Food

RAW MATERIALS / TECHNIQUE / FOOD AND DRINK INDUSTRY / TRADITION AND MODERNITY

In reality, we can also consider certain foods as industrial products. In this section, the exhibition features some of the best known of these. The very concept of the tapa, the creative blend of several different elements, can be considered as an exercise in food design. That is why the exhibition has taken the title of TAPAS, a term already known worldwide. Some myths and legends attribute the origin of the word to the custom of covering the tops of wine carafes with some item of food, either to avoid becoming drunk or to protect the wine from insects and dust. In any case, today, the idea of tapas is famed as a style of casual, shared eating.

Divided into several sections, the exhibition presents food products that feature singular elements from the formal point of view. Some of these are very popular, like the Chupachups, a lollipop created in 1959 by Enric Bernat. This is the best-selling Spanish product in the world and one of the few Spanish pieces included in the collection conserved by MoMA of New York, in the section devoted to industrial design. Anchovy-stuffed olives may well be considered a genuine example of food design avant la lettre. According to the architect and designer Òscar Tusquets, these represent "the best Spanish industrial design". The churro (fritter) is also an industrial product, manufactured by an extrusion machine, just like metal profiles used in carpentry. Or Gula, an eel substitute produced since 1991. The paella is a well-known utensil, but one that many people confuse with a dish, a recipe. The exhibition explains that, in fact, paella is the same as the Spanish sartén, meaning pan, in Valencia and Catalonia. You don’t eat this paella; it is the recipient, used to cook rice and other dishes.

And, without doubt, the work of Martí Guixé, one of the pioneers in this discipline worldwide, falls into the design category. Guixé’s creations are designed for a new generation of culinary creations in which food is considered an edible product, eschewing all reference to cooking, tradition or cuisine.