Advertsing hoarding promoting the local olives. / Alekk M Saanders

Tapas with Aloreñas: the 'little apples' from Malaga

All regions in Spain likes to boast about something which other regions don't have. This olive has earned the local toponymical name as a superior and exclusive product

ALEKK M SAANDERS

In the context of olives Andalucía is definitively without competition. Most olive trees grown in Jaén, Granada and Cordoba provinces are partially covered with a silver-green carpet of fruit. Malaga too has some olive groves for producing oil. However, the province has a superior variety of table olives called Aloreñas, native to Álora - a small town known by many expats for the Caminito del Rey.

The Aloreña is native not only to Álora but the whole Valle del Guadalhorce. Aloreña is like a small apple and for this reason many call it 'little apple' (manzanilla). In comparison to other sorts of olives that ripen in winter, the Aloreña harvest finishes by October. That is why the gastronomic campaign 'Tapeando con la Aloreña' (Tapas with Aloreña) takes place in October, under the auspices of the Diputación de Málaga and Sabor a Málaga.

The fleshy olives are typically served with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of fresh thyme and garlic. However, there is a long list of products that can be used for seasoning: bay leaf, onion, fennel, oregano, red pepper, paprika, cumin, mint, vinegar, cloves, etc.

The marinated Aloreñas are offered year around in any local bar as an aperitif or accompaniment. However, the campaign that starts on 15 October and lasts until 31 October provides an opportunity to try Aloreña in different dishes - such as 'Version of Malaga salad' (versión de ensaladilla malagueña), 'Aloreña croquette with smoked sausage tartar' (croqueta de Aloreña con tartar de salchichón ahumado), 'brioche with pullet stuffed with Aloreña olives with citrus marinade' (brioche de pularda rellena de aceitunas Aloreñas con escabeche cítrico) or 'olive trilogy' (trilogía de la aceituna).

A total of 31 establishments throughout Malaga province are offering a variety of dishes which will feature the Aloreña de Málaga as the star ingredient. Most of them are in Malaga but also at Venetiis (Benalmádena), Puente Real (Torremolinos), Teo (Marbella), Tipi Tapa (Fuengirola), Don Rudolfo (Estepona) as well as in Álora, Coín, Almayate, Alhaurín el Grande, Antequera, Pizarra, and Gaucín.

This year, the participants in the campaign could 'win' twice – by tasting the Aloreñas in exclusive dishes and also perhaps winning a prize. There will be a prize draw on Instagram, in which people who have tried the dishes from the participating establishments will be able to win some great prizes including a restaurant dinner, tickets to the Caminito del Rey and lots of Sabor a Málaga delicacies.