Why Carlo Petrini Wants You to Eat Pie

Carlo Petrini meets with Beth of Beth's Farm Kitchen, Mike Yezzi of Flying Pigs and the Wild Hive Farms guys at Union Square last Saturday morning. That's him in the beard and suit. He is Italian, after all.

Early this past Saturday morning, Carlo Petrini, the Italian founder of the international Slow Food movement, visited the Union Square Greenmarket to meet a few of the farmers headed to Italy later this month for the you-wish-you-could-go Slow Food conference called Terre Madre held every two years. Or make that trying to visit: In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s expensive to travel to Italy. That’s why GrowNYC, the nonprofit that runs the city Greenmarket programs, is hosting a $10 Pie Cook-Off at Jimmy’s No. 43 this coming Saturday afternoon. (Details here.)

You don’t have to bake one to get some of the area’s most skilled growers to the Old Country — like Nevia No, who curates some of the most beautiful greens, cucumbers, chiles and vegetables at Bohditree Farm, or the grains growers of Wild Hive, whose stand is pictured above — just judge those who do (by eating their pie, naturally). But if you do decide to enter a pie, it probably wouldn’t be considered cheating if you used the frozen local butter and lard pie crusts sold by the pork producers at Flying Pigs Farm (that’s co-owner Mike Yezzi, third from right, above). Might even be the first time a frozen pie crust would earn extra points, in fact.