron. I had the opportunity to be there a few years ago for the harvesting of the saffron flower. It is a very painstaking labor.

I was delighted to discover that Georgia was represented, a country very close to my heart since I just spent 10 days in a vineyard matching their wine with my food. The Georgian people there, of course, knew the owner of the vineyard that I visited named Pheasant Tears. I was sorry to learn that when I went to the Cyprus stand, my hostess had already left. I’m sorry that I missed the representative of the Cyprus convivium. I had participated in the Slowfood conference, which gathered all of the representatives of the Mediterranean islands. I missed a very creative cheese maker, Olive Puentespina.

I needed some time to escape the bustle of the Salone, so I wandered the streets of Torino. I even had my nails done which led me to meet a gourmet, young lady who invited me to a Trattoria Pizzeria del Colapasta owned by a lady chef.

One of my delights was going to the little cornerstore for my decaf espresso, my apple and my cheese. It is a neighborhood corner shop/bar who serves espresso, liquor, and wine and sells chewing gum and candies with the wife (Arcangela) preparing the food and the husband (Angelo) running the bar with an assistant (Michele). It has a small sidewalk café. You are welcomed with a friendly “Buon giorno.” It never fails. I recommend La Caffeteria Del Sogni. I enjoyed walking to the metro station picking up my daily New York Times and riding with all of the commuters to the last station called Lingotto where the Salone Del Gusto was.

Eat healthy, share with friends, be open minded, and love the world.

Fort Wayne, Indiana

I was in Fort Wayne Indiana visiting my son and his family. I was looking for things to do by reading the local paper. Under the title “Historic Center” I saw the sentence “Merci train artifacts virtual exhibit.” I became very curious about this title so I looked it up online and discovered a very beautiful story.
In 1947 a Washington columnist Drew Pearson created a train that went to every state in the US to collect food gifts to be sent to Europe. He felt that the countries at war had not appreciated the US effort and he thought people were hungry and poor. The train carriages went on a ship to France to distribute the food. For example, one delivered 10,000 pounds of macaroons from Wyoming!!!
In France when the gifts arrived a certain Monsieur Picard working for the French railroad decided to thank the Americans by creating le Train de la Reconnaissance. The effort led to 49 boxcars, one for each state, including Washington and Hawaii together (which was not a state yet). One of the cars held artifacts, antiques like a Louis the XIV period doll which is in the Fort Wayne Historical society, but I could not have access to it. I was so happy but disappointed that I could not see any of the objects. But I was told there was a homage to the provinces of France near Fort Wayne at a site honoring the fighters of the 2 world wars. We drove there to see the memorial with the coat of arms of some of the provinces of France and the story behind it.
Friendship and linking people together are my driving force.

2013-12-27 Coat of arms on wall

Cyprus (continued)

1379278_748492721834226_336814594_nTomorrow I go the other side, the Turkish side, of Cyprus. I’ll be in Keryneia, a beautiful harbor. It is less built than on the Greek side. I also go to Salamis, an important archeological site from Greek and Roman time.

The conference brought mainly Italian people from the small islands near Venice, Rome, and Sicily. They talked about their concern with tourism, which they need but also dread because of the threat of the eco balance of the land



993416_748492688500896_1750816758_nThe Food
Marinated tuna rabbit (it is a piemontese recipe adjusted to Cyprus taste with olive oil and home made vinegar by the man of the house, a doctor)
Great local wines and candied lemons

I am off to experience the making of artisanal halloumi and to visit the parents of Constantine, the owner of Kanela’s restaurant in Philadelphia.

Arrival in Torino, Italy

I arrived from Torino, Italy with an unexpected welcome! When I first came out of my plane and walked into the airport building, I saw a long line of policemen and special forces all in a double row forming a canopy (like newly weds walk through). I went through smiling and laughing and thanking them teasingly, and waving my hands not knowing why there was such a production. The turmoil was because in my plane there had been the famous winning basketball team from France with the star of the team Tony Parker!!

Things to do in Paris

1380276_749932055023626_1385877748_nWhen in Paris go to the Palais Galliera, it was recently restored. There is a superb exhibit of 60 creations from Azzedine Alaia. The dresses are gorgeous with cut close to the body to accentuate the curve of the back and the sexiness of the roundness of the bottom!

Then cross the street and go to the Palais de Tokyo to admire some 140 shoes made by Roger Vivier, an amazing display of bird-like shoes, a canopy of feathers, rustle of taffetas sails, a poetry and romance shoes and elegant pointed shoes and bottiness. Roger Vivier was more of a sculptor and inventor than a shoe creator. You could even fly to Christie’s China and bid on Diamond Dust Shoes by Andy Warhol.1381201_737679049582260_1764724847_n 1383772_737679026248929_1663535189_n

Slow Food in Bra, Italy (Continued)

1378288_747233611960137_2091864998_nThere is a good presentation of Slow Food Bra and the butter and the wine, it centered around the champagne of the region: Blanc de Blanc and Rose for England, also Brut Millecento.

In a clock-wise tasting lets start with salted butter and tomato with sweet butter, salted butter and sweet butter with summer black truffle and little young potato, brioche with sweet butter and anchovy, green sage and peach and mushroom salted butter, buttercream tart with myrtilles, and chocolate praline. It is heaven if you love butter and you can be very critical of the nuances of quality butter.

1381951_747233608626804_2111037158_n 1383384_747233615293470_311173846_n

Day by Day Cheese 2013 in Bra, Italy

3 days of Cheese!!!

It was a full schedule of workshops, tastings, seminars, lectures, and dinners, so you had to choose what you wanted to attend. I chose:

  • The Ark of Taste in Africa
  • High Apprenticeship
  • The Affineur: A Profession for the Future a discussion followed by a tasting with Giovanni Guffanti Fiori a fifth generation affineur (cheese ager)
  • Milk Workshop
  • Who cares about Animal Welfare? How can we raise animals and consume them in a way is compatible with environment and that respects animal welfare?

The Ark of Taste in Africa

Searching for the almost Lost Ark, saving cheeses from disappearing, how we can implement hygiene and infrastructure in poor parts of some countries to help the survival of some local traditional cheeses (ex: from Croatia, Bulgaria and Brazil).

At dinner I loved the rolled rabbit with pine nuts and light Barolo sauce. I had great company of young people from Austria, Switzerland, England and Italy some of whom were representing cheeses and some reporters and curious Slow Food members who love cheese and wine.


Slow Food Education: make your own Sustainable Pasta

A chance to put the whole family’s skills to the test and make delicious savory and sweet specialties!


Taste Workshop

Fattorie Fiandino butter, since 1889
Sweet and salty butter matched with different champagne!
It was heaven on earth


Milk Workshop

The pasture is a resource to protect. A well-managed pasture produces fodder with a great nutritional value and the guarantee of a positiveimpact on the health of the animals and the quality of the milk, cheese, and butter. From an environmental point of view it favors the control of the green spaces of a region and plant biodiversity.

We discussed raw or pasteurized, but above all: what kind of milk is it? Milk quality depends on the conditions in which livestock is raised, which influences the flavor, the nutritional value, and the presence of vitamins, enzymes, good fats, etc.

For dinner we discovered the flavors of the world with Moroccan chef from Talluinn bringing the local safran and serving a superb Bastila. The great part is I know exactly where his restaurant is! Lost in the rocky mountains south of Agadir, near Zagora, near a cascade not far from very good friends of mine. I went over, talked to him, and we hugged.

Vive Slow Food!!!


To be continued