Espeto de Sardinas – Sardines Cooked on Skewers

Top tip from the Costa del Sol’s new King of the Espeto: “The secret is to cook them with love”

Espeto, Chiringuito, Merendero Skeward fish
Espeto de sardinas served up in Torre Del Mar

The chiringuitos that made it through to the final were La Batea Churrianera, Narval Marisquería and Restaurante Las Acacias, all from Malaga city, Chiringuito Royal Beach in Mijas and Marina Playa in Rincón de la Victoria

No dish is identified as closely with the Costa del Sol as the ‘espeto de sardinas’ – sardines cooked on canes over an open fire on the beach – which has become famous worldwide.

And Malaga now has a new Espeto King, following the recent gastronomic route organised by SUR, sponsored by Turismo Andaluz and Sabor a Malaga, in collaboration with the Chiringuitos Association of the Costa del Sol and Cruzcampo.

On Tuesday, the final of a competition to find the best ‘espetero’ took place, and the representatives of five beach restaurants were charged with cooking an espeto their way for the judging panel led by SUR’s food critic Enrique Bellver to try. Read more

Espetero

A person using the espetar method of cooking. This involves driving fish/meat, skewered on bamboo, into mounds of sand close to very hot charcoal fires to cook it.

Chringuitos

A Chiringuito is a small enterprise, usually a bar, selling mainly drinks and tapas, and sometimes meals, in a more or less provisional building, often on a beach or loose surface where a more permanent structure may be inviable.

Although there are large restaurants to be found on many beaches, such as Burriana Beach in Nerja. La Barca and Ayo’s to name just two. Sometimes also referred to as a Merendero (although, strictly speaking, a Merendero is a place in the open air where people gather to eat. Usually, bringing their furniture, food and drink)

Espeto de Sardinas

Espeto de Sardinas - Sardines cooked Espeto fashion. Espetar means 'to skewer'
Espeto de Sardinas – Sardines cooked Espeto fashion. Espetar means ‘to skewer’

The verb espetar means “to skewer.” Normally, on the beaches of Nerja and other places, this will be fish; sardines usually. The fishes are impaled on a bamboo skewer (nowadays, some chiringuitos will use metal skewers) and placed close to a large, very hot, charcoal-burning fire. They are dressed with rock salt and are delicious.

Meat and other types of food are also cooked in this manner, although fish and sardines are the norms.

When you come and stay in the Nerja Beach Holidays villas, apartments or townhouses, make sure to visit the chiringuitos. The fish is fresh from the Mediterranian and off the skewer straight onto your plate.

 

Eating out in Nerja – Tapas and Sangria

Eating out in Nerja – What is ‘Sangria’?

Sangria is an alcoholic beverage originating in Spain and Portugal. Under EU regulations only those two Iberian nations can label their product as Sangria; similar products from different regions are differentiated in the name.
Now, until I started writing this post, I never knew that; the bit about the EU regulations. Although I have drank my way through a fair amount of Sangria in my 20 years of living in Andalucia.  Some of it good, some of it, shall we say, a bit on the sweet side.

How to Make Sangria

The easy way? Get a big jug full of ice, add a bottle of red wine, a half bottle of lemonade / bitter lemon and some Cointreau (Cointreau is a premium triple sec orange-flavoured liqueur) and bung in some chopped oranges and apples. Bingo! That is a basic Sangria! You can check out Kieth Floyd’s version on this Youtube video.

There are numerous versions of this drink and you may even come up with your own. If this proves a little too sweet for you, ask for ‘Tinto de Verano’ which is chilled red wine with soda or lemonade.

Tinto de verano is a cold, wine-based drink popular in Spain. It is similar to sangria and is typically made up of 1 part of table red wine and 1 part soda, usually lemonade. Traditional brands of soda, or gaseosa, such as La Caserta, can be replicated by mixing Sprite or 7-Up with carbonated water. Cheers Wikipedia

#Note: Do not mix the word ‘Sangria’ with ‘Sangre‘. One is a wine cocktail, the other is stuff that Dracula drinks…Blood!

Eating Out in Nerja – Tapas

Eating out in Nerja - Tapas and Sangria in Nerja Andalucia Spain
Salchichas en el Infierno (Sausages in Hell)

Anyone who has the remotest idea of Spanish cuisine or Spanish culture will have heard of ‘tapas’.

There are numerous stories about the origins of this delightful habit, my favourite goes as such: the king of Spain was out riding and stopped at a place for a glass or two of wine. To keep the flies out of the king’s drink, he was given a slice of bread to cover the glass.

So was born a beautiful tradition.

Since then, things have advanced (or got silly) as now tapas can be as elaborate as you like.

There are standards that you will find in almost every bar offering tapas in Nerja. Cheese in oil, anchovies, prawns, Russian salad, Serrano ham, boiled eggs, Tortilla and so on, all with a slice or two of bread.

The more elaborate tapas, such as sausage and black pudding on skewers served over a roaring flame. Salchichas en el Infierno (Sausages in Hell) can be found in Nerja.

Tapas are both hot and cold dishes. You will find all sorts of meat, chicken, fish and so-on being served up.

#Tip: For those not too keen on ‘exotic’ types of tapas, stay clear of the ‘Seso de Chivo’. They sometimes come fried in breadcrumbs.

Take a walk around Nerja, go on the Tapas trails, try different establishments and, by the time you are ready for home, you’ll be quite an expert. I can’t think of anything more enjoyable. Ask the good people at Nerja Beach Holidays where to get the best tapas, they should know.

Go further inland, they also serve their versions of tapas, they are also, in some places, free with the drink.

Plaza Mayor shopping centre expansion plan moves a step closer

An environmental impact study has been approved by the Junta but Malaga’s master town plan will need to be changed first

A new extension to the popular Plaza Mayor shopping and leisure centre close to Malaga Airport, which was announced over a year ago, has taken a further step towards becoming reality as the Junta de Andalucía has given the thumbs up to the findings of a study into the environmental impact of the project.

Plaza mayor Malaga Andalucia Spain

The owners of Plaza Mayor plan to invest 105 million euros in the extension. They say will create 500 new jobs.

Malaga’s urban masterplan will have to be modified to allow the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, which occupies part of the site, to be extended by 14,000 square metres to the east, taking up part of what is currently the car park of the Mercadona supermarket.

Likewise, the rest of the main Plaza Mayor shopping centre will grow by 7,500 square metres to the west, occupying part of the parking areas beside the MA-20 motorway. New underground parking spaces will be created to compensate for those lost at ground level. See more of this and other stories from the Sur in English online. 

Surinenglish.com, the site for Southern Spain. Latest News in Malaga, Costa del Sol, Andalucia, Gibraltar and Spain.

PLaza Mayor

This is one great shopping centre that is close to Malaga airport. If you need to waste some time on your way home from your Nerja holiday; stop here.

Plaza Mayor has everything you need. There are lots of fantastic restaurants, shops, bars, entertainment and you can sit and watch the aeroplanes fly overhead. They are so low, you can wave to the pilot.

The site is forever expanding and developing; this is the latest phase in such developments. I guarantee, you will not be disappointed with Plaza Mayor and all its attractions.

 

Piquillo Peppers Stuffed – Best Spanish Food Dishes

Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Piqillo Peppers - Stuffed Piquillo Peppers
So much joy from such a small bottle – these peppers are sold everywhere

This is a fantastic dish, as a tapa, side dish or even a main course. Piquillo  Peppers can be stuffed with meat, fish, rice, potato or a mixture of the lot. There is no end to the variations, however; there are some standard piquillo pepper dishes that you will find everywhere in Spain, not just in Nerja.

Piquillo Peppers stuffed with cod and potato

Stuffed Piquillo Peppers - Tapas, side dish or, main course
Stuffed Piquillo Peppers – Tapas, side dish or, main course

My particular favourite variation is cod mixed with mashed potato and chives stuffed into the peppers.

Method

This really is the most simple of dishes. There are few ingredients and not a lot of preperation. The ammount of peppers you need depends on how many are going to partake in this little delightful dish.

The best bet is to use all of the peppers.

Remove the peppers from the bottle and rinse under a cold tap. Pat them dry and check for any that are split, these are great for a sauce.

Boil a pan of potatoes and then mash them with butter and milk. You can then add chives or whatever herbs or spices you prefer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When the potatoes are cooled, push them into a pastry / piping bag. (If you don’t have one, no worries, simply cut off the bottom corner of a plastic freezer bag, put the contents in and it works just as well)

Squeeze the potatoes into the peppers. Thats it!

You can reheat them in the microwave for 2 minutes, eat them cold or even freeze them for another day. In the picture above, I used fresh parsley.

These piquillo peppers are great as a tapa, side dish or, a main course. They are very adaptable: you can stuff them with anything. Let me know how you get on with yours. A photo would be greatly recieved.

So, when you visit us at Nerja Beach Holidays, you will have your first tapas dish to look for.

Costa del Sol Noche de San Juan

The Costa del Sol prepares to celebrate theNoche de San Juan on its beaches again

Noche de San Juan Nerja Costa del Sol Spain

It’s great that the world is returning to some normality; political skulduggery and war aside. Spain, a place where a party is always welcome, is getting back into the spirit of things.

I was reading the Sur in English, a free newspaper for the South of Spain, and, there it was, San Juan, is back on the beaches of the Costa del Sol and other areas.

Guide to Noche de San Juan

San Juan’s, or St John’s, feast day falls on the 24th of June every year, but it’s on St John’s eve, the 23rd of June, that the celebrations take place. Just a few short days after midsummer, it’s a Spanish festival celebrated on beaches all over the country that welcomes the summer ahead.Most Spanish people consider it to mark the true beginning of summer, which the season when Spain comes into its own. See more

The Shortest night

SUR brings you a round up of all the main activities in Malaga city, Marbella, Fuengirola, Benalmádena, Estepona, Torremolinos, Mijas and the Axarquia this Thursday evening, 23 June

Malaga province is preparing to celebrate the Night of San Juan again after a two-year break in many places forced by coronavirus pandemic control restrictions.

Finally, the rituals of the shortest night of the year will return this 23 June along the entire coast, where numerous celebrations have been organised to celebrate the arrival of summer. This is SUR’s round-up of some of the main activities that can be enjoyed.

You can check out this article from the Sur in English website here.

If you are lucky enough to be staying at one of the Nerja Beach Holiday villas, apartments or townhouses, make sure you join in the celebrations.

Calima – A Whitewash That Even Sue Gray Report Can’t Beat!

Whitewashed Axarquia town provides 12,500 kilos of paint to residents

Calima in Malaga Andalucia Spain
This Malaga building got off lightly with just a fine dusting of Calima

The council in Almáchar applied to the provincial, regional and national governments for financial assistance but received no response, so despite “limited economic resources” it has stumped up the cash itself.

The successive episodes of calima – airborne dust from the Sahara desert – in March changed the appearance of nearly every town and village in Malaga province, turning their sparkling white walls into a muddy brown colour. Now, different councils are looking at ways to help people get things looking normal again.

Frigiliana council decided last month to give a 40% discount on water bills, to compensate for the extra water needed to remove the calima from outside walls. Almáchar says it will provide its nearly 1,900 residents with the white paint they need to cover up the damage. The local authority has ordered 12,500 kilos of paint and every household will be entitled to a 20-kilo pot. See more from Sur in English.

How Bad can the Calima get?

Calima March 2022 Malaga Spain
Cars were completely covered in this mud mixture, it had ceased to be dust.

 

Cars, houses, plants and animals all got covered in a mixture of dust and rain. Some to a greater extent than others. If it was outside, it got soaked.

The results of Calima in Andalucia, Spain
This was the calima in progress, it was raining mud!

Swimming pools looked like frog ponds, those that were not covered suffered seriously. Pumps clogged up, skimmers got blocked and it took a lot of work to try and get the pools clean.

Some people were quick to get out the power washers, others had to pay to have their properties and pools cleared. Thank goodness this does not occur like this every year!

Nerja, like everywhere else got a visit from this vandal! Needless to say, cleaning is in progress.

Menu del Dia – A Great Feast for 20€

MENU DEL DIA – A CHOICE BETWEEN McDONALDS AND REAL FOOD

As is the norm for a lot of ex-pats, eating out during the hot summer days, just has to be done. Fast food is fine and pretty cheap but, there is another option; menu del Dia.

Menú del día, or menu of the day, is a menu served by Spanish restaurants during lunch, one of the largest meals of the day in Spain.

Featured today were: Starters: Guiso de papas y Atun (a potato and tuna stew) and Ensalada Malagueña (Malaga Salad that includes potatoes and oranges)

Main: Costillas a la Barbacoa (BBQ Ribs) and Merluza (Hake in batter)

Dessert: Arroz con Leche (Rice pudding) and Cuajada (Cuajada is a cheese product. Traditionally it is made from ewe’s milk, but now it is more often made industrially from cow’s milk.

It is popular in the northern regions of Spain and also in Andalucia. Topped with Honey (Miel) this really is a great dessert dish.)

Also included bread, a bottle of water and 2 x Alhambra beers. All for less than the price of a Mcdonald’s of the same size; 20€ for a couple!

When you compare the Menu and the McDonalds; there is only one winner.

Next time you come and stay at Nerja Beach Holidays, make a point of going for this great meal that is served everywhere. All quite different but, still at a great price.

Further inland, the prices are even cheaper. Use your villa or apartment in Nerja as a base to discover the rest of the Malaga and Andalucia areas.

Doggy Bags to be made Compulsary in Spain

LIVING IN SPAIN IS A DOG’S LIFE SOMETIMES

Dogs in Spain - Dogs life in Spain
Pablito and his friends waiting on their doggy bags

As somebody who often takes food home for the dogs in the campo area (countryside), this is great news. Restaurants in Spain will have to offer clients doggy bags for their uneaten food.

The Spanish government has approved a new law to prevent food waste, including rules which will also affect supermarkets and farmers, among others. 

How often have we walked away, leaving uneaten food because we are too shy to ask for a doggy bag. Now, that’s one less thing to worry about.

Even if you don’t have a pet yourself, there is no shortage of takers sniffing about for a free meal. I don’t mean the human kind.

See more of this great story from the Sur in English

Strawberry Supermoon 2022 Over Nerja

Strawberry Supermoon 2022 over Spain
Strawberry Supermoon 2022 over Spain

It is the aim of this blog to bring you news stories, happy stories, Spanish food recipes, what’s on in Nerja and all sorts of other items which we hope you will find interesting, amusing or helpful. Our primary source for news is the Sur in English.

‘The Sur’ as we ex-pats call it, is a free newspaper for the south of Spain. This is a great source of information, both locally and nationally.

The Olive Press is another great read; it is free as well.

“A campaigning, community newspaper, the Olive Press launched in 2006 and represents the huge and growing expatriate community in Spain – with over 100,000 printed copies monthly, 50,000 visitors a day online we have an estimated readership of more than 500,000 people a month

We hope you will visit both of these online newspapers and, of course, keep coming back to see what we also have to offer. For now, enjoy this article from the Sur about tonights Strawberry Supermoon that will be visible with the naked eye. If you manage to get a decent photo, let’s see it.

How and when to see the Strawberry Supermoon

Strawberry supermoon 2022: when is the best time to see it today, Tuesday 14 June?

The full moon will appear bigger and brighter than usual, but don’t expect it to be pink: the name has nothing to do with its colour
Tonight, Tuesday 14 June, the moon will be looking bigger and brighter than usual thanks to an astronomical phenomenon known as ‘strawberry supermoon’. The term was adopted by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979, and it occurs when a full moon or new moon passes through its point of orbit closest to the Earth, which is known as its perigee. It can appear 14% bigger than usual and 30% brighter. Tonight, the moon will be just over 357,000 kilometres away. See more of this story from the Sur in English website.