Chances are, whether or not you've heard of the Slow Food movement, you're familiar with slow food. It could be the best corn on the cob you've had all summer, or the ballpark frank that saw you through the seventh inning stretch at the last Cubs game. Slow Food is simply about the whole experience of food, from production to preparation to enjoyment and conviviality.* It is a revolutionary international movement that prizes locally sourced foods and sustainable agriculture, and slowly, its manifesto is gaining ground. Now an inventive new series of Slow Food guidebooks has food critics and travelers raving. This September, the publisher that brought you "The Slow Food Guide to New York City" (2003) releases the second book of the series, "The Slow Food Guide to Chicago: Restaurants, Markets, Bars." Written by a team of Chicago natives and members of Slow Food USA, the guide reviews over 300 Chicago area establishments and serves up a fresh, comprehensive look at the city's diverse food landscape.
Think "Chicago food" and the first things that come to mind might be fattening, greasy dishes: deep-dish pizza, hot dogs and sausages. But, according to slow foodies Gibson and Lowndes, Chicago is also home to a lush "food landscape" that's keen on sustainable agriculture and local food traditions, a place with culinary artisans "who practice their craft in much the same way their parents and grandparents did." To that end, they give the nitty-gritty of the city's best eateries, specialty shops and drinking establishments. There are reviews of the best barbecue joints (places that smoke pork spareribs slowly over fragrant wood), Polish places (go to Halina's Polish Delights for borscht and blintzes that "sing with flavor") and hot dog venues (such as Little Louie's in Northbrook, where, if you ask for ketchup on your dog, you "just might get kicked out"). In addition to traditional Chicago food, the authors also discuss Mexican taquerias and haute cuisine meccas, notable dairy and cheese shops, and classic meat markets. Comprehensive, engaging and friendly, this is an indispensable book for visitors and locals.
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Chelsea Green Publishing
September 14, 2004
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