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Looking forward to a year of foodie festivals

  • From olive oil to wine and seasonal fruit, there are a variety of food festivals to visit throughout the year

Malaga has seen a big increase in the number of gastronomic festivals over the last few years, with local and regional dishes and produce being promoted.

Everything from extra virgin olive oil to wine and seasonal fruit is available at these festivals plus a repertoire of dishes from traditional Andalusian recipes that would otherwise become forgotten. Here are a few of the most important on the calendar this year.

Ardales

4 February

Fiesta de la Matanza

After the over-indulgence of the holidays, Ardales is the first town in Malaga province to hold a big gastronomic festival. All pork products are promoted during the event and includes tastings of the cured meats and the local 'carne en salsa' (pork in gravy).

Álora

Mid February

Mercado de Queso Tradicional

Around the 17th and 18th February (not confirmed), the town of Álora holds a cheese market dedicated to the cheeses of Andalucía. The Mirador de la Cancula becomes packed with cheese fans who can also purchase milk products, attend workshops and tastings.

Benarrabá

24 - 25 February

Feria Gastronómica de la Serranía de Ronda

Every year, around Día de Andalucía, Benarrabá lures visitors to the village with a tapas route and a gastronomy market.

El Burgo

28 February

Fiesta de la Sopa de los Siete Ramales

Andalucía day is celebrated in El Burgo with a festival dedicated to its most traditional dish, Sopa de los Siete Ramales, a thick soup made from bread, fresh vegetables and asparragus.

Villanueva del Rosario

24 March

Fiesta de la Tagarnina

The last Saturday in March is reserved for the tagarninas festival in Villanueva del Rosario. This village in the Sierra Norte of Malaga will be handing out hundreds of portions of the filling stew made with the mid-ribs of a specific thistle.

Monda

First or second week in April

Día de la Sopa Mondeña

Traditionally this festival is celebrated on the first days of spring, which is usually influenced by when Easter falls each year. This year the date has not yet been confirmed. The soup is made in a huge pan and shared out to visitors. Many residents prepare their own versions of this traditional dish. The recipe varies a little but they all have one thing in common, the renowned tomato 'de culo'.

Periana

First or second week in April

Día del Aceite Verdial

Periana is strongly linked to the olive oil industry, especially to the oil produced from the 'verdial' variety of olive. At the end of the olive harvest the town celebrates with a festival where visitors can taste and buy the 'liquid gold'.

Villanueva de la Concepción

29 April

Día de la Haba

This festival in the town of Villanueva de la Concepción is held on the last Sunday of the month. It is also known as the Fiesta del Verdeo, and celebrates the humble broad bean which will be available to try, cooked in diverse ways.

Sierra de Yeguas

29April

Feria del Espárrago y de los Productos Ecológicos

The town of Sierra de Yeguas also holds an important food festival on the last Sunday of April. Among the produce available will be the tender asparragus which is grown in the fertile soil in the area.

Canillas de Aceituno

29 April

Día de la Morcilla

The 29 April in Canillas de Aceituno is the day that homage is paid to the famous morcilla (black pudding). Every year, hundreds of kilos of the sausage are shared out washed down with the local wine or a glass of beer.

Frigiliana

29 April

Día de la Miel de Caña

This festival celebrates the black treacle which is traditionally made in Frigiliana. Besides tastings, it also possible to visit the factory where it is made.

Sayalonga

6 May

Día del Níspero

The first Sunday in May, one of the most famous gastronomic festivals in the Axarquía is celebrated. Visitors can taste the local nísperos (loquats) as well as other products.

Alhaurín el Grande

13 May

Fiesta de la Cachorreña

The San Isidro area of Alhaurín El Grande pays tribute to the 'cachorreña' orange with a festival dedicated to it and other produce.

Coín

Around 20 May

Fiesta de la Naranja

Coín is famous for its oranges and this festival celebrates the versatility of this fruit.

Riogordo

27 May

Día de la Caracol

Snail Day is just that, a day dedicated to the snail with an opportunity to try the local dish of snails cooked in stock.

Alfarnate

16 and 17 June

Día de la Cereza

When the cherry harvest is coming to the end, Alfarnate celebrates a gastronomic festival promoting the fruit.

Alfarnatejo

4 August

Día del Gazpacho

The smallest village in the high Axarquía is famous for its 'gazpacho de tres golpes'. A cold soup made with three basic ingredients (vinegar, water and salt) added to finely chopped peppers, cucumber, garlic, tomatoes and onions. .

Iznate

4 August

Día de la Uva Moscatel

The first grapes of the season are the highlight of this festival which also offers tastings of other local products and produce.

Cómpeta

15 August

Noche del Vino

Cómpeta has been associated with sweet wine for hundreds of years. The event starts at around lunch time, with tastings of migas and wine and carries on through the evening.

Almáchar

1 September

Fiesta del Ajoblanco

This festival is one of the most famous summer events in Andalucía. It is dedicated to the traditional cold soup made from ground almonds, garlic and bread.

Moclinejo

9 September

Fiesta de Viñeros

Tribute is paid to the vine workers at this gastronomic festival in Moclinejo. Grapes, raisins and wine are available for tasting.

El Borge

16 September

Día de la Pasa

El Borge, known for its muscatel grapes, holds a gastronomic festival every third Sunday in September in which the grapes can be tasted as well as other local products such as cooked and cured meats, gazpacho and migas.

Casabermeja

21 - 23 September

Fiesta de la Cabra Malagueña

The Fiesta de la Cabra Malagueña includes a gastronomic route through the bars and restaurants, a craft market and tours of the town.

Rincón de la Victoria

22 and 23 September

Día del Boquerón

The star of the festival is the 'boquerón', the anchovy. There are free tastings of this little fish, fried and crispy or marinaded in vinegar and herbs.

Almogía

30 September

Día de la Almendra

Every year on the last Sunday in September, Almogía celebrates the almond, one of the most important ingredients in traditional Andalusian cuisine. There are tastings of almonds cooked in different dishes.

Álora

6 October

Día de Sopas Perotas

The first Saturday of October, the town of Álora promotes its famous traditional dish, Sopa Perota. A thick soup made with vegetables and bread.

Teba

5, 6 and 7 October

Mercado de Queso Artesano

Teba holds a special market for artisan cheeses with stalls from producers from all over Spain and some from abroad. Products can be bought direct from the suppliers and there are many cheeses for tasting.

Yunquera

27 and 28 October

Fiesta de la Castaña y el Vino

The last weekend in October is when Yunquera holds a gastronomic festival dedicated to the local chestnuts and wine.

Pujerra

2 - 4 November

Fiesta de la Castaña

Pujerra is one of the biggest producers of chestnuts in Andalucía and the annual harvest is celebrated with a traditional 'tostón' (toasting).

Campillos

4 or 11 November

Feria del Jamón

The cured ham festival is an ideal chance to stock up ready for Christmas and also features producers of other pork products. The date is still to be confirmed.

Parauta

10 November

Fiesta del Conejo

The second Saturday in November is reserved for the gastronomic festival dedicated to rabbit, a staple in the diet of the area many years ago.

Totalán

25 November

Fiesta de la Chanfaina

The recipe for Totalán's traditional dish is a guarded secret but seems to be mainly offal. The festival is very popular and hundreds of visitors flock to the town to try free samples of the dish.

Cuevas Bajas

2 December

Fiesta de la Zanahoria Morá

The purple carrot is vegetable that has been around for centuries and has been brought back to popularity in the town where it was historically grown. Stalls will be selling the carrots as well as jams, drinks and foods made with the unusual root.

Benaoján

Between 6 and 9 December

Feria de la Chacina

Benajoán celebrates the pig with a gastronomic festival full of all things pork. There is a market selling the fresh and cooked meat as well as other local products.

Colmenar

16 December

Fiesta del Mosto y la Chacina

One of the last gastronomic festivals of the year, Colmenar holds a specialist market for pork products as well as wine, cheeses, cakes and artisan bread.

Torrox

23 December

Fiesta de la Migas

A traditional winter dish, migas (flour, garlic and olive oil), is popular across Spain. Torrox has been celebrating this dish for over 30 years in a festival that attracts huge crowds.