The upshot is an obscure piece of rural heritage reengineered as a curated service/product in Europe's modern-food heritage industry.
At the centre of Slow, according to Sterling, is a rigorous system of authenticating and anointing local products like
The Cornish Pilchard. The Chilean Blue Egg Hen. The Cypriot Tsamarella and Bosnian Sack Cheese.
In another part of the ball-park, Lucia van der Post opens an article in the London Financial Times saying:
These days, among sophisticated consumers, provenance counts. Where the fish is caught, how the product is made, whether the makers are properly paid and whether the materials are ethically sourced are no longer just polite questions but real considerations.
Unique felt rugs from the Mountains of Heaven.
Once upon a time, there was a heritage industry: today, it's authenticity.
Now authenticity is no bad thing but it does have a habit of converging with business planning for sophisticated consumers, get smothered in sincerity and it's at times over-liberally sprinkled with words like 'sustainability' and 'democracy'.
So by the time it hits the plate - as food or anything else - it carries high life-cycle costs and is expensive.
As Sterling writes,
In a globalized "flat world", the remaining peaks soar in value and become natural clusters for a planetary elite.
In other words, things that are authentic and have provenance become a luxury item.
Well there is a casualty.
And it's something really basic:
The thrill, excitement and subversion of imitation.
Cartoon courtesy of Gastonomica.