Traceability of non-perishable food items

BY THE ASSOCIATION OF FRIENDS OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF GASTRONOMY

 

Traceability of the “Guide to the Finest Non-perishable Food and Drinks from Spain”

The following process was used in the selection of the chosen products:

  • All of the non-perishable Spanish food items were classified into eight different categories, each of which has been led by an expert of renowned prestige.
  • The Groups and their corresponding directors are as follows:
  • Oils, led by Paco Roncero
  • Tinned fish and shellfish, led by Miguel Vergara
  • Tinned vegetables, led by Fernando del Cerro
  • Cheeses, led by José Luis Martín
  • Iberian pork products and other cold meats, led by Florencio Sanchidrián
  • Other food items, led by Lourdes Plana
  • Wines, led by Isabel Mijares
  • Other drinks, led by Isabel Mijares
  • There is a web page where the results are uploaded as they are obtained. Expert opinions on these contents are collected.

Steps to follow:

FIRST DRAFT.- First of all, the initial selection is made by the director of each Group based on his/her knowledge of the brands, which, in his/her opinion, are the finest in certain products.

SECOND DRAFT.- The initial selection is verified with the Presidents of the Culinary Institutes from all the different Regional Communities, who offer their knowledge and opinions, mainly regarding the specialities in their region. Each of the 17 Regional Communities has around 30 Academics. The second draft is prepared with their opinions.

THIRD DRAFT.- The comments received are passed on to the different Group Leaders, who prepare a document which is sent to the different people that make up the panel of judges to find out their opinion and scores. A fourth draft is drawn up based on the comments received and the products to be tasted are determined in accordance with two criteria: the products that some of the judges have not yet tried or those that clearly have a higher rating by the panel of judges will be tasted. The score ranges from 0 to 100 points.

FOURTH DRAFT.- This is drawn up with the results of the tastings that have actually been held. Each year, there are as many tastings as there are food groups, whereby there are around 100 judges. At times, supplementary tastings are held, for example in the “Iberian pork products and other cold meats” and “Cheeses” sections in which the tastings are held over two days due to the large number of products to be evaluated.

The judges in these tastings, which were held in Madrid, are expert gourmets from different parts of Spain and abroad.

FIFTH DRAFT.- Once the results of the tastings have been analysed and the scores tabulated, the Group directors make a selection in which, generally speaking, only those products with a score of 90 points or higher are selected.

SIXTH DRAFT.- This list of products, selected by the leaders of each group, is sent to the Presidents of the Culinary Institutes from the different Regional Communities and is corroborated with representatives of the Ministry for Agriculture. It is subsequently sent to all of the academics of the Royal Academy of Gastronomy for their opinion and comments.

SEVENTH DRAFT.- After passing through the final filter of the 52 members of the Spanish Royal Academy of Gastronomy and collecting their opinions and comments, a seventh draft is drawn up and is included on a web page designed for this purpose and is sent to approximately 1,000 experts in food, gastronomy and nutrition, who are given a month to provide their opinions, suggestions and comments.

FINAL DOCUMENT.- Finally, using all of the information collected in the previous seven drafts, the final document of the Guide to the Finest Non-perishable Food and Drinks from Spain is drawn up. Other sections are incorporated, such as: general introduction to each category, brief presentation of each product, pairing with drinks, nutritional characteristics, preservation and consumption tips and how and where they can be purchased.

NOTE: The food and drinks selected by groups are in alphabetical order without any scores.