2014 marked the 10th Anniversary of Terra Madre – a gathering of the Slow Food community from all over the world.

Held every two years in Turin, Italy, delegates are selected to represent their country at Terra Madre. Not for nothing is it called the “Olympics of the Food World.”

Terra Madre is an odd and enchanting place – equal parts dreamland, thrill ride and movable feast.  The colors, sights and scents of people engaged by the thousand in food politics, biodiversity, human rights, sustainable farming, responsible consuming and really great eating are both overwhelming and exhilarating.  Delegates come together to be invigorated by the important work of others and to listen, taste, smell and see things.

Dan Saladino of the BBC says Terra Madre “gives a voice to people who aren’t often heard: the 5 hundred million small-scale subsistence farmers who produce more than two-thirds of the world’s food.”

“For me [Terra Madre] is the holy grail of food.” Jamie Oliver

2014 Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto by the Numbers

  • 10th edition for both events

  • 1,000 exhibitors from 130 countries

  • 300 Slow Food Presidia represented

  • 200 taste workshops

  • 220,000 visitors, as well as 400 journalists from 63 countries.

  • Delegates from 160 countries

Congratulations Midwest!

Region 8 (IN, IL, IA) had the largest U.S. delegation at Terra Madre (and we’d like to think the best looking and most polite too). Representatives included a Midwest Regional Forager for Whole Foods, a vegan baker, and a female farmer and veteran in addition to others who save seeds, sustainably grow and harvest food, those who take that raw material and transform it into delicious products, and the educators, writers, researchers, and non-profit folks who advocate for a good, clean, and fair food system.

Slow Food Chicago provided crucial travel stipends to Turin for ten delegates* and we were one of only a few U.S. chapters able to do that. If you attended the Farm Roast or Slow Food dinners atUncommon Ground the last two years you helped us raise funds towards this endeavor. Thank you!

Midwest Farmstand

The first ever Midwest Farmstand at Terra Madre featured regional companies including Scrumptious Pantry, Great Lakes Sugarbush, Pear Tree Preserves, Willow Garlic Growers and Tiny but Mighty popcorn.Midwest Farmstand sponsors include: Slow Food Chicago, Slow Food Springfield (IL) and Slow Food Katy Trail (MO). For an account of the Farmstand’s reception and activities, read this letter by Slow Food Midwest Regional Governor, Eve Bills Lacivita, who spearheaded this awesome initiative. Thanks Eve!

Past Delegates

Psst…Are you a past delegate of Terra Madre? We want your story! Slow Food Chicago board member, and 2012 TM Delegate, Beth Osmund is pulling together stories from past delegates. Send her your contact information at terramadre@slowfoodchicago.org and she will follow up with you.

* Slow Food board members are not eligible to receive travel stipends.