Institut Ramon LLull

Cava's Place, a discussion with Dr. Robert Davidson of the University of Toronto

Gastronomy.  Chicago, virtual, 02/02/2021

Dr. Bob Davidson writes, “While Catalan cava may be the most popular sparkling wine in Spain, during the first decades of the twenty-first century, it has become a controversial product. From campaigns protesting Catalonia’s push for increased sovereignty to internal divisions within its regulatory Denomination of Origin, the very meaning of 'cava,' what it is, where it is from and what drinking it denotes, has become contested."

Dr. Davidson builds on his existing work on Catalan terroir—and the fact that cava is not restricted to a geographic area—to argue that the symbolic charge of “cava” has become unstable. Exposure to ideological fights in the form of politically-motivated boycotts and the breaking away of a splinter group from the DO both raise the same questions: what and where is cava’s place?

Bob Davidson is Professor of Spanish & Catalan at the University of Toronto and Director of the Northrop Frye Centre at Victoria College. He is the author of Jazz Age Barcelona and The Hotel: Occupied Space and founder and co-editor of the Toronto Iberic book series at University of Toronto Press. He loves both cava and martinis.

It is suggested that participants read Dr. Robertson’s article, Terroir and Catalonia in anticipation of the event. To participate, please pre-register. Contact Caitlin McClelland at for questions.

Organized by Catalan Studies at The University of Chicago and the Joan Coromines Visiting Chair.

February 26, 2021

3:00pm CST, 4:00pm EST

Via ZOOM. Pre-register here.

Q&A to follow.



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