León titled ¨The Spanish Capital of Gastronomy for 2018¨

The search for the seventh Spanish city to hold the prestigious title of Spanish Gastronomy Capital has come to an end, with León emerging as the winner!

Huelva’s reign as the 2017 ¨Capital Española de la Gastronomía¨ is winding down, and as of January 1st, 2018, the city of León will take its place as next year’s Spanish Gastronomy Capital.

In a decision voted on this October 17th by representatives from the Spanish Restaurant Industry Federation (FEHR) and the Spanish Federation of Travel and Tourism Writers and Journalists (FEPET), León has beated out the other finalist city of Cuenca for this honor, which is annually given to a Spanish city that offers excellent cuisine in quality restaurants, while also promoting gastronomy tourism, quality products and traditional cuisine. It also recognizes the coming together of culture, heritage and gastronomy in the creation of exceptional visitor experiences.

León’s candidacy was presented under the slogan “León, manjar de reyes” (loosely, “morsel for kings”), and promises to showcase both the traditional products of this city and province, as well as its haute cuisine and the gastronomic innovation of its restaurants. Support for León’s candidacy was widespread, with famed Spanish chefs like the Juan Mari Arzak, Martín Berasategui and the Roca brothers, lending their support.

It counts in its pantry with wines, cecina, botillo, meats, fruits, vegetables, cheeses and legumes, protected by three Denominations of Origin, nine Protected Geographical Indications, six brands of guarantee and a collective mark. The Leon proposal presents a program of 155 activities distributed throughout 2018 that will have the eating tapas ¨tapeo¨ as one of its focuses of attention, since the city tops the national ranking of number of bars, with 5.03 per thousand inhabitants, in addition to 1,198 restaurants, one of them is Cocinandos with a Michelin star.

Many of the actions planned in a two-year preparatory work will focus on the product, an “excellent” showcase with protagonists such as the wines and the Bierzo roasted pepper, Valdeón cheese, goat’s cucina, Sahagún leek , the bean of La Bañeza or the lentil of Tierra de Campos. The bars and restaurants will be responsible for spreading dishes such as the lamb made in stew ¨cordero en chanfaina¨, the cooked stew, stew pot or the stew in seasoned gravy of Valdevimbre, both in their traditional versions and more creative.

The title of Spanish Capital of Gastronomy was created in 2012 in order to favor tourism through cuisine and gastronomy and so far have been held by Logroño (2012), Burgos (2013), Vitoria (2014), Cáceres (2015), Toledo (2016) and, currently, Huelva and the prestigious honor will be handed over to León in 2018.

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