by Muriel Feiner
The Intur Fair, the International Inland Tourism Fair, held in its 24th edition in Valladolid, was the venue for the election of the Spanish Capital of Gastronomy for 2022. INTUR is an event that brings together exhibitors, tour operators, regional communities, town halls, rural tourism, official tourist offices, all kinds of lodging offers and a wide range of destinations, aimed at professionals and also at the general public.
It boasts significant national attendance, although it also attracts international representatives and this year featured the special participation of interesting destinations in France and Portugal. In the end, Sanlúcar de Barrameda was chosen the new Spanish Capital of Gastronomy for 2022, turning the charming city of Cadiz into the leading gastronomical platform in Spain for next year.
The beauty of the city and its rich delicacies were not the only reasons for its selection, as the year 2022 will mark the celebration of the Fifth Centenary of the First Circumnavigation of the Globe by Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano. The proposal also received special support from the Town Hall, the Junta de Andalucía, the Diputación de Cádiz and the citizens themselves, who are very enthusiastic about the event.
We cannot forget that in addition to the gastronomic treasures from the land and the sea — the spectacular prawns and manzanilla sherry in particular– there is also the exceptional climate, the surrounding landscape, including the Doñana Park, and the traditional hospitality of the sanluqueños.
Sanlúcar happens to be the first Gastronomic Capital that is not a provincial capital, but the Panel of Judges felt: “It presented a very interesting project open to everyone, with a highly attractive program of events that seeks to enhance the universal nature of the city; the quality of life and the natural environment of the Guadalquivir River and the Doñana; the summer and its lovely beaches also become the setting for its famous legendary horseraces on the sand; its record number of hours of sunshine and the hospitality of this Andalusian city.”
And they added: “The city is especially proud of its Prawns and Manzanilla. The Manzanilla has held the Denomination of Origin “Manzanilla de Sanlúcar” since 1964.” The Sanlúcar prawn is fished in the shallow waters of the Cádiz Gulf and the panel of judges called it: “A true treasure of the city due to their unique and unmistakable flavor. It is a crustacean that is highly prized and served grilled, cooked, fried or in a stew. In fact, the Bonanza fish market invoiced in 2020 more than 2.9 million euros from their sale alone.”
The other treasure is the Manzanilla, described by experts as: “A fine, pale sherry, of a brilliant golden color, pungent and delicate aroma, which is elaborated in accordance with an exceptionally prolonged aging process and a deeply-rooted respect for the ancient customs and traditions of the area.”
However, Sanlúcar’s gastronomy also includes other delights and the wonderful “tapa-hopping” custom: Fried fish, such as acedías and cuttlefish, “tapaculos”, puntilllitas, pijotas (similar to the pescadilla), marinated dogfish and garlic shrimp with fried eggs. We should also not neglect to mention the clams, shrimp tortillitas, potatoes aliñás, the typical salpicón de mariscos or seafood salad, potatoes with melva or garlic, fish stew, monkfish with fried bread, rays a la orange, dogfish with tomatoes and peas, tiny coquina clams with garlic, and rice with duck.
In addition to its gastronomy, Sanlúcar has 320 days of sunshine, six kilometers of beach, a famous Easter holiday celebration and a wide range of lodging options…
Who can ask for anything more?
Featured image (collage): Sanlucar sunset/Luis Irisarri, CC BY-ND2.0; Manzanilla with olives/Krista via Flickr, CC BY2.0 ; Salpicon de
mariscos/juantiagues, CC BY-SA2.0
INFUR Gastronomy Capital/Muriel Feiner
Circumnavigation/Armando-Martin, CC BY-SA3.0
Horse race/Avicentegil, CC BY-SA4.0
Manzanilla/Dominic Lockyer, CC BY2.0
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