Spring has well and truly sprung, Fallas has been over for all of a week and so Valencia is searching for something else to celebrate! And what better than its food and wine, described this morning at the Press Conference of PROAVA, by its President Eduardo Mestres as the best food and wine in the world bar none!
PROAVA, or Promoción Agroalimentaria de Calidad de la ComunidadValencia, is the body charged with promoting the food and wine of Valencia. This mornings press conference saw an impassioned plea from the President to journalists and bloggers alike to play their part in promoting the gastronomy of the area which is in crisis and under threat from cheap imports from abroad, silly campaigns from Government Deputies who describe alcohol as a drug when we all know it is a staple food item and frankly total indifference on the part of the National Government of Spain to defending the quality food products of Valencia…or anywhere else!
Eduardo took us on a tour of the Community explaining the different regions and comarcas and their respective products…Rice, artichokes, tomatos, oranges, nisperos, cheeses, sausages, olive oils, almonds, dates, honey, kakis, chufa for horchata, and of course wines of all varieties from Castellon, Valencia, Alicante and Utiel-Requena. The region is of course historically important as the supplier of food to the Roman Empire, wines to Europe from the 17th century, if only more recently just the garden of spain. And of course much of its irrigation system was laid down either by the Romans or the Moors during their respective occupations.
Eduardo paid tribute to the Universities who at least were providing study courses for new `agricultors´as well as undertaking studies into the improvement of agriculture in the region.
He expressed considerable concern at the amount of land being abandoned by families who could no longer afford to cultivate their plots because the returns were lower than their expenditure.
On a more positive note he described this Wine and Food Fair as the best fair in the World, where you could enjoy local quality produce over five days.
So what is there to look forward to at this years fair?
Apart from a handy list of wines published in my last post, these being this years Els Bodeguers prize winners, the following bodegas will present their wines for the first time ( out of a total of 54).
- Beso de Rechenna, Requena,
- Bodega Las Virtudes, Alicante,
- Bodegas 40 Grados Norte, Valencia,
- Bodegas El Fesu, Alicante,
- Bodegas Francisco Gomez, Alicante,
- Cava Castell dels Sorrels, Valencia.
On the food front there will be a special tasting and workshop on olive oils from the Community with Oleícola del Cabriel showing their award winning olive oils from Venta del Moro. New in cheeses and sausages will be Carnicería Isidora from Utiel, Carnicería Ferrando from Muro de Alcoy, and Embutidos Línea Vercher from Valencia. Of the 35 stalls just promoting food also new will be Arros Passetjat from Xativa who exhibited at the cava fair, Che Que Foie from Navarrés, Clochinas Emilio, Honey from Turis, Horchata from Alboraya, Tododulce from Quart de Poblet and Cataruz, Valencian beer from Tyris.
There will be Sausages, meats, cheeses, breads and patisserie, turron, chocolate, honey ice-cream, fruit-juice, doughnuts, rice, snails and sweets to enjoy as a break between sampling the hundreds of wines on offer!
And of course there will be the usual musical bands playing along to keep the atmosphere high.With the weather expected to be good over the entire fair which lasts from Wednesday evening to Sunday, both inclusive, this really is a gastro-fest to celebrate Valencia´s produce, be enjoyed on more than one day and in a leisurely fashion!!!!!!
A full report will be posted next week.