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Benaoján celebrates the festival of 'chacinas'

A demonstration of how to make chorizo.
A demonstration of how to make chorizo. / V. Melgar
  • The town in the Serranía de Ronda with 11 factories producing cold meats held a special festival as a tribute to the industry

An old Spanish saying goes “Donde hay grasas, mejor te lo pasas” which roughly means that where there's fat you'll enjoy it more. This was reiterated by television chef Enrique Sánchez at the XV Feria de Chacina in Benaoján last weekend.

Benaoján is well known for its cold meats; in a town with just under 1,500 inhabitants there are 11 factories producing pork loin, chorizo, jamón and other cured products. Some of them have been in operation for over a hundred years.

Sánchez was nominated Benaoján's ambassador and following tradition was weighed on antique scales. His weight (93 kilos) in meat products were then donated to the NGO Los Ángeles Malagueños de la Noche (Malaga Angels of the Night), which provides food for the homeless and needy. Local journalist, Eski Macías, was nominated as 'Ambassador of the Zurrapa' (zurrapa is a meaty pork paté topped with a layer of white lard).

Elías Bendodo, president of the provincial government, Monsalud Bautista, tourism delegate for the Junta de Andalucía, and the town mayor Soraya García, attended the inauguration ceremony.

Hundreds of visitors took advantage of the two bank holidays (Día de la Constitución and Día de la Inmaculada Concepción) to fill their larders and in preparation for the upcoming Christmas break.

Besides the cooked and cured meats there were traditional cakes, sweets, honey and a variety of breads to purchase and to taste. There were also demonstrations on how to make chorizo and the best way to fry sliced pork loin.