Neither Barcelona’s cool, nor Madrid’s castizo, Zaragoza lies just in the middle, both geographic and socially. Things are charming, not so advanced, in the 5th biggest city in Spain. Here, my half-foreign eyes sadly contemplate a market ruled by the new rich, who spend on unsustainable consumerist fashion – only comparable to the BRIC.

A walk around and,  without much effort, one will run into Fantoba, the oldest bakery in town, founded on 1856 and beautifully decorated by Ricardo Magdalena (one of the most important architects of the time).

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They managed to maintain the techniques, recipes, ingredients, innovating but, not too much so the taste we all grew up with, was still beating on their sweet offerings.

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Dropping by, my mother’s innocent request stroke the baker, as much as the new look smashed my eyes:

– Where are the merlys?
– Oh… We don’t make them anymore. I miss them too… But you know how do things work, right? New owner, new rules, no say for us. Being honest, I hate the shelves, overcrowding the counter with fancy stuff. I don’t see the customers, it’s hard to talk to them, I feel like in a jail or even worse, the tackiest Quick-E-Mart.

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Coolio, thought for myself. I love this country as much as I suffer from, somehow common, the lack of identity, the inability to value what we count on. Heritage is of little value, neither to sustain concepts, nor to protect art, until it is too late to fix the mistake. Seen it on over construction (during the 70s) along the east coast, from empty museums to full bars down to my little town’s old bakery, where FADs (like Bling water) replace old delicatessen.

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This is not the answer. This will not fix the harsh times. The building bubble burstling and mingling with the financial downturn, unemployment growing and… Bling water is the last blockbuster? What has to be the tipping point for mindsets to change? What about the rebirth of Bottega Venetta’s craftmanship? Never heard of unique authenticity or its value on the long run, especially given this cracking world? If only they stared at their poster for a while.

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This is a post by the David Report contributor Claudia Muñiz García.

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