A trio of iconic Maitland fruit and veg has been nominated for an international catalogue that lists produce at risk of extinction.
The Hunter Valley chapter of the Slow Food Movement is calling for the gramma, Hubbard squash and Paterson orange to be added to the Ark of Taste catalogue, which already includes 22 Australian food products.
“This catalogue is all about recording produce at risk of being lost in the globalised trade of food so we can try to preserve all the beautiful tastes from the region,” Australia’s Slow Food representative and Maitland woman Amorelle Dempster said.
“And for us, here in Maitland, it is all about the gramma, Paterson orange and Hubbard squash.”
Synonymous with the history of the Paterson Valley, the Paterson orange fruit tree was an integral part of the area’s economy in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
It is now in the midst of a resurgence, with a group of residents working hard to graft the fruit tree as part of a re-establishment program.
At the height of its popularity, the tree was a common sight throughout Paterson but, today, only a few remain.
“Along with nominating these items for the catalogue, we also want people to come forward with their recipes [using the aforementioned gramma, squash and orange], so we can start collecting them for future generations,” Mrs Dempster said.
The Slow Food Movement began 25 years ago in Italy and aims to protect world food traditions and encourage interest in food production.
Slow Food Australia’s Ark of Taste reflects the country’s landscape of diverse climate, cultures and foods.
Products accepted to the catalogue represent small-scale quality productions strongly linked to a local culture that are threatened by industrial agriculture, the standardisation and large-scale distribution of global food markets, and environmental degradation.