It’s Slow Good

If it weren’t for the swift action of the Slow Food movement, a little delicacy known as the Delaware Bay oyster might be only a sweet memory. Once consumed widely throughout the United States, by the 1990s this local oyster was considered an endangered seafood, but since 2003 it has made a comeback.

The Delaware Bay Oyster Restoration Task Force got things moving with its 2005 oyster shell-planting program, and there are others who are taking a role in altering the oyster’s destiny. Chief among them is chef Jim Weaver, owner of Princeton’s Tre Piani restaurant and founder of the Central New Jersey Slow Food Convivium, which he says “personally re-introduced the oyster into broader markets, including New York, New Jersey, and the Philadelphia area.” Prior to Weaver’s efforts, the oyster was not known outside of Cape May.

So what, exactly, is Slow Food? It’s an international movement focusing on preserving culinary tradition and supporting locally grown produce and other foods with local origins. Slow Food’s bigger goal is to see the return of a lifestyle that is centered more around food and wine.

For an example of what Slow Food is all about, head to the Griggstown Quail Farm, which hosts the Fourth Annual Slow Food All Bird Barbecue on October 8, featuring farm tours and recipes made with quail, chicken, pheasant, and locally grown produce (908-359-5218; griggstownquailfarm.com). For more information on Slow Food, visit slowfood.com.

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