COSTA DEL SOL - FOOD & WINE
Espeto de Sardinas
Roasted on spits as the key player in a quintessential Malagueño beachside barbecue, these sardines are the freshest you`ll ever try. The espetos de sardinas are most commonly served in beachfront bars called chiringuitos, which generally open seasonally and are as casual as they come. Despite seeming so simple, this dish is harder than it looks at first glance– you must carve proper spears and know exactly how to hammer them into the sand. The fire can`t be too strong or too weak - and you don`t want to let the sardines go dry.
Another popular dish featuring a medley of different types of fish according to what has emerged from the fisherman´s net on that particular day. A typical fritura may include sardinas (sardines), calamares (squid), salmonete (red mullet), sepia (cuttlefish), jurelito (mackerel), pescadilla (small hake), rape (monkfish), and rosada (Norwegian haddock). The fish are lightly dusted in white flour, without eggs, Andalusian style, and then fried for a short time in virgin olive oil and served with a big wedge of lemon. For an additional Moorish aroma, fritura masters add powdered cumin to the flour.
All over the province, you will find boquerones on bar and restaurant menus. These are anchovies that have been fried in olive oil and they are a firm favorite of locals as a choice for tapas. Sometimes the anchovies are marinated in vinegar, salt, garlic and olive oil with a bay leaf and parsley for flavoring. The acid in the vinegar effectively "cooks" the fish which is usually served cold on top of a chunk of fresh bread.
Another dish influenced by Spain`s Moorish rule, ajo blanco is a cold soup, often called the "white gazpacho from Malaga”. Made from Almonds, garlic, hard white bread, olive oil, water, sherry vinegar, and a topping of Muscat grapes, ajo blanco is the pre-gazpacho, popular long before tomatoes were imported from Spain`s conquests in the New World. The Malaga version is characterized by muscatel grapes with their sweetness balanced by a very hefty dose of garlic. The contrast of flavors creates a unique and unusual taste experience.
This soup is a fish and potato soup made with vinegar. Its main ingredients are fish, potatoes, water, salt, mayonnaise and wine vinegar. Sometimes prawns are added as well or used as a substitute for the fish. It is traditionally accompanied by chopped hard-boiled egg and toasted bread.
Gambas al Pil Pil
A simple dish that tastes out of this world! There are some variations that include parsley and paprika but the basic recipe calls for olive oil which is gently heated to fry garlic and chili pepper. The prawns are added and briefly stir-fried before serving the dish sizzling hot in individual ramekins with lots of fresh bread to mop up the delicious juices
This cold soup which Antequera has lent its name to is similar to gazpacho with a base of ripe tomatoes and smaller amounts of cucumber and green pepper seasoned with olive oil, garlic and vinegar or lemon. However, whereas traditional recipes call for the gazpacho to be thinned with iced water, this recipe has no added liquid. The resulting soup is very thick and filling with its garnish of ham, chopped hard-boiled egg, and tuna.
Molletes de Antequera
An essential component of a typical breakfast, molletes are absolutely perfect with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, fresh tomatoes, and a thin slice of Jamón Ibérico de Bellota. The history of this addictive breakfast bread is fascinating, as food historians believe that the Moors introduced this baked bread to Spain during their reign in Andalusia. Over time, the small town of Antequera became best known for their outstanding quality of molletes and for keeping the tradition alive. Molletes are usually round or oval shaped, with a soft, spongy texture. They are best when grilled or toasted, covered with your spread of choice and eaten immediately so that they don`t get soggy.
Málaga has long been famous for the sweet Muscatel wine that Russian Empress Catherine the Great loved so much she imported it to Saint Petersburg duty-free in 1792. Muscatel was sold medicinally in pharmacies in the 18th century for its curative powers and is still widely produced and often served as accompaniment to dessert or tapas.
Montes de Malaga produces wines, generally made with Muscat grapes. These grapes are characterized by their colors ranging from yellow to black, as well as their floral aroma, and their dry and sweet flavors. Some of the most traditional wines include Málaga Virgen, Gomara, and Quitapenas.
Spanish Rioja is among the most full-bodied of reds there is, and is often served chilled throughout Andalucía, with all classifications (joven, crianza, reserva and gran reserva) fantastically delicious. For a twist, the Spanish sometimes add cola to their red wine to create Calimocho; Fanta or Sprite to create Tinto de Verano, or fruit juices to create the iconic sangria. Sherrys and Manzanillas are also wonderfully crisp and delightful specialties of the region.
Then there`s the beer. San Miguel, Cruzcampo, Mahou, Alhambra – all Spanish, all excellent when chilled by the beach, accompanied by food or clasped tightly in hand as you totter over the dance floor to the pulsating basslines of the latest chart-topping Europop hit.
Torta de aceite
A sweet, crunchy, and flaky bread with more than 100 years of tradition in Spanish pastries.
A shell-shape bun with an irrestible lemon aroma.
A warm dessert that is served during winter. Basically it is fried bread squares that have a sweet mixture poured over them. This mixture consists of flour, sugar, water, milk, olive oil, and anisette. Sometimes honey is used instead of sugar and milk.