Innovation Thrives at The Salón de Gourmets
Food and beverage industry professionals from all over the world – including a group of international buyers sponsored by ICEX Spain Trade and Investment – flocked to the recent Salón de Gourmets international trade fair in Madrid to check out the latest and greatest in Spanish gastronomy
Annual event Salón de Gourmets is a mecca for gastronomy professionals from both Spain and beyond, in part due to the sheer breadth of its offering – the equivalent of eight soccer fields packed with 1,630 exhibitors and 40,000 products – and in part due to the quality of the goods on display.
Looking for olive oils from Extremadura? Marcona almonds from Castile-La Mancha? Fig jams? Wines made with Garnacha tintorera grapes? Goat's milk cheeses? Chestnut honey? You've come to the right place. And not only will you find these products and more at the Salón de Gourmets, but you will also have the opportunity to taste them, talk to the people that make them and often see them being prepared during cooking demonstrations carried out by world-class chefs. From wines and beers to ciders and juices; preserved fish, shellfish and vegetables; fresh and cured meats; fresh vegetables and fruits; sweets, olive oils, vinegars, olives, honeys, cheeses, legumes, coffee, spirits, nuts, snacks and more – if there is a Spanish gastronomy product you are in the market for, there is no doubt that you will find it here.
But what about those things that you need, but that you don't necessarily know you are looking for? Well, fortunately, you will find those here too. Year after year, the Salón de Gourmets serves as the launching pad for some of the newest and most innovative products in today's market. In fact, the "New Products" section of this trade fair – which this year featured 1,300 novelty items – has become such a popular draw for buyers, journalists and producers alike, that these products are featured in glass cases along almost an entire wall of the fair. They are also the protagonists of three prestigious awards given by the Salón de Gourmets: the "Innovation Award", which recognizes investment in R+D and the development of a unique, novel product that represents an advance for the industry and consumers; the "Presentation Award", which showcases the aesthetic values of a product's presentation, as well as the balance between the beauty and informative value of the packaging; and finally, the "Versatility Award", which is given to the product whose singular nature and multiple applications make it capable of enriching gastronomic heritage.
The recipients of the 2017 edition of these awards were chosen from a group of nine semifinalists (narrowed down from 1,300) by an expert jury that included María Naranjo, ICEX'S director of the Food and Gastronomy Division; in addition to Mauricio García de Quevedo, the director of the Spanish Food and Beverage Federation (FIAB); José María Rubio, the president of the Spanish Restaurant Industry Federation (FEHR); Pedro Larumbe, the president of Saborea España; Luis Pacheco, produce-guru and the owner of Gold Gourmet; Iñigo Pérez of El Cielo de Urrechu, and María Navarro Rubio González-Valeri, the Deputy Director of Food Promotion for the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and the Environment (MAPAMA).
Announced on the final day of this four-day fair – which kicked off on April 24th – the winners of this year's "New Products" awards were the following: The "Innovation Award" was given to the product "Low Temperature Egg" by prestigious Galician egg company Granja Campomayor. This incredible idea consists of an egg that is cooked by the company at low temperature inside its shell, revealing a wonderfully creamy, set and still slightly translucent egg white, and a creamy and runny yolk on the egg's interior. These all-natural products can be finished in the microwave and served in just a minute's time. This year's "Presentation Award" was given to the product Chocolocuras Trufas from Chocolocuras. These delicious Spanish truffles come in a variety of flavors ranging from lemon to salt and coffee, and are presented in colorfully arresting, illustrated containers. And finally, this year's "Versatility Award" was given to Cortezas de bacalao Del Mar (cod "rinds") from Gourmet Delicatessen del Mar. This mild-flavored, crunchy cod snack is the company's healthy answer to ready-made snacks.
While the aforementioned items are limited to the new products that received awards at this year's Salón de Gourmets, it is no stretch to think that many of the other 2017 innovations will also go on to make their mark on both Spanish and international markets, which are always on the lookout for the next best thing in top gastronomy.
Annual event Salón de Gourmets is a mecca for gastronomy professionals from both Spain and beyond, in part due to the sheer breadth of its offering – the equivalent of eight soccer fields packed with 1,630 exhibitors and 40,000 products – and in part due to the quality of the goods on display