Spain People & Stories

Photo copyright Diana Julià.

Dr. Ramón Estruch

Dr. Ramón Estruch is a senior consultant in the Internal Medicine Service of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and Associated Professor of the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad de Barcelona. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the CIBER Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERobn) of the Carlos III Health Institute (Ministry of Science and Innovation, Government of Spain), director of the Laboratory of Hypertension, Lipids and Cardiovascular Risk, associated with IDIBAPS-CELLEX. He is the coordinator of the PREDIMED study, the largest multicentre nutritional intervention study ever conducted in Europe and in which research groups from all over Spain have participated. He has published more than 250 articles in high impact journals including The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, Annals of Neurology and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Ángel David Alcobilla Peñalver

Ángel David Alcobilla Peñalver is a young farmer from the town of Candeleda in Ávila who works drying and smoking paprika following the traditional techniques of the area. On the one hand, he innovated the packaging formats and searched for new markets, always protecting the integrity of the production of this species. Ángel David Alcobilla continues to work on the lands of his ancestors, making better use of the water by changing the irrigation systems for drip systems that allow taking advantage of the well water without having to waste or spend water that comes from the channels of the mountains. On the other hand, he keeps the cultivation and collection techniques intact, this way he continues to produce in a traditional way.

Plantations in seedbed, transplantation, collection by hand, traditional drying and smoking, with bonfires and stirring the pepper by hand to achieve a balanced and unified drying and smoking. Manual shredding allows obtaining a product of the highest quality that maintains the traditional flavour, colour, and smell. On the other hand, the innovations related to packaging and distribution Ángel David has sought new markets, such as the direct alliance with restaurants in the area, he has introduced the product as a form of gift for family and social celebrations. He has proposed new ways of use such as paprika grinders that, similarly, to pepper grinders, allow a fresh grinding at the moment and using it in traditional recipes spread through social networks.

Ángel David defends traditional cultivation and respect for the different rituals at the beginning of the cultivation and production phases.

Maribel Sánchez Vadillo

Maribel Sánchez Vadillo, goat shepherdess in the Sierra of Gredos. Maintains a goat farm with the native breed of verata goat, in danger of extinction, in an environment that allows traditional breeding and care respecting animal welfare. She was given the Excellence Award for innovation of rural women, an award rewarded by the European Union, for her goat farm conceived and developed since 2010, with traditional grazing. 

Her company certifies the goats prepared for consumption they sell. The Verata suckling goats are only breastfed with mother’s milk until they are slaughtered at the age of 25-31 days, with a carcass weight of 5 to 7 kilograms.

Maribel always wanted to be a shepherdess, she lived and worked for a few years in Madrid, but she says that she always looked out the window because a flock passed very close by and her dream was to return and work for her region and the cattle.