Apr 18 2023

Salón Gourmets, the Major Spanish Gastronomy Event Gets Even Bigger

More exhibitors and more activities to round off this major event for the fine food and beverages industry; the 36th edition runs until Thursday in Madrid

Salón Gourmets, the annual fair held in Madrid, once again brings together the best of the fine food and beverages industry. In its 36th edition, this show has expanded capacity by adding two pavilions at the Ifema conference center to accommodate the more than 2,000 exhibitors and more than 100,000 professional visitors expected to attend the event. This year, Madrid is the region of honor while Brazil is the country of honor.

This gastronomic universe includes everything from the exhibition of all types of products—from the most innovative to the most traditional—to the competitions and the traditional wine and olive oil tunnels organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

In the case of the wine tunnel, more than 331 wines, 22 varieties, and 252 wineries are coming together in an open space where anyone can discover Spain's wine diversity. Attendees can become familiar with the peculiarities of Tempranillo and Mencía grapes, for example, and jumping from one region to another. Ignacio Crespo, coordinator of the Grupo Gourmets' Wine Guide, says that the objective is to see "how a grape behaves in different territories or with different winemaking styles." According to Crespo, "There are more white and sparkling wines because they're in great demand in the international market." A wine tunnel that is increasingly diverse.

The olive oil tunnel fulfills the same function, but focuses on Spain's liquid gold, highlighting both PDOs and PGIs. "We also give a lot of visibility to lesser-known olive varieties, which ultimately are the ones that give character to each region," says Joaquín Guillén, one of the people responsible for the exhibition. In the entrance, a series of aroma descriptions is the perfect introduction to the immense diversity of the different olive oils from Spain.

The cheese tunnel, which is always one of the main attractions at Salón Gourmets, revealed an impeccable selection yesterday: a hundred finalists that could be tasted by attendees and from which Spain's best will be chosen on the last day of the event, one of the main prizes at this food fair.

A panoramic view of the best of Spanish gastronomy

In addition to the tunnels, Salón Gourmets remains an infallible reflection of the latest on Spain's gastronomy scene, where visitors can find everything from the best Spanish hams to the most cutting-edge wineries, while the various regions offer their emblematic products, stand after stand.

Of course, among the most popular activities are the competitions, which add a note of excitement to the food fair each year. That includes the traditional competition of ham carvers/Dehesa de Extremadura PDO, which helps not only to highlight the quality of a singular product, but also the role of a professional who effortlessly reveals the best of each piece. The winner of the 26th edition was Agustín Borreguero Gorjón, from Paisajes Gourmet (Madrid).

The best ham sandwich competition made its debut at this edition and was organized by prestigious brand Joselito. The contest rewarded innovation and the search for excellence, and the winner was Juan Antonio Villamor, from Raíz restaurant (Vitoria-Gasteiz). Villamor won with his "ham, foie gras, artichoke, and artichoke jam sandwich." Other competitions: the best cachopo, a large breaded steak made with Ternera Asturiana (Asturian veal) PGI, a distinction that went to the restaurant La Puerta de Cimadevilla, in Oviedo (Asturias).

Salón Gourmets will continue until Thursday, showing the public the immense variety of Spanish gastronomy, which is experiencing a moment of unprecedented splendor. Four days to discover and enjoy.