January 25, 2022 5:48 pm

This has been Worldcanic, the first international congress of volcanic kitchens and ecosystems

Lanzarote

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An impressive volcanic scene, the island of Lanzarote, has been the perfect setting for three days to celebrate Worldcanic, the first international congress of volcanic kitchens and ecosystems in which important scientists who are experts in volcanology have gathered together with chefs and producers who work in environments where these volcanoes are, somehow, protagonists. The congress, which was planned for much more than a year, has coincided with the eruption of the neighboring island of La Palma, so that, above all, the scientific presentations have been topical. Thus, it has been really interesting to hear the points of view and technical explanations of, among others, personalities such as Joan Marti, who was secretary general of the International Association of Volcanology, Anne Fornier, founder of Volcano Active Foundation, the Mike Sanchez Carrasco, creator of Living among volcanoes.

But obviously, being organized by the Vocento gastronomy division, the gastronomic aspect has been the most prominent. Cooks from volcanic areas such as Hawaii, Philippines, Iceland, Azores or Sicily, explained how they take advantage of geothermal energy to cook or the foods that are grown and raised in those places and that many times, as has been highlighted, have higher quality than those of other non-volcanic sites. Volcanoes have a negative part, but after a while they also contribute positive elements. The volcanic land is home to a special biological wealth.

There was no better way to start the congress than in the magnificent setting of the Jameos del Agua, the creation of César Manrique which is, together with the River viewpoint, also a work by the Lanzarote artist, or the Timanfaya National Park, one of the great tourist attractions of this Canary Island. The first day passed in the Jameos auditorium, with Liko Hoe, from Honolulu, who knead on stage, with a basalt stone, kalo, the staple food of Hawaiians for centuries that is baked in natural ovens underground. His was one of the best dishes served at the dinners that topped off each day of the congress: a juicy roast pork, shredded, with pickled onion.

They also intervened Viviana Varese, which has a restaurant at the foot of Etna, in a “very fertile” environment in which aridity forces agriculture on a smaller scale but very careful with the autochthonous varieties, and the Cantabrian Chele González, owner and cook of the best restaurant in Manila, who recounted his experiences in the Philippines, one of the countries with the most active volcanoes in the world, with products grown by indigenous communities in regions where eruptions are continuous, products from “a privileged garden” that he employs in his kitchen. His carabinero wrapped in cabbage leaf with juice from his head was another of the star dishes of the congress lunches and dinners.

From La Garrotxa Girona, an area where the volcanoes were extinguished many centuries ago, but whose influence is still notable in agriculture and livestock, came Fina Puigdeval and her daughter Martina Puigvert, from the Les Cols restaurant, in Olot, with two stars, to show their work with the excellent products of the environment, from especially sweet onions to high-quality cheeses.

Of the geothermal exploitation In volcanic places, the Icelandic baker Siggi Rafn Hilmarson, who makes his rye bread underground, taking advantage of the heat generated by the volcanic soil, and the Portuguese chef Paulo Costa, who uses the same method to make the famous “cozido das furnas ”From the Azores, based on vegetables and meats, and other stews in pots that are buried for hours to take advantage of the thermal waters of the subsoil. Later we were able to taste the magnificent sliced ​​Icelandic bread topped with smoked trout and butter from Iceland, and a remarkable cod and chorizo ​​stew cooked on the grill at the El Diablo restaurant, in Timanfaya, which is heated by the heat of the magma from the subsoil.

Site also for local producers and chefs. From the famous Malvasías of Lanzarote, from vineyards that are pure crafts to adapt to the hostile terrain of the island, from award-winning Lanzarote cheeses such as those from Finca Uga, or vegetables grown on new farms that bring out the best of that volcanic land such as the interesting Vegacosta project, which the congressmen had the opportunity to visit. And of course a round table in tribute to La Palma, with coffee and salt producers and a cook with a hotel-restaurant on that island who explained the tragic situation they are going through.

There is also a lot of presence of chefs from Lanzarote, an island whose gastronomy has taken a very important qualitative leap in recent years, as we could see in their presentations and in the lunches and dinners they offered together with their colleagues from other parts of the Peninsula and of the world. To cite some of the most outstanding dishes, the Uga salmon (a quality salmon that is smoked on the island), with white chocolate and avocado mojo from Santi Benéitez (Sebe restaurant), or the stew of trotters, black pig and carabinero from La Santa (spectacular in size and flavor these local carabineros ) by Joao Faraco (Coentro restaurant).

And as a final finale, a closing meal in which seven traditional restaurants set up a kind of buffet with their specialties: fried brunette by Brisa Marina, limpets with coriander mojo from La Cascada del Puerto, millet broth from Casa Brígida, chickpeas with black pig from La Piscina Club La Santa, or the goat meat stew from El Risco, were some of the dishes that could be tried. A first approach to an island and a theme that promises to give a lot of play in the next editions.

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Reference-www.abc.es

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