Good food takes time – the power and pleasure of ‘slow’

Good things come to those who wait – from sourcing ingredients to the enjoyment of a long, unhurried meal. In …

Cuisine
The joy of slow food

Good things come to those who wait – from sourcing ingredients to the enjoyment of a long, unhurried meal.

In today’s fast-moving world, the importance of believing that good food takes time is more important than ever.

We Italians are known throughout the world for our unhurried meals as well as our love of regional culinary traditions and high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients. The two go hand-in-hand – why would you rush a meal that is made with love and great ingredients? Wouldn’t you want to take the time to enjoy it too?

But we’re not the only ones to appreciate the joy of slow food and getting together with friends and family to enjoy it. Think about the Japanese tea ceremony, where the ceremonial preparation and presentation of the tea is part of the whole ritual that leads up to the actual drinking of it.

 

Celebrating tradition and regionalism are principles we hold dear in San Daniele del Friuli too. When producing our prosciutto we only select meat from breeders authorised by the inspection body appointed by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (MIPAAF).

These breeders are limited to just ten regions in central and northern Italy – Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio, Abruzzo, Marche and Umbria.

We also know how important it is to not rush perfection. That’s why the slow maturation of our prosciutto has to last for a minimum of 13 months.

That’s right, we naturally air-cure our prosciutto for a minimum of 13 months, so you see, time is always on our side in San Daniele. While longer maturation times produce a more intense flavour, the quality is always the same, it’s all down to personal preference.

Why is it so important to take time to appreciate our food and drink?

As well as giving us time to think about the food we’re eating and be thankful for it, it’s also good for our health to do this. Numerous studies show that people who take the time to eat their meals at a leisurely pace tend to weigh less. Other benefits include better digestion, hydration and more enjoyment of our meals.

It’s not just food that needs to be enjoyed slowly. How often have you heard the Simon and Garfunkel lyrics “slow down, you move too fast” without ever acting on them?

There are benefits to be had from slowing down your lifestyle too.

Have you ever felt that you are always rushing around, trying to get things done, without actually accomplishing anything extra? Sometimes, being busy makes us feel important, after all, if we have so much to do that we have to rush through every task, we must be being useful, right? Wrong.

Have you heard the saying ‘less haste, more speed’? It means that if you try and do things too quickly, it may actually take you longer in the end.

When you slow down, you not only allow yourself the time to enjoy life more, but you are less likely to make mistakes because you give yourself the opportunity to focus more on the task in hand. You’ll end up being more productive, making few errors and doing each job better.

Rushing around all day also increases the stress levels in your body. You may find that you’re holding your shoulders tightly, or that you’re getting headaches or grinding your teeth. Perhaps your chest feels tight with stress and you snap more at loved ones and colleagues.

There’s a lot to be said for slowing down, getting each job done properly, enjoying the natural ebb and flow of life’s special moments. Because when you look back at them, they’re all special in their own way, aren’t they?