Jamón its Zaragoza

“I Love Jamón” is the slogan of the famous t-shirt from AEGEE-Zaragoza. However, it is not the only food that the people from Aragón love. Chema Rueda, Main organizer of the Agora Zaragoza, spoke with The AEGEEan about the food of Zaragoza and the food for ZarAGORA.

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What is special about the food in Zaragoza?

In Zaragoza, we have a lot of good and tasty meals, but they’re more typical of our region (Aragón) than only of our own city. For example, we have the ternasco of Aragón, which is probably the best mutton you can eat nowadays. It’s very complicated to explain how it tastes, so the best thing you can do is to come here and try it yourself. It’s so famous that every year, in the cities of Zaragoza, Huesca and Teruel, there is a contest in which a lot of bars and restaurants compete by cooking ternasco sandwiches and tapas. And there comes the very famous jamón of Teruel. What to say about it? Everyone who has tried it knows that it’s delighting …and, surely, you have tried it during an European Night (and most probably there was nothing left at the end). The jamón of  Teruel is even included in the European products list with a special quality.

There are also other typical meals like the migas a la pastora (“pastor crumbs”, whose principal ingredient is bread and which is also common in other Spanish regions).


Arranging food for 800 participants is definitely not an easy task. How are you facing this challenge? How does it affect the organisation, having to think of vegetarians and non-pork eaters?

To organize all the meals for 800 people is not difficult; what is difficult is to organize all the meals for 800 people cooking a lot of different food for different people: those who eat everything, those who are on a diet, vegans, those who don’t eat pork, those who have allergies… Because that makes the food logisitics more difficult and it raises the price of the food. In this aspect where are doing everything we can to try to satisfy to everybody, but, with such amount of people, it’s complicated not to have any problems when it comes to this aspect.


It getting more common anytime that people “pretend” to be vegetarians to be able to choose between foods. Thinking about finance, how does this affect the organisation?

I have to admit that seeing the actual number of applications (300 more or less), it’s probably not normal to have more that 50 vegetarian people. I don’t know how the organizers of previous Agorae did it, but in the ZarAGORA the fact of being vegetarian doesn’t grant you the right of choosing between two different meals: if you’re vegetarian, you’ll eat the vegatarian menu everyday, and if you have chosen to eat meat, you’ll have the menu with meat everyday. The best thing could be to offer one single menu, because it’s better for ZarAGORA, but we can’t change people’s habits.


Will participants get the opportunity to get the taste of Zaragoza specialities?

The idea is to offer the largest possible number of meals cooked with products of our region (Aragón), although the budget we have for food does not allow for typical meals every day. So those days there will be more basic and economic food, like rice or pasta. It’s a pity, but the budget we have is very strict, and that severely limits the menus and our possibilities to work.

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Are there things that you would suggest people try in case they arrive early or stay longer? Special food, or special places to eat?

In Zaragoza, you can eat well everywhere, but it depends on the money you want to spend on meals. What I recommend (to those who arrive earlier) is to go to the city center to find the tapas bars. If you have some more money, the ternasco of Aragón is a MUST; nobody should leave Zaragoza without having tried it!


Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-Koebenhavn

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