Exploring Almonds in the Malaga Province: a Blossoming Delight in February
In the picturesque province of Malaga, almonds reign supreme as the primary nut crop, covering over 16,000 hectares and yielding approximately 4,000 tons each season. Among the varieties cultivated in Malaga – including marcona, largueta, comuna, and the newer addition, guara – the marcona almond stands out as the most esteemed and sought after. Renowned for its large size and rounded shape, the marcona almond holds a special place in local cuisine, particularly in pastries and desserts, where its delicate yet flavorful profile shines.
While larguetas are favored for snacking due to their smaller size and elongated shape, the comuna variety, a blend of different almond strains, boasts versatility in culinary applications. Lastly, the guara almond, known for its late flowering, adds its unique touch to the mix.
The Blossoming Season
As January transitions into February, the Malaga countryside transforms into a breathtaking spectacle of white and pink hues as almond trees burst into bloom. This vibrant display of nature’s beauty is a sight to behold, drawing visitors from near and far to immerse themselves in the enchanting landscape.
Last weekend, we had the pleasure of experiencing this magical time firsthand in the charming town of Monda, where the almond trees painted a picture-perfect scene of tranquility and wonder.
Delicious Recipes with Almonds
In Malaga, almonds are celebrated not only for their culinary prowess but also for their role in traditional dishes like ajoblanco, porra blanca, and chivo a la pastoril.
They feature prominently in the region’s pastries and sweets, from the iconic torta cartameña (that can be enjoied in Cártama) to the beloved mantecados and polvorones.
Even as a simple roasted and salted snack, almonds hold a cherished place in Malaga’s gastronomic heritage, with street vendors in the historic center still offering them in paper cones as a delightful treat or impromptu snack.
Among the key players in the almond industry, Almensur Cooperative stands out, with its dedicated farmers harvesting hundreds of thousands of kilograms of almonds annually. This cooperative, nestled in the Guadalhorce Valley, goes beyond mere cultivation, often transforming almonds into delectable treats like garrapiñadas and turrones.