Slow Food

Bosnia Celebrates Biodiversity

Italy - 24 Sep 09

Slow Food Goražde and the Slow Food Pozegaca Plum Slatko Presidium are holding the Okusa Festival (Festival of Taste) over September 25 - 26, 2009. The first event of this kind to be held in the region, the festival will provide an exclusive forum for small-scale, quality producers from across Bosnia Herzegovina. The festival is sponsored by the municipality. For two days, the streets of central Ustikolina will come to life with a market of small producers, carefully selected by Slow Food Goražde, as well as a variety of street food stalls, traditional Balkan music and dancing. The festival was born with the work done by the Emina Association, a dedicated group of women who have fought for years to preserve and promote their traditions and the region’s rural culture. The city of Goražde and the Canton of Podrinje is a major Muslim enclave representing the remnants of what once – i.e. prior to 1992 -1995 war, was the vast community of Muslims in Eastern Bosnia The Slow Food Pozegaca Plum Slatko Presidium was launched in 2004 by the Emina Association and the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. The Presidium was founded to safeguard the production of the traditional slatko – a preserve produced in the upper valley of the River Drina, near the town of Goražde, using the indigenous Pozegaca plum variety. Starting from a small homemade production of preserves, the producers formed an association and built a processing workshop. The product quality has improved steadily, and its success has assisted to promote local traditions and the region in Bosnia as well as internationally. The festival will also be an important occasion to bring together the Slow Food network in the region. Producers from other Presidia such as Sarac Garlic from Ljubitovica (Croatia) and the Sack Cheese from Herzegovina (Bosnia) and representatives from Terra Madre food communities from Bosnia, Croatia, and Macedonia will also be attending the event. Slow Food Goražde has invited the regional coordinators of Slow Food Veneto, Slow Food Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Slow Food Emilia-Romagna to attend and participate in the event. Producers and chefs from these Italian regions will accompany them to present their communities best gastronomic dishes and products, offering visitors a taste of unique delicacies such as garlic from Resia, Biancoperla corn and Malga Monteveronese cheese.