In southern Chile, only three fishermen still harvest the wild black-bordered oyster in the traditional way. The Slow Food Foundation is helping them preserve their technique and the oysters; to do so, it coordinates a small "presidium," a local project focusing on a group of producers of a single product that develops production and marketing techniques to allow them to be economically viable. This book introduces presidia from Canada to Madagascar to Nepal. Because the foods are all so closely related to local culture, the story of a particular product is often as much about the community that uses it as about the food itself (e.g., the pages devoted to India's mustard seed oil presidium tell of the seed's role in Hinduism). Most of the products have been neglected or adulterated as labor-intensive processes required to produce these foods are replaced by modern efficiency and advances in technology-but each presidium aims to show that the extra effort is worth it. Occasional longer sections discussing varied subjects (e.g., the importance of rice; the history of hot peppers) are scattered throughout. Anyone interested in biodiversity and sustainable agriculture, or who loves exotic and heritage foods, will find this a wonderful primer on some of the world's finest culinary products and the societies they have anchored. Photos. (Mar. 15) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.