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Fresh pastas made from scratch

By Margaux Alexandria Cintrano

From May 7th  to the 10th,  Madrid turned into an enormous feast for the senses at the 32nd Gastronomic Convention,  Salons Gourmets, held at IFEMA.

I had once again been immersed in gastronomic bliss and enjoyed to the utmost.  This year´s programme was full of appetising creations from across the seven seas.

The enticing activities this year focused on Spain and the Mediterranean countries.

The discussions, lectures, tastings, show cooking and and markets, in addition to the ham carvers, wine competitions and the wide variety of tapas, extra virgin olive oils, sea salts, fresh wild shellfish, breads, flat breads  and the chance to view some of the  top international Food Designers,  Chefs, Pastry Chefs, Importers,  Restaurateurs, Hoteliers, Product & Wine Producers and  Bio Sustainable  Agriculturists. . .

Here are just a few of the uncountable adventures I had encountered this year.

My 1st appointment included:

Valle Salado 
Salinas de Añana
Gesaltza Añana,  Álava

Salt Valley of Añana is the origin of one of the best salt varieties in the world.  Its quality is based on its fully traditional production system.  This company is located on an amazing landscape subject to a recovery process that consists in thousands of platforms of salt pans, channels, wells and storage facilities.   The Añana salt is the fruit of the natural exploration of the brine from the valley´s  spring waters.   The crystallisation process is based on three factors: the sun, the wind and the ancient techinques used  by the Salt Producers.

Chefs of grand prestige are the Añana Salt Ambassadors, and value the natural quality and use it in their restaurants and hotels.  The Añana Salt is ecological and recognised with European Union Nostra Awards of  2015 and The Slow Food Movement.

Now, it was time for some wonderful wine:

Bodegas Lan
Paraje  Buicio  S / N
Fuenmayor, La Rioja

The totally natural and sustainable wine estate, Finca Viña Lanciano in Rioja Alta, embraces the spectacular River Ebro and is located between  Rioja Alavesa and  Rioja Alta.  This is a priviledged region of  La Sierra de Cantabria and possesses a unique Micro-climate perfect for producing the grape varieties of  Tempranillo, Mazuelo,  Graciano and  Garnacha, with vines over sixty years of age.


Lan Crianza 2014
92% Tempranillo and 8 % Mazuelo:   With its deep black cherry color, and a pomegranate border, the aromas include ripe red fruit, vanilla and caramel,  and  notes of pastry.

Lan  Reserva
92% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuleo and 5% Graciano.  possessing a rich black cherry velvety smooth color and texture,  with aromas of cinnamon, balsamic vinegar and white flowers, this wine has total equilibrium of acid content and is amazingly harmonious.

Lan D- 12
100 % Tempranillo.  This noble nosed red, possesses a gorgeous cherry red tone with a violet border and is ample, with excellent balance of acid and vanilla aromas and smoke notes.

Bodegas Lan also handles all of the the promotional activities for  one of the most sublimely exsquisite  white wines in Spain,  Santiago Ruiz, a family inherited boutique winery located in O´Rosal,  Galicia close to Tui, close to the Portuguese border.

Santiago Ruiz 2017
The Indigenious  Galician Grapes:   Albariño 76%, Loureiro 11% and Treixadura 5%.

The tasting notes:   Possessing a complex nose,  showcasing aromas of pear, apricot and apple and herbs of lemon verbena and aniseed in addition to mineral notes.  On the palate, long and crisp and with a fruity complexity.

To continue along the numerous kiosks and stands,  I decided to make a stop in both France and Italy´s  Sections,  to have a peek at the latest.

San Pietro Apettine Truffles ( )

San Pietro a Pettine is one of these places which possess a mystical atmosphere that completely embraces you,  upon entering  the 13th century village, and the prominence of the  church of the same name, coupled with   the panoramic view of the Umbrian Valley between Assisi and Spoleto, transports one´s being to another dimension.

Truffle Specialist and Restaurateur, Umbrian Carlo Caporicci, had expressed his profound emotions and magical experiences, about foraging the white truffles he takes from the moist grounds and the mesmerising black truffles with their marble like appearances.

Carlo also told me about the five types of truffles, he imports to Spain, which include:

Bianco Pregiato:  Tuber MagnatuM Pico.  The White Truffle.
Nero Pregiato:    Tuber Melanosporum  Vitt.   The Black Winter  Truffle.
Nero Estivo:  Tuber Aestivum  Vitt.   The Black Summer Truffle.
Nero Uncinato:   Tuber Uncinatum  Chatin.   The Black Burgundy  Truffle.
Bianchetto:  Tuber Albidum Pico.    The  White Spring Truffle.

To my greatest surprise, English speaking Carlo is also the founder of an amazing Italian restaurant right here in the Madrid Capital, in Nuevos Ministerios,  called Ristorante  Il Pastaio which specialises in fresh pastas made from scratch.

My restaurant review shall be in a separate article to give credit where credit is due.

For Reservations:

My next stop was  NIU Gelato:   Gelato Italiano.
(39) 0444 874 111

The English speaking Quality Control Manager,  Selena De Grandi, and I had a lengthy discussion about gelato, sorbetto and the natural products that NIU Sorbetto Italiano produces in  Vincenza, Veneto, approx.  20 minutes to a half hour from  Venice and their Madrid based clientele and expansion into Spain.

Simply, a superbly splendidly exceptional array of gelatos and sorbettos. . .