It's easy to forget, and more so in summer, that there is life beyond the beach in Malaga. Although the coastline is one of the great attractions from June to September, the province is also home to dozens of inland villages that combine nature, culture and gastronomy, which can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
One of these is undoubtedly Canillas de Aceituno. Located in the Sierras Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama mountain range, the village has impressive views of the region and has been put on the map since the opening of the El Saltillo route in October 2020, which connects the village with Sedella as part of the Gran Senda of Malaga.
The greatest attraction of the route is the footbridge of the same name, which at 64 metres above the Almanchares river, 52 metres long and 1.2 metres wide, is one of the three largest suspension bridges in Spain.
But Canillas de Aceituno is also known for its rich gastronomy and in particular by gourmet dishes such as Malaga kid goat roasted on a coal fire and black pudding with onion.
Its cuisine is based mainly on the natural produce found in the surrounding area, with dishes influenced by its Andalusian origins, such as goat in almond sauce, fennel stew and cold soups like ajoblanco and gazpacho with muscatel grapes.
'Chacina' - chorizo sausage in migas (fried breadcrumbs) or gachas puercas (pork chorizo and black pudding fried in breadcrumbs, almonds and sugarcane honey) are also typical here.
For those with a sweet tooth the 'roscos tontos' biscuits and 'tortas de aceite'; small cakes made with local olive oil, which are traditionally accompanied by local muscatel wine.
Some of Canillas de Aceituno's most popular eateries where the local delicacies can be sampled are El Bodegón de Juan María, La Sociedad, Nébula and El Picota Andaluz.
One of the characteristics that make the Canillas kid goat dish unique is the way it is prepared; it is slow-cooked in an olive wood-fired oven for more than three hours, resulting in tender meat and roasted skin.
However, it can be prepared in all manner of ways and it is also used in more modern and fusion cuisine. Restaurant La Sociedad in Canillas de Aceituno is said to be one of the best places to try the dish.
Black pudding with onion is the other famous dish from Canillas de Aceituno, with the traditional recipe having been handed down from generation to generation.
It is so important to the residents of the Axarquía village that it even has its own special day on the last Sunday in April. However, this local pork-based dish can be enjoyed all year round, either on its own or in scrambled eggs, stuffed with meat or vegetables such as piquillo peppers, in couscous or in Spanish omelette... the list goes on.
Canillas de Aceituno town hall has recently launched the website www.gastronomiadecanillas.es, which contains information about the dishes, where to eat them and videos with recipes by well-known Malaga chefs.
Dani Carnero from Kaleja; Álvaro Saura, from Liceo Playa; Matteo Manzato, from Venetiis; and Camilo Rojas, from Los Patios de Beatas have all collaborated by uploading video recipes and an interactive recipe book that can be downloaded from the website.
The idea behind the website is to attract a target audience of men and women aged between 30 and 65 who have an active lifestyle, use the internet regularly and are looking for gastronomic experiences to enjoy with family and friends.