Marina Monsonís: “There are people who make exotic recipes but who don’t know how to make a ‘suquet de peix'”


Marina Monsonís belongs to a family of five generations of fishermen and stevedores from Barcelonaeven though one of his great-grandparents was Mallorcan and still has family on the island. East visual artist specializing in cooking, was trained in art, design and media in London, studies that linked the first two disciplines with context. Linked to social movements, she says that about fifteen years ago she realized the relationship that exists between territory, cuisine, culture and politics and began to work on projects that unite them. These days he is on the island to participate in the III Gastronomic Week of the Serra de Tramuntana, organized by Tramuntana XXI.

What does an artist at the head of the Macba Kitchen do?

The advantage of contemporary art is that it can now encompass many disciplines. Art allows me to cross what is cooking, creativity, whether it comes from popular knowledge, science, anthropology… Art has this versatility that others do not have. disciplines.

How did you come to this kitchen?

They invited me because the Museum was interested in thinking about a kitchen in the context of the eco-social crisis. Creativity is a crack through which questions and proposals can arise to have a more climate-resistant kitchen.

He comes here to promote the consumption of local fish, but at the same time warns against the devastation of marine ecosystems. What do we do?

On the one hand, you have to eat less fish and, on the other, it has to be local fish. The problem, at least in Catalonia, and I will discover it here, is that 20% of local fish is consumed and the remaining 80% comes from other continents. This extractivist and colonizing activity makes the fishing sectors more precarious. Local fishing should be valued and consumption moderated. And make a consumption of varied and seasonal species.

Why are some species of fish forgotten and others become fashionable?

There are species that are becoming fashionable, such as salmon or tuna, due to different factors, such as the lack of a backbone, or for cultural reasons, such as cod, which used to be very cheap and versatile and that people keep in their imagination, in taste and family memory. But cod is an Atlantic fish that does not have much meaning in Catalonia and which, moreover, is in danger of extinction. At the same time that we despised our domestic family memories and stopped cooking, we were introduced to fish that went global as good. Very strong omega 3 campaigns have been carried out with salmon, when a sardine, an anchovy or a frigatebird also have it per tube.

Is it a globalization of fish consumption?

Totally. Our way of thinking, super-extractivist and with an ultra-fast production without taking into account the environment, makes us blindly exploit resources. And the same thing happens with fish. What do people know? A few species, very few. And we were also sold that we didn’t have the time, which is true, but it’s also true that on many occasions I see people making exotic recipes when they don’t know how to make a suquet of pain which takes five minutes. Not all home kitchens are slow. And be careful, I don’t work out of nostalgia either, there are things that have been done before that aren’t done well.

Who?

That the women should take care of the kitchen yes or yes, it must be an option, that the men must also enter. Or the fact that the kitchen is separated on the floors, without ventilation, without comfort and without communication. Or something that I always explain, in many places they make cod fritters and it doesn’t make sense, if you’re lower class, because the price is very high and also because of this as I said before, it is a species that is not from the Mediterranean.

What food would you never eat?

I try not to eat avocado, quinoa, salmon and processed meat. Everything with nuances. Food should always be understood in context. The food system is full of violence, whether a product is organic does not free it from labor exploitation, or whether it is local does not free it from being stuffed with pesticides.

Are spirulina and worms the foods of the future?

I do not think that the solution is to introduce spirulina or insects, it is a proposal because it is true that the consumption of meat must be drastically reduced and what exists must only come from expansive breeding and in pasture. If, due to vegan ethics, you don’t want to eat animals, then seaweed is an option. And we already have the insect, there are products that carry it and we don’t know it because we don’t know how to read the labels. I believe that the solution is not to introduce a product, but the idea is to have a diet that has a careful relationship with the territory, with people and with animals.

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