A Little Piece Of Heaven: Foodie Utopia – Stacy Lutsch

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When the taxi dropped me off in front of the ExpoCoruña convention center for the first day of the Fórum Gastronómico, I’m not sure what I was expecting. I had been to other food and wine events in Galicia: lots of festivals celebrating everything from boiled octopus to, and I mean this quite literally, chestnuts roasting on an open fire. But everything up to that point had a sort of rustic charm to it, which I’ve never complained about and never will, because I find it all delightful, and more importantly, the food is always out of this world good at those events, but it also made me think that this Forum would be more of the same.

I was wrong.

You guys, I was really, horribly mistaken. The Forum was pure culinary sophistication. Well-organized, well-educated people sharing the best food and Galicia and Spain have to offer in a sparkling new building.

Susan met me at the gate, gave me my exhibitor’s pass (great design, by the way)

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Photograph Fórum Logo: Fórum Gastronómic.com

and escorted me through the entrance into a magical fairy tale land of vendors GIVING AWAY everything from organic ice cream to craft beer. I’m pretty sure I just kept repeating “No me lo puedo creer” (“I can’t believe it”) as we rushed by stand after stand on the way to the Bo Camiño space near the back (Did I mention I arrived late? Whoops. That meant that I went directly past go and did NOT collect my metaphorical 200 dollars that first day).

To cover the entire Forum I would need more than two blog entries (and a much bigger vocabulary), so what I’m doing instead is focusing on our little corner of the Forum universe and the stands that surrounded us. It is, in itself, a microcosm of the entire event, and I think is a better reflection of its true spirit: people coming together out of nothing to form close relationships with their neighbors.

So, Cris, Susan, and a little help from German, had all worked through the night to make sure that we made the most of our small space, and the stand reflected that. Lots of bright, vibrant colors, plus a huge photo call of the 6th century Samos Monastery, made it—in my totally unbiased opinion—a very welcoming place to be. It also helped that to our right was Habelas Hailas liqueurs, offering tastings of their new flavors like crema de mandarina (it tastes exactly like an Orange Dreamsicle, but you know, grown up) with candy pairings (an idea after my own heart—I’ve spent the past 2 years telling people that pairing sour candy with Albariño wine is my jam, but no one seemed to listen until now!).

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Photograph: Habelas Hailas Licores (Facebook page)

Lest you think we survived solely on liqueur and candy, fear not, for our diets were balanced out by wine from Adegas galegas, the leading exporters of Galician wine to the US, who were generous with their pours (I would imagine they gave us, on average, 4 glasses each every day) and their expertise in the complex field exports. Lovely people.

And ham. So much ham. We happened to have, to our left, the stand for Extremadura’s tourism and culinary board, who fortunately for us employed a talented jamonero (yes, only in Spain is there a profession for those who want to carve jamón ibérico, which don’t be fooled, is actually quite difficult to do right) and directly in front of them, the stand for the spectacular jamón de bellota (which is like no ham you’ve ever had. Melts in your mouth good. A leg can be yours for the low price of 600 euros). These two jamoneros prepared plate after plate of thinly sliced ham, in exchange for us running to the Estrella Galicia booth to work our feminine wiles and cut through the long lines that they would otherwise have to wait in for a free beer. It was an excellent trade, and always good to know that some things stay the same no matter where you go.

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Photograph: Susan R. Mann

So that, in a nutshell, is what the Forum was about for me. Generosity, reciprocity and collaboration: the basis of all things Bo Camiño as well. Because to do what you love with like-minded people? I can’t think of anything better.

– Stacy Lutsch

For more information please visit Habelas Hailas Licores:  http://www.habelashailaslicores.com – https://www.facebook.com/habelashailaslicores

For more information please visit Fórum Gastronómic: http://www.forumgastronomic.com and https://www.facebook.com/forumgastronomic

Fórum Gastronómic Photograph Blog Introduction: German Limeres

http://www.gastrofotografia.com

http://www.germanlimeres.com

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ZUZU Napa USA Visits Fórum Gastronómic!

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What is it about Food, Wine, and TRAVEL that we all can’t get enough of?  Embedded in our nature is a desire to explore, discover and experience something new, as well as, combining the best of what we know and love.  Such are the yearly spanish adventures of a fantastically creative group ZUZU Napa!  “ZuZu is a beloved, Spanish-inspired restaurant and tapas bar in Napa’s historic Old Town.  For the last twelve years, it has drawn scores of visitors near and far who come for its warm Mediterranean décor, lively atmosphere, and renowned small-plates menu that draws from the culinary traditions of Spain and South America.”

Thank you Zuzu Napa for stopping by the Bo Camiño TASTE IT! booth at this years Fórum Gastronómic and sharing some of what you love of food, wine and travel! Always great meeting new people during their adventures in Galicia and this was an especially fun time and re-connection with the USA having a little chat in english all sharing what we love of Spain and Galicia!

For more information please visit: http://www.zuzunapa.com & https://www.facebook.com/zuzunapa

For more information please visit Fórum Gastronómic: http://www.forumgastronomic.com and https://www.facebook.com/forumgastronomic

In Photograph Above (left to right): Carlos, Armando, Thomas & Sam

Video: Armando Ramirez & Thomas Hartwell

Fórum Catas de Vino!

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Crisp, Delicious and FANTASTIC!  With so many wines to try it is hard to know which one will be your new favorite.  Galicia is known for its 5 famous wine regions all unique, breathtakingly beautiful and full of tradition.  From ancient times to modern Galician wine makers, experts, and wine lovers have sipped, swirled and savored some of the best wines that Spain has to offer.  Three fantastic days of Catas de Vino in the Fórum Gastronómic Coruña ’14 congress had everyone learning, tasting, and talking of what they love of WINE!

Fórum Gastronómic was an intensive 3 day event that has everyone excited about new gastronomy creations and experiences.  For more information please visit:http://www.forumgastronomic.com – http://www.dehesa-extremadura.com/index.php/en/

Thank you Andrés Docampo for capturing some of the great educational live demonstrations and the Catas de Vino in the Fórum!

Photography: Andrés Docampo Fotógrafo

http://andresdocampo.com

Jamoneros de Fórum!

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Three of my favorite flavors to enjoy in Spain have been Vino Tinto, Queso Manchego, and Jamon. Part of the traditional diet of spaniards it has become a weekly ritual of enjoyment for me during my time living in Galicia. Once you have tasted this magical combination you can see why it is enjoyed by all who are fortunate to discover it.  This is a habit that would be hard to give up. Discovering your favorite Jamon is like finding your favorite wine a treasure hunt that always provides delicious SURPRISES!

A very special thank you to our Fórum friends Jamoneros Jesús Gonzalez (Dehesa De Extramadura) and Clemente Gomez (Los Pedroches) who so graciously spoiled us for three days at Fórum Gastronómic Coruña ’14.

For more information please visit: http://www.dehesa-extremadura.com/index.php/en/ and http://www.cordobaturismo.es/en/contents/589/los-pedroches

For more information please visit Fórum Gastronómic: http://www.forumgastronomic.com and https://www.facebook.com/forumgastronomic

Photography: Susan R Mann

Fórum Gastronómic Celeberates VINO!

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Discovering new wines is an adventure that wine lovers anticipate, enjoy and even DREAM about!  What’s not to love as this journey includes experiences of meeting interesting people, finding great restaurants, and traveling to new places that all have their unique WINE favorites and special select menu’s for you to take your palate on its own journey.  Whether it is red, or “vino tinto” as they say in Spain, rosado, or a crisp and refreshing “VINO BLANCO” white wine, your wine pilgrimage is sure to be a memorable one. Such was the case at this year’s Fórum Gastronómic Coruña ’14 where there were an amazing array of different wines to taste, savor and ENJOY!

Raül Prada Luengo of Bodega Valdesil stopped by the Bo Camiño TASTE IT! booth for a picture and a little chat about his delicious wines.  Bodega Valdesil specializes in Godello white wine whose favorite habitat is on the the slate terraced hillsides of the valley with moderate temperature and humidity. Breathtaking views that add their own magic to the grapes as they grow and later their hidden mysteries of centuries of tradition are tasted. Here’s to continuing your Wine Adventure one Sip, one SAVOR at a time!!!

Bodega Valdesil Wines come from the region of Valdeorras – whose “Denominación de Origen”  was established in 1957 and is the wine growing region on the easternmost fringes of Galicia, north-western Spain. This location has earned it the unofficial title of ‘Gateway to Galicia’. Valdeorras is situated between Ribeira Sacra, to the west and Bierzo which is part of Castilla y Leon to the east and northeast. The beautiful River Sil is the main feature of the region’s landscape with it’s picturesque vineyards planted on its valley floor.

For more information about Bodegas Valdesil please visit: http://facebook.com/BodegasValdesil

For more information please visit Fórum Gastronómic: http://www.forumgastronomic.com and https://www.facebook.com/forumgastronomic

Thank you to Cristina Garcia for capturing some of the great Galician products that shared some special time in the Bo Camiño TASTE IT! booth.

Photography: Cristina Garcia

Fórum Gastronómic & Galicious Gourmet – Monica Castelao

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Deliciosamente Galego – GALICIOUS!

Fórum Gastronómic Coruña ’14 had everyone sharing all that they love of FOOD & WINE – DESSERTS & SPIRITS! Galicia’s gastronomy is as diverse as its breathtaking landscapes where you are sure to find many things that you love and keep you wanting to discover more. Monica Castelao visited us in the Bo Camiño TASTE IT! booth to help us make an invitation to all to come and explore all that Galicia has to offer.

Monica Castelao is an avid blogger passionate about gastronomy and tourism sharing the best of Galicia with everyone!!!

For more information please visit: Deliciosamente Galeo at http://www.galiciousgourmet.com

For more information about Fórum Gastronómic please visit:

http://www.forumgastronomic.com and https://www.facebook.com/forumgastronomic

Photography: Susan R. Mann

Fórum Gastronómic – Standing Room Only!

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It was standing room only for the live demonstrations and events of this year’s Fórum Gastronómic Coruña ’14.  It is exciting to see the enthusiasm of the people of Galicia and their love of Gastronomy.  Here is a highlight of one of the introductions before the cooking demonstrations began.  It was shoulder to shoulder which makes for a little shaky video but you can see for yourself some of the excitement in the air that made Fórum Gastronómic fast paced, fun, educational and entertaining!

For more information please visit Fórum Gastronómic: http://www.forumgastronomic.com and https://www.facebook.com/forumgastronomic

Photography: German Limeres

http://www.gastrofotografia.com

http://www.germanlimeres.com