Gourmets update

Pepe Solla's tapa of a Paco Lafuente mussel with ajoblanco and blue cheese

Pepe Solla’s tapa of a Paco Lafuente mussel with ajoblanco and blue cheese / Adrienne Smith – ICEX

I spent the day yesterday at the Salon de Gourmets, among winemakers, food producers, chefs and stands piled high with every deletable Spanish gourmet product imaginable. Yes, I love my job.

One of the things that struck me right off the bat about this year’s edition of this annual gastronomic trade fair was the diversity of the public. Buyers and food professionals from all over the world were on-hand to visit the stands and sample and order some of Spain’s most wonderful products, including fish and shellfish preserves, vegetables and fruits, Spanish ham and other cured meats, cheeses, wines, artisanal beers, fresh meats, chocolates and other sweet confections, salts, olive oils, vinegars, saffron and other spices, and much more.

I spent a good deal of time in the area known as Gourmetquesos, or the “Tunnel of Spain’s 50 Most Representative Cheeses” – particularly sampling many of the wonderful cheeses found in the area designated by Camino de Santiago signs indicating cheeses like PDO Queso Idiazabal and others that are found along this important route at stops from Asturias to Basque Country and more.

I also caught a wonderful cooking presentation by Spanish chef Pepe Solla on tapas made using shellfish preserves from Spanish company Paco Lafuente. Oh, and we got to taste the tapas afterwards… did I mention that I love my job?

The rest of the day was spent wandering up and down the aisles, tasting, talking and learning about the very best Foods from Spain.

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