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£346
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The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, March 31 2013 10:21 AM UTC +00:00
Jonathan PincasBy Jonathan Pincas
First created
Jonathan PincasBy Jonathan Pincas
First created
£346
pledged of £25,000pledged of £25,000 goal
5
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, March 31 2013 10:21 AM UTC +00:00

About

Fancy reading this book?  Help us make it happen.
Fancy reading this book? Help us make it happen.

From the founder of Spanish Food World and The Tapas Lunch Company.

Sequel to the internet sensation 'Top 6 Eating Habits of the Spanish'

What differentiates Spanish eating habits from the rest of the world?

Spain has to be one of the most stereotyped countries in the world.  Polka-dot-dress-clad flamenco dancers, the imposing shadow of the Osborne bull, mañana-saying workmen, sunny beaches and 24 hour fiestas - the Spain of the world's imagination is almost mythical in its colourful splendour.

Food, and the culture that surrounds it, is a particularly common subject of the generalisations that surround Spanish life.  This book will tackle those culinary stereotypes head on, exploring how accurate they are in the context of modern-day Spain.  I'll answer questions like:

  • Do the Spanish really eat lunch and dinner later than everyone else?
  • Is bread really eaten with absolutely everything?
  • Do Spanish people enjoy paella, chorizo or sangria on a regular basis?
  • Are the Spanish really capable of sitting at the table so long after lunch that there is no perceptible break before dinner?

If some of those questions sound silly or funny to you, that's because they're meant to be.  Although 'Where's My Napkin?' will be based on serious research and insight, the topic matter is one of the most popular talking points in Spanish culture, so the approach will be lighthearted, conversational and even humerous.  We'll have fun blasting away the myths and revealing the truth behind the nation's most popular hobby: eating!

The Origins of 'Where's My Napkin?'


Top 6 Eating Habits of the Spanish - ABC.es published a translated version of the post.
Top 6 Eating Habits of the Spanish - ABC.es published a translated version of the post.

In October 2012 I wrote a short article on Spanish Food World entitled The Top 6 Eating Habits of The Spanish.  At the time, the article passed pretty much unnoticed.  Over the weekend of 23rd/24th February 2013 something crazy happened.  The article found its way onto the social networks and over three days was read by 60,000 people, generating almost 1000 comments and culminating in appearances on ABC.es and 20minutos.es.

The article that started the ball rolling.  Click through and read some of the comments to get an idea of the interest it sparked.
The article that started the ball rolling. Click through and read some of the comments to get an idea of the interest it sparked.

Through the noise of the debate I realised something.  Although many, many people thought that I had nailed the Spanish eating habits with my six observations, there were a good number of commenters who disagreed with one or more points.  In fact, there was a certain amount of argument between Spanish commenters about which points could be generalised to the country as a whole and which represented regional, generational or personal quirks.

It appeared that Spanish eating habits might be in a state of flux, with the Spanish themselves unable to agree on what was really typical any more.

Even more importantly, I was bombarded with ideas for a follow up post - my original list of 6 eating habits grew to more than 20 overnight!  It was obvious to me that eating in Spain was a national obsession in need of a proper definition.

The Approach


Although I'll of course bring my own points of view to this book, it won't, by any means, be based solely on personal conjecture.  The idea is to carry out a thorough analysis of Spanish food culture based on a large amount of research (that doesn't involve simply eating).  We'll cover the whole geographic and social spectrum through surveys, interviews and background research, both on the ground and through the magic that is the internet.

I'm well placed to do this research.  In my Spanish food business The Tapas Lunch Company and Spanish Food World, I work daily with many of the top food producers in Spain, restaurateurs, writers, bloggers, chefs and members of the public who are passionate about Spanish food.  I've got the contacts to get the answers this book needs.

The Book

I'm aiming to reflect the informal style of writing in the book with a complementary physical presentation.  The end result will be a high-quality, larger-than-normal book illustrated with beautiful photography.  It will be as attractive as it is engaging.  I'd like to produce a long-lasting tribute to the Spanish way of eating!

This book represents an ambitious project involving a lot of research, so the timescale and funding requirements are designed to reflect that.  The book will be researched and written during 2013 with a view to publishing in early 2014.

The initial aim of £25,000 will fund the research for the book and the printing and distribution of a minimum first run of 1000 copies.  If we raise significantly more than £25,000 we'll look at translating the book and distributing it in Spain too!

Here's the current plan for the breakdown of the contents and types of questions I'll tackle in each section:

Part 1:  Eating at Home

  • Does the whole of Spain eat lunch at 3pm?
  • Do all Spaniards use napkins?  Why is this practice more widespread than the rest of Europe?
  • What about eating bread with everything?  Is this still done?
  • Is the practice of drinking only water and wine with food dying out?
  • Is it only the women that cook in Spain?
  • Is the sobremesa, the period of extended chat after lunch, a reality in modern Spain?
  • Should you eat salad straight out of the communal bowl or move some to your own plate?
  • Do all Spaniards have two-course home cooked meals?
  • Does anyone in Spain really take a siesta after lunch any more?

Part 2:  Eating out

  • Are Leon and Granada the only places in Spain where you still get free tapas?
  • Is tapas-style eating common when dining out?
  • Can you or should you eat dinner at midnight in Spain?
  • Do restaurants automatically give you bread and sneakily charge for it without telling you?
  • Is Menu del Dia as popular as it seems?
  • How common are fiestas where whole villages eat food cooked in spaceship-sized frying pans?
  • Do people still throw their rubbish on the floor of Spanish bars?
  • Is it true that the most popular restaurants in Spain serve pretty much the same food as what people eat at home?
  • How extensively is the free chupito offered in restaurants?
  • Who pays the bill at the end of Spanish meals?
  • How are the Spanish able to drink quadruple-measure copas until 7am whilst the rest of the world has long since gone to bed hammered?
Part 3:  Ingredients and Dishes
  • Does everyone in Spain enjoy paella/chorizo/sangria on a regular basis?
  • Are the headline regional dishes like cocido/gazpacho/fabada still made on a regular basis?  And are these dishes strongly regional or are they enjoyed more extensively across Spain?
  • What are typical Spanish fast-food meals at home?
  • What is Spanish 'student cooking'?

Wear your napkin needs with pride
Wear your napkin needs with pride

Risks and challenges

I'm lucky to be in a good position to do this research and write this book - I've dedicated much of my adult life to Spanish food. I founded and have been running a UK-based Spanish food importer for the last 8 years and am the founder of Spanish Food World, a comprehensive online magazine with both UK and international versions dedicated solely to Spain, it's cuisine and food culture. I have lived in Spain on numerous occasions totalling more than 6 years, my wife is Spanish, my extended family is Spanish, my friends are Spanish, my passion is Spain and its food.

I'm also the type of guy that follows through on projects. I've got a Masters degree and PhD under my belt, both involving book length theses, as well as various successful businesses and websites like The Tapas Lunch Company, Spanish Food World and my business blog Say No! to the Office.

I'm also a semi-pro photographer, which is why 'Where's My Napkin?' will end up looking gorgeous.

And finally, you've got the guarantee that this project is backed by a solvent, established and reliable UK limited company - The Tapas Lunch Company Ltd. We have a hard-worked-for reputation to maintain and we're not about to let it go now!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About US$ 6

    E-BOOK: For £5 you'll be amongst the first to get the e-book once 'Where's My Napkin?' is published. Enjoy reading it on your computer, iPad or Kindle.

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    EBOOK + CREDIT: For £10 you'll get the e-book plus a credit as a backer of the project.

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    Pledge £30 or more About US$ 39

    SIGNED BOOK + E-BOOK + CREDIT: For £30 you'll get the actual book, signed by me. Yes, a physical paper and ink copy of 'Where's My Napkin?' mailed directly to your house before anyone else gets their hands on it. £30 for a book? Yes, because it's going to be a beautiful high-quality book with stunning full-page photography, something you'll want to run your hands over and maybe even smell. And your £30 also includes P&P.

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    SIGNED BOOK + E-BOOK + CREDIT + T-SHIRT: For just £50, you'll get to rock the in-joke on your chest with a stylish(!?) 'Where's My Napkin' t-shirt. You just need to choose the size. Of course, you get the book, e-book, credit etc. as explained above.

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    Pledge £80 or more About US$ 103

    SIGNED BOOK + E-BOOK + CREDIT + T-SHIRT + PRINTS: For £60 you get the whole package - the signed book, the e-book, a credit, a t-shirt...and...two signed, limited-edition A3 prints of your choosing from the images in the book. Limited edition? Yes - because I'll only be making 150 available.

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    Pledge £150 or more About US$ 194

    BOOK + E-BOOK + CREDIT + PRINTS + T-SHIRT + SPANISH FOOD HAMPER: This one is the whole shebang. For £120 you'll get the book, e-book, credit, prints. t-shirt and a 'Tastes of Spain' hamper including a selection of all sorts of Spanish goodies. Sorry, there are only 20 of these available and only to UK backers.

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Funding period

- (30 days)