Many of the greatest revolutions of modern life have started at a very small scale. An almost fractal scale. The atom forever changed physics, genes have had a profound impact on biology, the bit in computing and technology and pixels in visual arts. Could we speculate that the next big revolution in the field of food might begin on a very small scale too? Could this revolution be driven by candies?

Candy is a part of almost everyone’s infant imaginary and when carefully analyzed, it shows us that it shouldn’t only be considered a risk factor for obesity, diabetes, tooth decay and other health issues that plague modern society, but actually a subject with many opportunities for study. Under this premise The Candy Project begins its jurney, challenging the preconceptions about candy and trying to dignify it: reversing or neutralizing any charge of negativity attached to it, thus exploiting its potential.

Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz and sociologist Iñaki Martínez de Albeniz from the University of Basque Country take the lead of the research: “candy as a topic has not yet been seriously addressed because it’s believed that there is little substantial content to it: it’s associated with meaningless, almost irrelevant subjects, except from the perspective of food science, which has almost demonized this food for it’s risks involving children’s nutrition, specially. You need to leverage this stigma to invert it”, explains Martínez de Albeniz.

It was during Andoni’s and his team’s many trips around the world that they observed a strong connection between culinary cultures and candy and snacks for children. What is candy? When and how is it consumed? What is the predominant flavor of candy in your country? Where and how is it sold? What kind of candy left a mark on your childhood? There are endless questions about the subject and still there is not one rigorous study about it. Candy is strongly present on our day-to-day life though it does often, as many other truly interesting things, go unnoticed. The Candy Project seeks to answer these questions and rescue the true meaning of candy through a systematic study of its textures and flavors. The project will trace candy’s historical evolution, it will analyze the incidence in childhood and trace the relationship it has with children’s formation.

The Candy Project consists of two parts, one theoretical, which aims to generate basic knowledge about candy and another one that applies to more specific contexts involving social innovation in the form of gastronomic education. The research has the support of the global movement Slow Food International and University of Gastronomic Sciences, which its 100,000 members worldwide, from chefs to suppliers, journalists and other people from the gastronomic world. Its members are spread around 150 countries and have received a questionnaire about what the meaning of candy is in each of their countries.

The material that generates from these responses will help in the production of a data collection and subsequent analysis and catalogue of candies in a conceptual, organoleptic and nutritional level. This data will provide information needed to develop a “world map” the cultural diversity of candy. The project will show wether globalization has caused a loss of diversity in candy and wether ir has played a part in the homogenization process of candy consumption. We want to know if globalization implies a standardization in certain social-cultural processes and social etiquette involving candy: the “prize and punishment” and the game fomented by some candies, the encouragement of children’s imagination, the relationship with money, war, etc.

The Candy Project has just started…

who is who?


Mugaritz is a well-known restaurant in Errenteria, Gipuzkoa (Basque Country, Spain), led by Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz. It is considered one of the 50 World’s Best Restaurants (in the top ten since 2006) according to Restaurant Magazine and it has two Michelin stars. Mugaritz has always prioritized both culinary evolution and an interdisciplinary approach, crossing the established borders, creating a unique gastronomic experience that shocks, surprises and delights the diner.


Iñaki Martínez de Albéniz has a PhD in Sociology. Currently, he is a Sociology Professor at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). He took part in numerous research projects with both public and private funding and has published arious articles in prestigious scientific journals. His fields of research are: Gastronomy, Sociology of Art and Culture, Science and Education, Technology and Society. He will be responsible for the contents of the research project and its scientific direction.


The University of Gastronomic Sciences is an international academic institution founded in 2004 by Carlo Petrini, the founder of the Slow Food Movement, as the first university specifically devoted to studying the inextricable links between food and culture.
Gabriella Morini is an Assistant Professor of Taste & Food Sciences at the University of Gastronomic Sciences. The main fields of her research are the genetics of taste and its influences on the determination of food preferences and the study of the chemoreception mechanism of taste active compounds. She is the author of more that 40 papers in international scientific journals. Her role in the project will be to to explore the relevance of candy in the development of taste preference, food choice and habits.



Slow Food, founded in 1989, is a global, grassroots organization that links the pleasure of good food with a commitment to local communities and the environment. It works to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, and envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet. Its approach is based on a concept of food that is defined by three interconnected principles: good, clean and fair. Nowadays, Slow Food has grown into a global movement involving millions of people, in over 150 countries.


Dimension is an independent advertising agency focused on strategy and creativity located in Donostia. They work for brands that compete with stronger market competitors. They believe in the challenges because they have grown overcoming them. Like they say: «This work is not an exchange of briefings by campaigns. We like to feel part of the project and that makes us get involved until the end. We are sellers and we want to be judged as such.»

Thank’s to: