Celebrating the Axarquía's 'liquid gold'

Celebrating the Axarquía's 'liquid gold'

Around 80 people attended the first Molienda in English event in Riogordo since before the pandemic

Jennie Rhodes

Jennie Rhodes


Sunday, 19 February 2023

Around 80 English-speaking Axarquía residents and visitors attended the first live Molienda in English since the start of the pandemic in Riogordo on Saturday 18 February.

The event was organised by the town hall and long-term resident Leila Bayandor Lawson to celebrate the village’s extra virgin olive oil (evoo or aove in Spanish) producing tradition and to allow non-Spanish speakers to learn more about the history and production of the so-called ‘liquid gold’.

The day started with a welcome from the mayor of Riogordo, Antonio Alés Montesino and Leila and a tour of the village’s Agro-Olivarera olive oil cooperative to learn about the process of producing evoo, followed by a traditional ‘miller’s breakfast’ of bread with olive oil and local goat’s cheese.

This was followed by a tour of a nearby olive tree estate, where Dr. Francisco Lorenzo Tapia who is the president of Olearum; an association which promotes the culture and heritage of Spanish olive oil and author of the book AOVE Málaga, demonstrated how to tell whether a tree was a 'monumental' or 'singular' example.

With the help of some youngsters who had joined the tour, he demonstrated how to measure a tree. With a girth of over four metres, the chosen tree was confirmed to be a monumental example. Lorenzo Tabia added that a tree had to be very 3.5 metres tall for it to be accepted into this category.

Francisco Lorenzo Tapia shows how to measure the girth of an olive tree j. rhodes

Visitors also learned that olive trees are often hollow inside and that a healthy tree retains its sap in a bulge that grows on the trunk, which keep it sufficiently hydrated during the dry months of the year.

After the tour, visitors listened to talk by Alexis Kerner, founder of The Olive Oil Workshop and a member of Olearum, who provided a tasting of different types of olive oils. Although Alexis has given talks at the Molienda in English before, they had previously been online due to the pandemic. This was the first time she was actually present at a live event.

The final part of the day was a cooking demonstration by the renowned Malaga chef Dano García Peinado, who showed the visitors how to prepare different local dishes that are made using evoo.

Olive oil expert Alexis Kerner speaking to the group j. rhodes

'La Molienda' means 'the milling' in Spanish and is celebrated in Riogordo at this time of year when when olive picking season (November to April) is in full swing.

A programme of activities is planned for La Molienda in Spanish, which is in its twelfth year and taking place from Friday 24 until Sunday 26 February. The three-day event includes guided tours of the village’s ethnographic museum, which is home to an original olive milling stone, workshops, tastings and the traditional olive stone throwing competition which will close the event at around 1.30pm on Sunday.




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