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Día del Níspero in Sayalonga. SUR
This is the village in Malaga province where, this weekend, you can try the Asian fruit it is now famous for
Gastronomy

This is the village in Malaga province where, this weekend, you can try the Asian fruit it is now famous for

Sayalonga in the Axarquía is holding its annual Día del Níspero on Sunday 5 May with free tastings and live entertainment

Eugenio Cabezas

Sayalonga

Wednesday, 1 May 2024, 14:47

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The village of Sayalonga in the Axarquía on the eastern side of Malaga province is celebrating its annual ‘Día del Níspero’ or loquat day on Sunday 5 May. “The Día del Níspero is one of our most popular food festivals and one which preserves the sense of promoting and enhancing the value of a local product,” said the mayor Beatriz Cebrero.

Between 1,200 and 1,500 kilos will be given out throughout the day and there will be other opportunities to try the fruit and learn about its history and properties, which has been grown in and around the village since the early 1980s.

It was the then socialist mayor Miguel del Pilar, who took office in 1979 with the first democratic elections in Spain and remained in office until 1995, who undertook a major modernisation of the water infrastructure of the village. This allowed the introduction of new crops beyond the traditional Mediterranean trio of vines, almonds and olives.

New crops

One of the new crops was the níspero; a fruit native to Asian countries, specifically China and Japan, which adapted perfectly to the rugged terrain of the Sayalonga river valley. The locals began to plant them on a large scale, turning the village into Malaga province’s loquat capital. However, the cultivation area has been considerably reduced in recent years, in favour of other subtropical crops, such as mango and avocado, to barely 50 hectares.

The town hall has produced a map showing different places of interest for visitors, including murals, Santa Catalina church which sits on the site of an ancient mosque, the Fuente (fountain) del Cid, which is said to have been used by El Cid’s horse as he travelled through the Axarquía on his way to Granada, the nísperero monument, among others.

On Plaza Rafael Alcoba there will be a street market with craft stalls and typical products and, from 11.30 am, there will be music with the local municipal band as well as dancing from local dance groups. On Plaza de la Constitución there will be cooperative games for all ages from 12pm and the opportunity to try local wine, jams and liqueurs.

Awards and entertainment

The ‘Níspero de Honor’ will be awarded to the town crier, José Isidro Ariza Sánchez, “for the care and dedication to his loquat plantation” and “his magnificent promotion of the Sayalonga loquat through the press and social media”. The Loquat harvester award will go to José Baeza Sánchez “for his life's work dedicated to the cultivation of the Sayalonga loquat”.

There will also be a prize-giving ceremony for an adult and children’s drawing competition and the El Moral women's association will present a crochet work that they have made for the village. “We are very excited because they have been working on it for weeks and it reflects the multiculturalism of the village, as they have made the 40 flags of the different nationalities residing in the municipality,” said the coordinator of cultural activities.

There will also be music from the Fandangos de Güi group, the Panda de Verdiales Arroyo Conca from Comares, and the Rociero La Blanca Paloma de Corumbela choir. From 6pm there will be a tribute concert to Spanish rock band Estpoa, by the group A Toda Patilla followed by music from DJs A. Hierro, Fernan, Leo Vargas and Mike Fdz.

Food on offer includes paella, black pudding and chorizo, kebabs and hamburgers and Jocavi bar will be offering tapas and homemade meals; Mesón Morisco restaurant specialised in meat dishes and Ágora cafeteria will be selling tapas, sandwiches and hamburgers.

For further information click: www.sayalonga.es

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