HE Ambassador Ion de la Riva inaugurated “Discover Spanish Taste” in India at the Shangri-La Eros Hotel on November 30. Other officials present at the opening were the Counsellor of FIAB, the Spanish Federation of Food & Beverages Industries, Mr. Jose Carlos Lacasa and the Food & Wine Ambassador of Spain Ms. Noelia Piriz. Reva K. Singh reports.
The Spanish Food and Gastronomy show in India was organized by FIAB which is an umbrella organization of associations with over 4000 manufacturing companies in Spain that support Spanish products abroad. Quality Spanish products are now distributed in more than 80 countries with an export value in 2008 of 20 billion euro.
The organization’s current focus is introducing quality Spanish food products and wines in India. When Sommelier India visited, Shangri-La’s banquet hall was full of trade visitors including students from the hospitality industry, importers, distributors, and some media – sampling wine and olive oil and a host of food products. One exhibitor opened a bottle of smoked paprika to give me a whiff evoking mouth-watering images of lamb shank on a barbecue spit or chicken drumsticks with a smokey accent.
More than 30 companies from Spain including Ángel Camacho, Cárnicas Joselito, Helios, Dinastía Vivanco and Cava Freixenet among others exhibited their products. Some brands like El Almendro, Valor chocolates, cold cuts Can Calet, Farina wineries and Freixenet, are already getting known in India.
A seminar on the variety and new flavours of Spanish Wines was presented by Sommelier India correspondent, Harshal Shah, who is a qualified sommelier and wine consultant. Wines from Spain, I feel, are under-represented, and I do hope some of the wine producers present find a local distributor they can work with. The last event was staged in Mumbai on December 2 at Tote on the Turf restaurant, (see blog note, Paella & Biryani)) where guests were treated to paella prepared by specialist chefs from Valencia.
The two-city promotion in Delhi and Mumbai was part of Plan India 2010-2012 for which several Spanish institutions and 11 regional governments from Spain came together to get the Spanish Food and Beverage Industry well positioned in India.