Guide James Blick Preserving Spain’s Culinary Authenticity
New Zealand travel writer James Blick and American Lauren Aloise run Devour Tours in Barcelona, as well as in Madrid, Seville and Malaga. They both feel strongly about helping to preserve the authenticity they’ve discovered in Spain – which they believe may be under threat by mass tourism.
“People are sad to see how it’s changed, and sad to see how almost every single shop – even laundromats or delis – have all become something that’s a big brand,” Aloise says.
“And there’s nothing wrong with chains. But we don’t want to have all chains,” Blick chimes in. “It does feel like David and Goliath. But David was smarter. You just have to recognise where that strength lies, and harness it.”
With a little boost from these tours, some of Spain’s ‘Davids’ – Barcelona’s oldest family bars — are re-negotiating rents with their landlords, and competing with big chains. They see a future with locals and tourists eating together.
Madrid-based Blick is a travel writer for the Sunday Times and the Guardian.
Original article by Lauren Frayer, NPR, June 20, 2015.