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The essential flavours of autumn in Málaga



The essential flavours of autumn in Málaga

When summer comes to an end, Málaga's territorial diversity provides us with a wide variety of products that become the protagonists of Málaga's markets in the autumn season

Historical venues, such as the Atarazanas Market or the Salamanca Market, or traditional ones, such as the Huelin Market, show all their colour in their different stalls offering a variety of products from all over the province, which we will talk about in this post.

Visitors can buy everything from sultanas to cured meats, cheeses, chestnuts, olives, mangoes, meats and fish from the bay, among other local delicacies. We invite you on a journey through the flavours of autumn in Málaga.

Málaga raisins: a sweet delicacy

Málaga raisins have a designation of origin and are internationally renowned. They are obtained through the natural sun-drying of ripe fruit of the Málaga Muscatel or Muscat of Alexandria variety, mainly in the Axarquia region. This drying is carried out in the “paseros,” which are south-facing areas to make the most of the hours of sunshine. In the “paseros,” the bunches of grapes are carefully arranged until they are dried and destemmed either manually, employing a process known as “picado,” or mechanically.

The most eagerly awaited of the autumn: chestnuts

The Genal Valley, in the region of Ronda, is one of the largest producers of chestnuts on the peninsula. Its copper-coloured forests produce this fruit (which can be eaten raw, cooked, roasted or in syrup, jam or cream) during the autumn. It is also used in the area to feed the Iberian pig, giving rise to the exquisite chestnut ham, a purely Málaga product.

The tasty and aromatic aloreña olive

This is the first table olive with a protected designation of origin in Spain. Its production area encompasses a total of 19 municipalities, including Álora, from which it takes its name, spread between the regions of the Sierra las Nieves and the Guadalhorce Valley. The olives are harvested by “verdeo” or hand-picking. They are then split and placed in brine (water with a concentration of salt) for a few days to be seasoned with a mixture of aromatic plants typical of the area, such as thyme and fennel, garlic and pepper.

The sweet potato and its versatility

In the province of Málaga, the sweet potato is a food with many uses. It forms part of the filling of “borrachuelos” and other sweets and is also eaten roasted, in pasties or as an accompaniment to meat dishes. Sweet potato is also sold in sugar cane juice concentrate and cream. The sweet potato is a very energetic food due to its richness in carbohydrates and sweet taste due to its high sugar content.

The Moorish carrot and its peculiarities

The “morá carrot” is a vegetable that has been cultivated since the time of Al-Andalus in the municipality of Cuevas Bajas. During all this time, the farmers of the area have managed to preserve its distinguishing characteristics: a striking yellowish interior with a wide range of purple tones arranged in concentric circles. They have a mild, sweet taste and can be eaten raw or fried. They are used to make jams, vinegar and even snacks.

Mangoes: the tropical fruit par excellence in Málaga

When Málaga started growing mangoes three decades ago, some 25 varieties were tested. Of these, the osteen, with little fibre in the pulp, remains the most popular. Málaga mangoes are harvested at their exact point of ripeness in a harvesting season that runs from August to October, sometimes reaching the beginning of November. The main harvesting area is the Axarquía region and work is currently underway to create a brand that certifies its local origin. In recent years, several companies in the area have opted to use mango to make jams and liqueurs.

Almonds: a fruit that is very present in Málaga dishes

Almonds are a nut that is closely linked to the province of Málaga. There are some 16,000 hectares dedicated to this crop in its different varieties, although the most appreciated is the “marcona.” Almonds, which are highly nutritious and beneficial to health, are used in several Málaga dishes, such as “ajoblanco,” “chivo a la pastoril” or monkfish soup, among others, as well as in different sweets. They are also an attraction in the city centre of Málaga, where they are sold roasted and salted on street stalls.

The Málaga goat: renowned for its milk and juicy meat

The Málaga goat is an autochthonous breed that is among the most dairy in the world. Its milk is used to make the cheeses for which the province is famous, as some of them are among the best in the world. Depending on their maturity, different flavours, colours and textures can be distinguished. Likewise, if there is one meat with its stamp in Malaga, it is a suckling goat. This meat is very juicy and has a characteristic mild flavour due to the animal's milk-based diet.