I do feel a bit bad that the Spanish Trade show, Alimentaria was over 3 weeks ago and I’ve only just had time to write about it, but then I have been busy with various events, including The Chocolate Festival, Cheese Maker’s Market and The Cheese & Wine Festival (the latter coming up on 27th April).
There will be more great finds coming up: it’s only by chance that I had this producer’s URL written down in the notes bit of my iPhone that I’m able to wax lyrical.
But before that, a quick word about Alimentaria.
As my good friend Rachel McCormack (aka Catalan Cooking) constantly says, Spain is completely messed up, and the only way they are going to sort themselves out, is to export. In theory, Alimentaria would be the perfect place to do this: lots of producers under one roof, a central location…but no. A large number of producers/ exhibitors only spoke Spanish, and the layout of the show was very much catering to the domestic market – hence the regional Spanish pavilion for instance. All of which, does make it rather hard for buyers visiting, who may have little or no Spanish (and I’m not just thinking of the Brits here, but also Asia).
Having said all of the above though, sometimes a good product just calls out to you.
One that did just that is Querida Carmen.
I imagined she was the lady in the top right hand corner of the logo, which reminded me of the Queen’s head on a stamp, but there isn’t actually a Carmen – it’s more of a state of mind (according to their website). This might be down to translation more than anything, but basically the company specialises in rice, offering a variety of beautifully illustrated kits which contain the important stock/ingredients and Bomba rice. They’re not exactly inexpensive, but having tasted some at the show, they’re certainly good.
Plus they’re *pretty*.