Barcelona’s 0 km Slow Food Restaurants
Whether you’re an epicurean or just an occasional foodie, you might have heard the term ‘km 0’ bandied about. It’s a growing culinary trend that promotes the use of locally produced ingredients.
The Slow Food movement has a network of local producers and restaurants that are committed to sourcing their produce from the surrounding area. These restaurants, known as km 0 restaurants, are dedicated to promoting their produce and maintaining regional customs.
What is km 0?
The concept of km 0 is closely linked to the Slow Food movement, which was founded as a counterpoint to fast food chains. It is an approach to food that focuses on local ingredients and encourages people to support local farmers. This helps to maintain traditional culinary customs and reduces the environmental impact of food production and transportation.
Ideally, km 0 foods should come from the same place that they are cooked and eaten. However, it is not always possible or practical to produce all of the food a restaurant needs on-site. For this reason, restaurants that use km 0 ingredients must source their products from producers within a certain distance of the restaurant.
In Spain, the Red Km 0 project was created to encourage restaurants to buy more locally sourced products. This initiative is led by chef Valenti Mongay, who is also the leader of the Slow Food Garraf Convivium. The project encourages chefs to build closer relationships with local producers and to purchase Slow Food Presidia and Ark of Taste products. The restaurants that participate in the project must also offer at least six dishes that are completely based on km 0 ingredients.
Why is km 0 important?
It’s a way of ensuring that the food you eat is good, clean and fair. Good, because it’s a high quality product with a flavourful taste; clean, because it’s been produced and transported in an environmentally friendly way; and fair, because the people involved are treated fairly.
Eating km 0 food reduces damage to the environment, cuts emissions of carbon dioxide and encourages the development of regional customs. It also helps to keep rare species like Romanesco broccoli, a striking vegetable that resembles a fractal, from going extinct.
The concept is not limited to restaurants as Slow Food’s local offices organize courses, tastings and dinners where chefs learn how to cook with local produce. In addition, consumers can grow their own vegetables in a garden or on a windowsill to become their own ‘co-producers’ and make a difference. The kilometre zero mark is not only for roads, but also for farmers, providers and restaurants. It is a symbolic place that represents the beginning of a journey, the starting point from which all the other milestones are measured.
What are the benefits of km 0?
In addition to reducing food miles, this movement helps preserve traditional farming methods that are kinder to animals and the environment. Businesses who get involved can also build a reputation as green and sustainable companies.
For example, the menu at restaurant Capicua in Cerdanyola del Vallès identifies not only the ingredients but where they came from, as well as being associated with Slow Food’s Garraf convivium. Chef Isaac Gomez says the restaurant’s kilometer zero philosophy allows it to offer dishes based on local pantry ingredients such as cod fritters stuffed with rosemary honey.
In order to obtain the Slow Food KM 0 certification, restaurants must follow certain guidelines. These include sourcing 40% of the ingredients from within the region, buying directly from producers and using foods that are certified ecological or belong to the Ark of Taste. This is one of the main pillars of the Slow Food philosophy, which has spread to 160 countries worldwide and aims to defend regional traditions and good, clean and fair food.
Where can I find km 0 restaurants?
The 0 km philosophy, also known as Slow Food, has become an international trend and, in Barcelona, there are a growing number of restaurants that offer it. These restaurants follow the guidelines of the Slow Food movement, which requires that at least 40% of the ingredients in each dish are locally sourced (produced within a hundred miles of the restaurant).
In addition to being healthier for diners and supporting local producers, these restaurants reduce the pollution caused by transporting foods long distances. They also promote regional traditions and encourage people to think about the food they eat.
Many well-known chefs like the Roca Brothers, Angel Leon or Yayo Daporta support this way of eating. They organize events and workshops where they encourage the public to eat local, sustainable products. In addition, they offer courses at their restaurants to teach people how to cook with local produce. In this way, they help to democratize good food and make it available for more people.