An Afternoon of Slow Food: 10 Things to Know and Love

I profess to know a lot about food: how it grows, where to get quality ingredients, how to prepare it, and most certainly how to eat it! However, I was amazed at how much I hadn’t yet digested in spite of my appetite for knowledge. So I recently attended the Terra Madre Day, hosted by Slow Food Northern NJ, at the Woodland in Maplewood, NJ. If you missed it, you can find info about their next event at the end of this article.

As I strolled the farmers market and chatted with people along the way, I learned quite a bit. Here are some of the highlights of my day.

Highlights of Terra Madre Day

1. About the Movement

The slow food movement is simple. It’s intended to inspire individuals and communities to change the world through food that is good, clean, and fair for all. (To learn what the GOOD, CLEAN, FAIR values are, click here.) Slow Food USA is part of a global movement that’s creating change in more than 160 countries around the world. In the U.S. alone, there are over 150 local chapters and a growing community of about 6,000 members.Slow Food Northern NJ, Slow Food Movement, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites

2. About the Day

Terra Madre Day is dedicated to promoting the diversity of food traditions and production through expressions of love for the planet, and to help defend the future of the earth for generations to come.

3. Slow Food: Better All Around

Slow food is just better–for those who eat it, for those who purvey it, and for the animals and environment we are unnecessarily destroying. It’s better for us and for the earth; what could be bad?

4. Who’s Margaret Noon?

Margaret Noon is credited as the pioneer of the Northern NJ chapter and now resides as a farmer herself. Here’s an article about her from 10 years ago when she led the chapter.

5. More than Food

Slow food purveyors create a range of non-food products including soaps, beeswax candles, and woolen mittens!

6. A Great Haul

I spent less than $75 and came home with an amazing array of goods including scones, squash bread, bone-in pork chops (which were the best I’ve ever prepared at home). I even bought my dad and Uncle Joe kielbasa, which will be a huge treat New Year’s Day. (Pictured at top.)

Slow Food Northern NJ, Slow Food Movement, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites

7. A New Favorite

My new obsession: the slow cooked, prepared lentils from The Hummus Boss. (And this guy can also bake.) His Lebanese version of baklava was killer and my kids raved over his Ghirardelli chocolate cookies, which were so decadent I only bought them one to share! Really, each vendor who showcased offered a sample, taste, friendly face, and education about their products and their commitment to creating a better earth through food.

Slow Food Northern NJ, Slow Food Movement, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites

8. Terrific Turnips

I  absolutely love me a turnip scone!

9. Vendors to Remember

Here is a full list of vendors, alphabetically listed, with links. Please try to support them this holiday season!

10. The Takeaway: Inspiration

The passion for the movement inspired me to support it, and I hope you might as well. Click here to find a local chapter.

Slow Food Northern NJ, Slow Food Movement, Gabrielle Garofalo, Jersey Bites

If you like what you’ve seen here, make a note that the Northern NJ Slow Food Chapter will host its next event on Sunday, February 3, 2019—Super Bowl Sunday. For information on becoming a vendor, volunteer, or for other info, please email