How To Eat Slowly - Remembering the Past

The UK is an incredibly diverse country, with huge regional variations in food preparation; dishes – even the names of ingredients - can change from village to village, let alone from county to county, city to city. Our diversity in ethnicity and nationality only serve to enrich this heritage further. Italian Grandmother Cooking

Our Grandmothers almost certainly did not own cookbooks, and would not have been taught from them, instead they would have been taught by voice and practice.

Slow Food is seeking to capture their experience, uninfluenced by TV Chefs and cookery magazines, by recording your memories of their dishes, their ingredients, the equipment they used, and their techniques. Did they teach you to cook? Or do you just remember watching them?

grandmother-cooking ©

If so we’d love for you to sign-up to record those memories as part of our Slow Food Oral History Project.

To take part please e-mail with your details, and we will be in touch shortly.

grandmother-cooking-kitchen ©

Frequently asked questions

Q When do you start recording? A We anticipate starting recording memories (by microphone, no video!) at the beginning of October 2012

Q Why are you asking for volunteers now, if you are not recording for several months? A We need to get about 100 volunteers – we need time to arrange this

Q What is Slow Food? A It is a leading NGO that seeks to preserve and record food heritage. It has an international website at, and a UK website at Slow Food is the reverse of Fast Food – food cooked by hand, and with love. It has nothing to do with Slow cookers!

Q I’m not a member of Slow Food – can I take part? A Yes! We are looking to record memories, and do not ask your formally support Slow Food unless you wish to. You will not be asked at any time to do so

Q My Grandmother didn’t really cook slow food – can I take part? A Your Grandmother would have cooked Slow – she had no other option, ingredients were produced in fairly sustainable ways, and largely regionally, until the late 1960’s. Even if your memories of her are much later than this, she will (likely) have been taught during this time. For those where this does not apply it will show contrasting data

Q You keep mentioning grandmother – what about my grandfather? A Almost all cooking was done by women during this period – we would be delighted to have recollections of grandfathers cooking if they were the main person who cooked

Q I saw that this is being run by Slow Food London, I live in Scotland can I still take part? A Yes! Slow Food has a UK network which it will use to take face to face interviews. Where this is not possible we will send a recording device and ask you to record your memories and send this back

Q How long will it take? A That depends on you, and how many memories you have. Certainly no more than half an hour of your time

Q What will you do with the data? A It will be used for academic use, and also used to produce a report on changing food culture. The copyright of the text will belong to the project, but you will be acknowledged in any end papers. Individual comments will not be attributed to a name to preserve confidentiality.

Q Will I be paid? A No payments will be made, nor any royalty paid in the event the text generates one. You will however be acknowledged in each project that uses the data, and we will where possible ask that researchers send you a copy of their research, or a link so that you may read it if you request this.