Spain may be Europe’s leading producer of organic goods but you’d never know it from looking in the shops. There’s nowhere near the same mainstream understanding of what ‘organic’ means, or what the benefits are, that is found in northern Europe. As a consequence over 80% of the best of what the country produces is destined for export.
Spaniards and Catalans generally love to eat excellent, locally-grown food but still tend to place more importance on labels of regional provenance than on methods of production. Fortunately, the penny is, if not dropping then at least starting to roll downhill and domestic demand for organic food is picking up. This is in part due to the work of companies like Mumumío.
Mumumío’s website is basically a directory of organic and ethically-produced gourmet foods from Spain with single e-commerce front end, enabling customers to buy directly from producers without having to a) find them in the first place and b) deal with multiple shopping systems. They’ve gone from offering a handful of items to a range of almost four thousand goods from over one hundred and thirty producers.
Their boxes of organic fruit and veg are extremely popular and they’re introducing a subscription service which I tried out.
It’s a next-day delivery system and customers have the ability to choose from a range of time slots to make sure they’re in at their home or office when it arrives. Mine came on time and consisted in a two-tiered cardboard box with 7kg of produce.
Getting the mix of products right is always tricky and some box schemes I’ve tried in the past have left me with suspicions that the balance of selection was tipped in favour of cheap but heavy items like potatoes.
That wasn’t the case here, where spuds made up only 1kg of the total. The rest consisted of some onions, red pepper, green peppers, cucumber, squash, red and yellow cherry tomatoes (overkill perhaps but they’re in season), aubergine, plums, lemons, grapes, 2 types of apples, chestnuts and bananas.
The quality of everything was beyond question: no attempt to sneak in items that were less than 100% as I’ve also encountered in the past from other companies; no past-their-best onions turned around to hide the bad parts.
I haven’t tried it all yet but my family fell upon the grapes and apples like fruitarian wolves and devoured them. Delicious.
Organic’s not the be-all and end-all of food shopping. I will personally always prefer locally-grown, producer-sold, good quality produce that doesn’t necessarily have organic certification –such as that sold by El Cabàs in Barcelona — over Argentinian or Chinese organic imports. But Mumumío’s suppliers ARE local and straight from the producer and they’re an excellent option for anyone who doesn’t have the time or ability to go and source this stuff themselves. Highly recommended.