WHAT IS SPAIN’S BEST KEPT SECRET?

The British love going to Spain on holiday. But where do the Spanish go? And why don’t they want you to know about it? This place produces the best white wines in the world along with the best fish and seafood around and is home to unique culinary traditions dating back centuries.

US President Barack Obama is in the know along with pilgrims trekking the spiritual road to Santiago. So is Shakespeare in Love star Joseph Fiennes who has a home there.

So what is Spain’s best kept secret? Galicia, set in the ruggedly beautiful North West coast of Spain…

The Spanish have had it all to themselves for too long. But the secret’s out and the Galician Gourmet Extravaganza world tour kick starts in London this October 15-17th at the Melia White House Hotel in Regent’s Park.

And on Friday October 16th from 10am to 5pm the food fair is open to invited food industry professionals, where they will be able to sample it all!

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Forget tired paella, stereotypical flamenco and watery sangria. Galicia is authentic Spain at its best. The singularly different soil, climate and pioneering traditions in Galicia make it a haven for producing the best white wines in the world like Albariños, Godellos and Ribeiros.

Its delicious fresh seafood and fish is raved about by top British chefs like Rick Stein and it’s also the home of cheese so special it was used to barter with in the Middle Ages.

A unique wine-tasting at 3pm on the 16th will feature the top 40 Galician wines, like Peza do Rei, twice selected by Obama for Hispanic Heritage Month at the White House.

‘Gourmet artisan cheese, meat, honey, seaweed, organic ice-cream will all be there as well as award-winning beers and liqueurs,’ says coordinator Dositeo Cela, 44. Chestnuts so special they are protected by a registered Denomination of Origin label, sea water so pure it can be used for cooking, baking bread and cakes or boiling vegetables…

There’s even a native chicken Galiña de Mos which has lower fat than normal chicken and nearly became a distant memory until local farmers rescued it from extinction. ‘It costs £30 per kilo so it is pretty special,’ says Galician chef Diego López, 43.

Making a star appearance is the veggie chorizo sausage made from a secret pumpkin which tastes just like the real thing. ‘There’s even beer made with seawater,’ adds organiser Pilar Canas, 45, who is helping to take the Galician world tour to Amsterdam, New York, Miami, Dubai, Tokyo and Shanghai.

Top Galician chefs have also put together a £60 seven-course meal with a twist called Don’t Assume! at the hotel’s L’Albufera restaurant from the 15-17th October. ‘Galician’s are known for their ironic sense of humour and the fact that they don’t like giving you a direct answer,’ says creator of this one-of-a-kind menu chef Santi Almuiña, 46. ‘And the menu reflects this as diners won’t know what they are eating.’

The culinary guessing game means the expertly crafted dish might look like chicken, but it might taste like fish. The delicate prawn starter might actually be vegetarian. But remember, you tasted it in London first!

For more information and bookings: http://ow.ly/SnH1J

Galician Gourmet Extravaganza 

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