The immigrant and refugee women who cook at Comal are participants in that experience, not simply hourly workers in a cafe. They are cultural ambassadors to the surrounding community, sharing recipes, techniques, and stories. They cook food that humanizes and equalizes.
The message is to slow down. Gather around the bread making or the smell of sautéing onion. Let that capture your attention, get involved. It is innate within you already.
“Food sovereignty is reconnecting to and celebrating one’s roots and ancestry and not needing to ask permission to feed yourself, your family and your community foods that are culturally appropriate.”
We can all bring the tenets of Slow Food to life. I’m working to get people to think about it at the grocery store and farmers market. To ask questions, like how was this produced, who produced it, who’s in the field picking those peas, how are they being treated, and to make good decisions about choosing food.
Elsi encourages others to look at Slow Food, to pick and choose what can be applied to the needs of their community and adding their own “flavor” to it, much the way her residents use the fruits of the community garden. Nothing makes her smile more than walking into the garden to a chorus of, “my grandma used to make that!”