With 1600 exhibitors, more than 470,000 products on show and 93,000 visitors, the 33rd annual Salon de Gourmets Food Expo in Madrid was bigger and even more spectacular than ever this year.
The only exclusive trade fair to specialise in specialist gourmet products in Europe, Salon de Gourmets showcases high-end food and beverages produced throughout Spain. It always has a vibrant atmosphere with very stylish presentation of products.
The show highlighted innovations in Spanish food and culinary applications. But, as in other years it was the hundreds of different virgin olive oils – all from different olive varieties and regions of Spain – along with their famous ham and many types of cheeses and wines which really dominated the expo. The country’s huge variety of fish and shellfish were also top runners.
The interest in Spanish food is definitely spreading globally. The biggest overseas contingent was made up of Canadians and Americans, but among the international visitors this year, were people from many countries who hadn’t attended before – such as Oman and Bangladesh. The interest from Pakistan and India also seems much stronger.
The Kiwi contingent who attended the four-day event included Celebrity Chef, leading restaurateur and food importer, Simon Gault, of Sous Chef, Amelia Farras-Knowles of Auckland’s Iberian Foods, and Adel Yousef of Food International (YOLO).
All three importers were impressed with the recent show and are excited about introducing new Spanish products here. Simon Gault loves Spain, the Spanish people and their food. He has been importing a unique range of Spanish products for several years.
And soon he will land his first shipment of a very special Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which has been named as the ‘World’s Best Olive Oil.’
“How great is this for suppliers and chefs here? Imagine of all the olive oils produced this has been named as the very best,” he says with his trademark enthusiasm.
“These shows are always inspirational and you get to taste things not available in New Zealand and to visualise the smile on faces when they try them here.”
Simon believes this generally culminates in exciting new local trends and experimentation by Kiwi chefs. “Years ago, I introduced Italian Buffalo Mozzarella here and that inspired locals to make Mozzarella which was just as good.”
Observing the interests of other importers from different countries and seeing what they visualised as adding magic in their own countries was another huge benefit of the show.
Watch out for some exciting new Spanish products on supermarket and deli shelves soon.