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Malaga province's hidden larder offering sausages, cheeses, oils, sweets and honey
Food and drink

Malaga province's hidden larder offering sausages, cheeses, oils, sweets and honey

This village in the upper Axarquia boasts a wide variety of gastronomic products

Javier Almellones

Colmenar

Tuesday, 7 May 2024, 16:58

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Part of the town of Colmenar in Malaga province sits within the natural park of the Montes de Málaga and it is also the most north-western part of the Axarquía area to the east of Malaga.

Thanks to its history and location, Colmenar is home to a wide variety of products and even its name means apiary in Spanish. Its origins come from the main activity that was carried out in some of the local farmsteads until the 15th century. But, from the primitive beekeeping of that period to the present day, there is a wide repertoire of products that are made there today and which make Colmenar one of the great larders of Malaga province.

  1. Montes de Málaga goat's cheese

Cheeses from Agammasur.
Cheeses from Agammasur.

The town is home to the headquarters of the largest cheese-making company in the province; Agamma. It has become even bigger since it merged with Agasur and the two now form Agammasur, a cooperative with two different brands that produce high quality cheeses from Malaga goat's milk.

Most of the herds from which the milk is produced come from the Montes de Málaga and the surrounding area, which adds even more value to the dairy products. Many of them have won awards at both national and international competitions. The main headquarters are located in the Virgen de la Candelaria industrial estate, although all the cheeses can be bought online and also in many shops and large supermarkets.

  1. Sausages and other pork products

Embutidos de Colmenar.
Embutidos de Colmenar.

There is a great tradition of sausage production in this town, as can be seen in the list of the main companies in the agri-food sector. In addition to the sausages that are deeply rooted in this part of the province, such as salchichón, chorizo, black pudding and morcón, today other products are also made from white pork, such as sausages, peppered pâtés and sobrasada (cured pork sausage).

Among the most traditional companies in this area are the Rimicol cooperative and the family-run Beatriz e Hijos, both based in the industrial estate closest to the town centre. The latter also has a shop in the village. It is relatively easy to find their sausages both in the town and in other parts of the province. There are also other sausage companies in Colmenar such as La Colmena and Molina Hermanos López.

  1. Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil Molino de Colmenar.
Extra virgin olive oil Molino de Colmenar.

One need only look at the surroundings of Colmenar to see that there is no shortage of quality extra virgin olive oil. Between the limestone mountain ranges to the north, the foothills of the Montes de Málaga and the wide cereal fields, there is plenty of space for olive groves, mostly mountain olive groves, which produce excellent extra virgin olive oil. There are more predominant varieties such as verdial de Vélez and hojiblanca. Among the existing olive oil mills are the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria cooperative, which is part of the DCOOP group, and the Molino de Colmenar.

  1. Homemade bread and sweets

Roscos de vino by Artesanos Angulo, based in Colmenar.
Roscos de vino by Artesanos Angulo, based in Colmenar.

In Colmenar you can also find other key products of the Mediterranean diet, such as bread. To this must be added a wide variety of traditional confectionery that local bakeries and confectioners make. Bread and homemade sweets are relatively easy to find when strolling through the town centre.

To the north of the centre is La Tahona del Tinajero, where you can find both bread and sweets. Another good option is the Baena bakery, located very close to the honey museum. Other confectionery products are also made at Dulce Manía.

In addition to these three companies is the Artesanos Angulo wholesalers which was founded in 1931 and is located in Candelaria industrial estate. Its speciality is the traditional rosco de vino, but they also have many other typical Malaga sweets such as borrachuelos, hojaldres, torrijas and coconut sultanas.

  1. Honey

Honey of the brand La Alquería de la Sierra.
Honey of the brand La Alquería de la Sierra.

Of course Colmenar is also the home of honey and has the only honey museum in Malaga province. The museum raises awareness of both the world of bees and the traditional process of making honey and other products from the hive.

Naturmel, La Alquería de la Sierra and Apícola Piedra Solana are all companies that sell honey from the Candelaria industrial estate and their honeys are made from beehives located inland in Malaga province. Today they sell single-variety honeys of rosemary, thyme, avocado, orange blossom, eucalyptus, chestnut and forest. Other products on sale include pollen, pieces of honeycomb and honey sweets.

  1. Wine

Barrels from an old winery in Colmenar.
Barrels from an old winery in Colmenar.

One of the nicknames by which the inhabitants of Colmenar are known is "tinajero". This affectionate nickname apparently refers to the tradition of working with wine or even aniseed in earthenware jars. Today, the tradition of making 'vinos de terreno' (local wines) or 'mostos' as they are also known in the village, has survived.

These wines are still made in many homes today and can be bought in some of the local shops. Until a few years ago there was a winery that even sent its wines to the Spanish royal family. Although the wine no longer gets sent to the palace, the bodega is still run by José Molina.

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