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Welcome to Malaga

Malaga, known as the capital of the Costa del Sol, with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, the city has a lot to offer! Let yourself be surprised by its history, its museums, its traditions, its gastronomy, its beaches, its landscapes, its villages… What are you waiting for?

Typical from Malaga.... ``Espetos``

A salty, smoky aroma in the south of Spain can only mean one thing: it’s Espetos season! On June 12, the Google Doodle celebrated the taste of summer with a tribute to this typical and traditional dish only in Malaga, a popular Spanish dish of espetos de sardinas that are traditionally grilled over firewood on the beach. On this day in 2006, the city of Malaga unveiled a statue of the Espetero – the person who makes espetos de sardinas – to celebrate the traditional craft.

Espeto owes its name to the Spanish word «espetar». Its origin dates back to the 19th century in Malaga (Spain). Hungry fishermen skewered fish on skewers and stuck pieces of wood in the sand by the fire for a quick meal. Over time, people experimented making espetos with sea bream, sea bass or even squid, but sardines became the most common choice. Tip: espetos are only eaten in months without «R» in the name and never on Mondays, as there are no fish markets on Mondays 😉 .

Today, espeto is still a celebrated beachside snack, but the work of preparation has moved to boats filled with sand and wood fires. Cooks place the sardines on a skewer, season them with salt and grill them over a wood fire. Once cooked, the golden sardines are sprinkled with lemon juice. The sardines are fatter during the summer months, which gives them even more flavor.

¡¡¡¡Happy meal !!!!

Biznaga a symbol of Malaga

It’s traditional to make them in summer, but you can make them all year round due to the excellent weather in Malaga. Where can you find them? Why are they present at some of the most important events on the Costa del Sol, such as the Malaga Spanish Film Festival?

The word Biznaga comes from Arabic and means «a gift from God». In the past it was used as an air freshener for its pleasant scent and as a natural mosquito repellent. Now it has become a decoration and one of the emblems of Malaga. Biznagas are made by hand, using jasmine and the stem of the nerdo, a kind of thistle collected in late spring. The jasmine flowers are placed on the umbels of the nerdo while they are still closed. In the evening, the flowers open and release their characteristic fragrance. There are many types of jasmine, but the most commonly used is the royal jasmine, which is white and has a sweet aroma.

A biznaguero is the man who sells bizanagas on the street. He wears traditional dress and usually carries the biznagas in a penca (a prickly pear leaf). The biznaguero is also in charge of making the biznagas, and he must prepare well before summer. He collects the nerdos in late spring, before the heat sets in. Then he removes the leaves and unwanted stalks until only the part that will be used to make the biznaga remains. He then leaves the stalks to dry and turn brown so that they are stiff enough to carry the jazmine. When summer comes, the biznaguero collects the prickly pear leaves and removes the thorns. Finally, he gathers the jasmine.

One of the most important events for the sale of biznagas is the Malaga Fair, which takes place in August. Calle Larios is transformed into a street market where biznagueros offer their fragrant bouquets to visitors.

Biznagas also play an important role in the Malaga Spanish Film Festival. Each year the winners are awarded a silver-plated Biznaga. The coveted Golden Biznaga is the highest award.

Have you got yours yet ? What are you waiting for ?

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