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7 reasons why Barcelona is a top Gastronomic destination and a Mobile World capital

Andre Arriaza | January 29, 2016 | Barcelona, Culture, Food, technology
barcelona gastronomy and mobile world congress

Do you remember L´Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment) movie from 2002? The one that portrayed Xavier, the economics student that arrives in a folkloric Barcelona to learn spanish, where foreigners were struggling together through their cultural and linguistic challenges? It was a nice comedy that somehow gave me a particular flavor of an up-side-down city at a time when I was also arriving as a student in Barcelona without knowing much about mobile technology and gastronomy.

The only possession I had then was a mobile phone given to me by a friend, and while lessons were starting at the University of Barcelona, I was already serving tapas at a Spanish Restaurant at las Ramblas and enjoying parties with that sparkling drink named cava that later on I found out it was something that would stick to me until this very moment when I write this blog.

Since then, almost 15 years passed, and now when my friends ask me why I am still here, I usually tell them because this is a city that has a unique capacity to evolve, from a small tiny detail to its open minded approach over life, and for its love and passion for its culture, and in particular for its food, the one I love and enjoy the most.

Barcelona gastronomy

Barcelona 15 years ago was vibrant and charming, and is still today. Its cuisine was delicious, and is still today but with a unique innovation, and quite renowned in comparison to those years I must say. Nowadays, the city hosts 23 starred Michelin restaurants and a considerable number of high quality eateries that serve enjoyable and healthy food.

Back on those days a local friend told me that by sending an sms with the bus stop code with that old mobile I had, I would receive in few seconds the bus lines arriving and their respective timing. Luckily there were not many flies flying around as my mouth remained open with that ¨ahhhh¨ for a while. I did send the sms and realized I had enough time for another ¨caña¨ (glass of beer). That was Barcelona 15 years ago!

Barcelona wifi

And while I write this lines, the city of Counts is preparing for its 4th consecutive year as the Mobile World Congress capital, and most likely will remain as such at least until 2023. Mr Zuckerberg and the rest of the gang will have their say, while plenty of people and companies will be attending, and with all this fuzz and buzz we asked ourselves what could be the reasons why Barcelona is the Mobile World capital and as well a worldwide distinguished gastronomic destination. We came up with the following facts:

  1. Barcelona is nominated iCapital by the European Commission for introducing the use of new technologies to bring the city closer to citizens. With a mobile you can find the fastest route to wherever you want to go with public transportation or find free parking spots, or access farm to table products directly from producers.
  2. Also Barcelona ranked the 4th most creative city in the world, and is the 4th Smart city in Europe and the 10th worldwide. There is a creative infrastructure and facilities for connecting with the local networks, creators, creative start-ups and entrepreneurs, and a fantastic inclusive and innovative environment. Great quality of life!
  3. At the 2016 Mobile World Congress, Barcelona will show the world what the restaurants, kitchens and supermarkets of the future will be like. Reimagine Food has launched mFOOD, a project to innovate and investigate how mobile technology will affect and impact the food and beverage industry.
  4. Barcelona has in average 311 sunny days per year and 7 hours of sunshine per day. Mild and warm climate, historical monuments, rich history, great beaches and outstanding ranks put the city each year among the top gastronomic destinations worldwide.
  5. Barcelona has been named the first Gourmand City outside France in 2002, a recognition that comes thanks to the solid roots of Catalan cuisine, a style of cooking that comes from tradition and a willingness to experiment with vanguard techniques.
  6. Barcelona offers a wealth of fine restaurants where food is science and chefs like Ferran Adrià are also artists and scientists. There are also superb classic and modern establishments serving deliciously different dishes. On top of that there’s one of the world’s best food markets, the Boqueria, and the old Mercat de Sant Antoni where Barcelona Eat Local Food Tours meets hungry clients every week to start their gastronomic experience.
  7. Catalan cuisine, the Mediterranean one, showcased greatly in Barcelona, has been praised for its health qualities by many experts. A cuisine that is a reflection of the culture and way of living of a country. Mediterranean wisdom is based on equilibrium. “Not too much of anything” said Josep Pla (famous catalan author).

In this Catalonian city, many things convey on food and technology based on an incredible capacity for innovation and vanguard approach, preserving as well its healthy lifestyle, and I find that just amazing.

My old mobile phone was replaced in 2012 by a smartphone but still shows me all the messages saved for the last 10 years, including the bus alert that allowed me an extra beer. In the meantime, let’s look forward to what the technology and food innovation will give us and how gastronomy will evolve, I am curious! And I will do so enjoying a glass of cava, are you in?

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