What we’ll miss about Madrid Fusion Manila
The world’s biggest gastronomic congress bids Manila adios
Apr 2, 2018
Around this time last year, the local culinary scene was abuzz with excitement thanks to the Madrid Fusion Manila—the first Asian edition of the world’s “most important gastronomy congress.” The Manila edition has been running since 2015, and although it was expected to continue until the end of its contract in 2019, it looks like the project will be cut short, as Inquirer reported yesterday.
We wish it was just an April Fool’s joke, but unfortunately, it isn’t.
Looks like the current administration isn’t too fond of the project, seeing it as a big expense for promoting cultures other than our own. We can only agree in partiality—having witnessed the Madrid Fusion Manila last year, we can say that while the event did highlight a number of foreign brands and culinary personalities, it also did the same for the local scene.
In memory of Madrid Fusion Manila, let’s look back at just how much we learned about the local culinary scene in last year’s congress alone:
Heirloom rice can be used for a variety of innovative dishes
On the first day of the congress, a regional lunch with the theme Luzon/Rice showed attendees creative ways to use heirloom rice from provinces such as Benguet, Ifugao, and Mountain Province. Heirloom rice was turned into flat rice bread, incorporated into chocolate bars, and more.
Planting even inedible crops helps in battling climate change
Knowing more about the crops that can grow on our soil can also help us adapt to the changes in our climate. In a seed swap event with Slow Food Manila, they explain that keeping varieties of plants, even those that are inedible, is important as they can give information on plant pests and diseases.
There’s a lot of local products we still don’t know about
Aside from listening to insightful talks by Filipino and foreign chefs, we also had the chance to go around the trade areas, where we were able to find a lot of local products that could very well compete with the already popular imported items we regularly see in our pantries. Organic, preservative-free steak rubs, local herbal tea, healthy and sustainable “Pinoy” granola, and regional seasonings are some examples.
While there may no longer be an event as big as Madrid Fusion Manila to highlight our local products and culinary and sustainability concepts, it’s not yet the end for our culinary and agricultural industries.
A new project called Buhay Carinderia will take the place of Madrid Fusion Manila. The project, which is done in collaboration with Linda Legaspi of Marylindbert International, aims to “[redefine] the karinderya (eatery) as something ‘innovative, dynamic, and relatable,’” Inquirer reports. Buhay Carinderia is set to launch on Apr. 11 and is said to be even bigger than Madrid Fusion Manila.
It’s sad to say goodbye to Madrid Fusion, but as long as we continue to have efforts to put our cuisine and our products on the map—locally and internationally—it may not be so bad.
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