Gastronomy for everybody
Traditional cooking and gastronomy are a two-way street. Great chefs see their roots in the dishes, both the simple and the complex, which for many years have formed part of a particular way of handling produce, as well as a way of understanding life and the environment, This is clearly true with regard to Mediterranean cooking, which reflects values that go far beyond those of eating, drinking and nourishment.
Gastronomy has gradually come to be seen as a part of our popular heritage. Cooking has become fashionable: there are popular television shows with both adults and children cooking, and chefs that become media superstars, with thousands of followers who buy their books and read their blogs. We have all discovered together what a complex place the kitchen can be: the art, gratification and evaluation – an important factor in a time of crisis – of simple, local and sustainable products. Food is sustenance, but it is also play, relationships and creativity. Then there are the new directions that emerge: slow food, food trucks, fusion, bio products, locally-sourced…
In this context, Fira returns once more to celebrate Barcelona Degusta, from the 24th to the 27th September, coinciding with the Festivities of la Mercè, and with the aim of bringing the world of gastronomy within reach of all those concerned with the quality of their food. It underlines the importance of the city as an international reference for gourmets, and the undeniable appreciation of Catalan “new cooking”.
Markets, wine sellers, workshops, classes demonstrations, tastings, cheese makers, city gardens and a long list of activities arranged within the Montjuïc site of Fira de Barcelona for the most varied types of customers with the common denominator of a firm interest in gastronomy.
Barcelona Degusta wants to use its didactic, playful and commercial format to “transmit the culture of food and cooking in all its complexity, but in a popular, easy-to-follow way”, says its director, Susana Gibert. “We want to encourage the consumption of quality produce, whether it is made in a factory or by a traditional craftsman, and to value the important role that the retail trade plays in our cities as specialized points of sale”.
Proximity and quality
In this sense, Barcelona is lucky to have an extensive range of municipal markets selling fresh food as their priority, and which compete with shops selling locally-sourced products. The visitors to Barcelona Degusta have a special appreciation for produce with a Certificate of Origin, Protected Geographical status and, in general, a strong association with a region.
The show will feature producers, public bodies, collectives and institutions related with specific geographical areas who will display their local produce and promote wine and food tourism activities. Solidarity Corner will highlight the activities of NGOs and other social entities involved in the food sector.
The latest “gastro” concept to take off in Europe started life in New York, and will arrive in Barcelona Degusta on wheels: vans, caravans and vintage vehicles that offer visitors the latest trends in quality street food.
Among these new trends, one that cannot be ignored is the creative cake-making featured in Bcn&Cake, a benchmark event for all lovers of cakes, sugarcraft and craftsmanship with a sweet touch. With this new feature, Barcelona Degusta will add its weight to a sector which is in frank expansion, both in the professional and domestic environments. The Do-it-yourself movement has arrived at the gastronomy sector.