The best batch of 2021 bull's ball tomatoes is worth 1,550 euros. The Guadalhorce Agrifood Market took place last weekend and it included a charity auction of the finest examples of this type of tomatoes, so-named because of their huge size and distinctive shape. This is one of the star events of the summer in the Guadalhorce valley area, and this year the money raised is going to the DeColores association, which helps children with functional diversity.
The auction marked the end of a busy weekend at the 'Sabor a Málaga' market, where prizes were also awarded for the best locally grown fruit and vegetables including an 80-kilo pumpkin, garlic and nectarines, among others.
Hundreds of visitors visited the more than 20 stands in the market this year, and although the bull's ball tomato was the star there were plenty of other local products bearing the provincial government's 'Sabor a Málaga' seal of approval. Cheeses, essential oils, cured meats, cakes and potato crisps were just some of the items available for sale.
After a morning of numerous tastings and samplings, the moment came to award the prize for the best batch of bull's ball tomatoes, which this year were grown by Juan Francisco Torres. As soon as they were declared the best tasting tomatoes the traditional auction began, and the aim was to raise at least as much as last year: 1,550 euros.
After some fierce bidding, the winner was Sergio Cuberos, who is the president of the Malaga Chamber of Commerce and general manager of the Maskom Supermarket chain, for exactly that same price. All the money will be given to the DeColores association.
"We are very happy. It is a great help for our cause, especially in a year when it is difficult to obtain financing," said the president, Fuensanta Solano.
Juan Francisco Torres was not the only person to win a prize for his tomatoes; the second prize went to Loli Mena, and the third to La Huerta de Carmen. Paco García, the manager of El Lago restaurant in Marbella, received a special award for his work in promoting this type of tomato.
The prizes for other types of local produce, including the 80-kilo pumpkin grown by Cristóbal Guerrero, Antonio González's garlic and the nectarines also grown by Guerrero were awarded by different authorities including the Junta de Andalucía's Elías Bendodo; the regional Minister of Finance, Juan Bravo; Mayor of Coín, Francisco Santos; Vice-president of the Diputación de Malaga, Juan Carlos Maldonado; President of the GDR Valle del Guadalhorce, Félix Lozano; Second Vice-president of the Diputación, Margarita del Cid; the Junta's delegate for Agriculture in Malaga, Fernando Fernández; and the region's Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Ana Corredera.
The day finished with a tasting of bread and tomato with David Llamas, the runner-up in the national artisan breadmaking competition and a demonstration of artisan pizza cookery with local produce by Salvador Macías, ofGastrocortijobenítez in Coín. There was also a cocktail workshop led by Camila Rodríguez Molet, of Restaurante El Higuerón in Fuengirola, who created several recipes using bull's ball tomatoes as the main ingredient.