And so, a group of local establishments have joined the Slow Food movement which fights against the standardisation of gastronomy in a world which moves too fast and in which food has become just one more consumer product. It encourages the enjoyment of good food and tries to counteract fast food and the fast life, to prevent the disappearance of local culinary traditions and to combat society’s loss of interest in quality foodstuffs, their origin and their flavour.
Navarre has much to say in that respect. The region has excellent wines and meat products with various Protected Geographical Indications, and is a favourable land for the production of many indigenous raw ingredients which are recognised in the best kitchens, including produce such as artichokes, asparagus, borage, cardoon and piquillo peppers, amongst others. Navarre is therefore one of the few autonomous communities with the capacity to be self-sufficient.
Under the symbol of the snail (in praise of slowness), ten Navarran restaurants have joined the Slow Food movement.
These establishments are identified with the ‘KM 0’ emblem which guarantees that the dishes are prepared using raw ingredients sourced within a radius not greater than 100 kilometres, that the menu includes a minimum of five dishes meeting these criteria, and that the food is organic and does not contain genetically modified ingredients. A ‘KM 0 Restaurant’ also commits to disseminating the qualities and the value of the raw ingredients, to protecting traditional and sustainable farming methods, and to promoting the reduction of CO2 emissions in food transport.
In short, it’s about creating regional dishes prepared using quality ingredients which are clean, organic and respectful of the natural environment and which retain all of their sensory properties.
The ten "KM 0" certified restaurants and their chefs
Promoter of the movement in Navarre
The Ultzama farm school in Navarre is the precursor to the Slow Food movement. It aims to change how we cook, offering quality products (they taste good) which are clean (they don’t harm the environment or contain chemical products) and fair (the producer receives a fair price).
The centre is also the promoter of the world’s first Slow Food school, located in Lizaso, which will open its doors in 2017. The school is a collaboration with Mascotas Verdes (Green Mascots), a collective that works on environmental restoration and which promotes the fertile Ribera region, vegetables and quality tourism as its main objectives.
Another project up and running is Arca del Gusto (Ark of Flavour), which recovers and catalogues foods and groups unique breeds and artisanal culinary products of verified excellence which are prepared on a small scale and are in danger of extinction, such as the cogollo negro lettuce from Tudela or the Euskal Txerria breed of pig.