TAPAS - Spanish Design for Food: Food

Acción Cultural Española, AC/E

Acción Cultural Española

The exhibition, organized and produced by Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), shows through two hundred objects divided in three sections—Kitchen, Table, Food—how design finds solutions to the problems posed over the years by the world of cuisine. And particularly how Spanish culture has come up with ingenious inventions and solutions throughout history. 

About the exhibition "Tapas. Spanish Design for Food"Acción Cultural Española, AC/E

Juli Capella, curator of "Tapas", explains the exhibition during the Tokyo Design Week.

Chronology TapasAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

The exhibition sets out to show how design and food have always been interrelated and how the discipline of design has sought solutions to the problems posed by the world of cuisine. In particular, it takes a look at how Spanish culture has come up with ingenious inventions and solutions in this respect throughout its history.

Cover FoodAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

The Food

Designed Food

Bon Aprofit by Clara Balmaña MoratóOriginal Source: Bon Aprofit

Bon Aprofit (enjoy your meal) is a project by the industrial designer Clara Balmaña. It consists of a project to teach children to eat healthily and in a participative way, in which they themselves turn fruits and vegetables into cups and eating instruments.

Olive stuffed with anchovyAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

According to the architect Oscar Tusquets, “This is the best Spanish invention of all time”. The olive stuffed with anchovy is a typical Spanish product. A true design that requires a complex process: harvest the olive, cure it, stone it, insert a piece of anchovy and close it up again with the reserved flesh.

A textile-mill owner from Alcoy, founder of the Serpis company, invented a stoning machine that simplified the work and paved the way for large-scale industrialization.

Chocolate with churros Chocolate with churrosAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

Spain was the first country to import cocoa from the Americas to make chocolate, and from here it spread to the rest of Europe. It became popular in the 17th century and it was drunk hot and sweet. It was only with the coming of industrialization in the early 19th century that it was produced in solid form.

Chocolate with churrosAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

To accompany the chocolate it is usual to provide slices of sweet bread, biscuit or churros. The churro is a product which is highly typical of Spain, although it exists in several other countries. It is a deep-fried doughy confection which is extruded from a star-shaped nozzle, giving it a characteristic striated shape which improves frying.

ChurrosAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

TapaAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

The word tapa (cover) comes from the act of covering a glass of wine with some piece of food to accompany it. The origin of this custom is uncertain; explanations range from royal decrees to avoid drunkenness, health advice or simply to keep insects or dust out of the glass.

Whatever the case, the fact is that for over a century it has been the traditional Spanish way of having a snack or eating a light meal. A tapa is any small portion of food, hot or cold, cooked or raw, which is served with a drink. But to “tapear” has become a way of socializing, an alternative to formal eating which is unique to Spain, but which has spread with great success all over the world.

Barra de tapasAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

Paella PaellaAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

The paellera, or simply paella (from the Latin patella, cooking vessel) is a special skillet for cooking the dish known as paella, which consists of rice simmered with a variety of ingredients.

PaellaAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

It originated in the Albufera district of Valencia, but it has become a typically Spanish dish known all over the world. Their diameter is usually very large in proportion to their depth in order to optimize cooking, and they have a handle at either side to facilitate lifting.

How to prepare a paellaAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

Chupa Chups Chupa ChupsOriginal Source: Chupa Chups

This popular Spanish candy was invented in 1958 by the businessman Enric Bernat so that children could suck it without getting sticky.

Chupa ChupsOriginal Source: Chupa Chups

The logo is the work of Salvador Dalí, and about twelve million of them are sold all over the world every day. An example forms part of the permanent collection of the MoMA in New York. Since 2006 the brand has belonged to the Italian group Perfetti Van Melle.

Chocodosis by Emili Padrós (Emiliana Design Studio)Original Source: Enric Rovira

Why do all chocolate bars have to be the same? Chocodosis is a tablet of chocolate with a unique shape that invites you to play, alone or in company, dosing out the ideal portion for each occasion.

Give me five by CompeixalaiguaOriginal Source: Chocolat Factory

The people at Compeixalaigua took part in a workshop organized by Surtido with Chocolat Factory. From it there emerged a bonbon in the shape of a Nespresso capsule or one of those thimbles in different flavors. You treat yourself, just like a kid, to suck your fingers and stain your clothes as you please.

Lamp Pampada by Andreu CarullaOriginal Source: EatArt Gallery

This collection of lamps was shown in 2012 at the Dishculptur exhibition in the Espai EatArt gallery in Banyoles (Girona). It consists of a stainless steel structure which supports a suitably-protected loaf of bread. Every one is unique and made by hand.

Panpaati by Enoc Armengol (Amalgama Studio)Acción Cultural Española, AC/E

Made in an industrial bread oven, the Panpaati project investigates the creation of tables and chairs out of bread dough, adhering to a metal structure. An edible, ephemeral construction made in 2008.

PanpaatiAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

Huevón by Reyes MoraOriginal Source: http://www.behance.net/gallery/FOOD-DESIGN-2009-Producto/5402161

Reyes Mora designed this bread, which served as an edible container for an egg in the workshop "El pan nuestro de cada día" (Our Daily Bread). It was organized by Héctor Serrano at the Cardenal Herrera university in Valencia in 2009.

El Bulli plasticine models El Bulli plasticine models by Ferran Adrià / El BulliAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

How to faithfully reproduce the contents of a plate? That was the question. While an industrial design can be reproduced on the basis of molds, a dish forming part of a meal has to be made over and over again by hand. At El Bulli, to ensure that the compositions on the plate were always the same, the plate’s contents were modeled in plasticine in different shapes and colors.

El Bulli plasticine modelsAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

The name of the dish was noted on a ticket and in this way models were made that the cook could use to reproduce them by copying the size of the portions and their position on the plate. The photo shows a dish called semillas with its model in plasticine.

Olive atomic snack by Martí GuixéAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

Three-dimensional olive tapas, in the shape of atomic models. Cover of the book 1:1 Martí Guixé, published by 010.

Restaurant designAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

WineriesAcción Cultural Española, AC/E

Credits: Story

Organized by
Acción Cultural Española (AC/E)

Juli Capella

Digital Set up and Programming
Raquel Mesa (AC/E)

More info >

Credits: All media
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