This blog post was originally posted on April 19th, 2016 and was updated on June 14th, 2017
Thanks to our wonderful local markets, it’s easy to find interesting and delicious foods typical to Malaga.
The movement to eat locally has been around for a while now. We all know that it is important to buy local produce, meats and fish whenever possible, and why wouldn’t you? There is so much to be said for eating the fruits and veggies that are in season and that have travelled the shortest distance possible, from the farm right to your table.
In Malaga, we are lucky to have amazing markets like the Mercado Central de Atarazanas, Mercado del Carmen and the Mercado de Salamanca among others. We love strolling through the market and picking out what looks fresh to cook up at home, however we think we’ve found five foods from Malaga that will surprise you.
1. Pan de Higo (fig bread from the town of Coín)
Despite its name, “pan de higo” is not a bread at all. It is more like a Spanish version of the energy bar. This surprising little snack is made by blending together figs, spices and nuts in a food processor (or by hand if you have a lot of energy to burn!) Then you form a log or cake and let it cool/dry out. “Pan de higo” began as a way to preserve figs and dates back to the time of Muslim rule in Malaga, but nowadays we enjoy it as part of our breakfast, dessert, or even with a bit of sharp cheese to contrast the sweetness.
2. Aceituna Aloreña (Olives from the town of Alora)
If you’ve been to Malaga, you might have noticed that some of the olives are really easy to eat. This is because the pit is “floating.” It sounds ridiculous to say that the olive pit is floating inside the yummy little fruit, but what the Spaniards mean to say is that the olive pit is easy to separate from the part of the olive that we eat.
The traditional way to season them is with garlic, thyme, fennel and red pepper and the best way to enjoy them? With a cold beer on an outdoor terrace, of course, or with us on our Tastes, Tapas & Traditions of Malaga Tour, where we try Jose’s delicious Aloreña olives, among other things in the market.
3. Miel de Caña (Molasses from Frigiliana)
This is one of the foods from Malaga that will surprise you mainly because it is not very well known outside of the province. Frigiliana, a little town in the hills of Malaga has the only molasses factory in all of Europe that makes their product in the traditional way and without using any additives. It is a healthier sugar substitute, although we like to enjoy it drizzled over fried eggplant or cod fritters. There is nothing else like it, and we miss it whenever we are far from home!
4. Almendras tostadas (toasted almonds from the town of Alfarnate)
If you stroll through the streets of Malaga you will find numerous vendors selling salted almonds. You might also find that the bartender serves you a little dish of almonds with your drink. The almond is a staple in the snacking world of Malaga and we can’t complain! In the tiny town of Alfarnate, there are a plethora of almond trees. Every year they harvest the almonds, prepare them with just the right amount of salt, and then they are enjoyed by locals on a daily basis!
5. Tortas de Algarrobo (cookies from the town of Algarrobo)
This is one of the foods that is 100% from Malaga. This delicious little dessert is a cross between a cookie and a cake, and is made with olive oil, almonds and anise (all products of the province of Malaga, of course!) There are some versions of the cookies that also use flour, so make sure to ask before you eat if you have any dietary restrictions. You can enjoy these delicious (and usually cheap) almond cookies along with coffee in the morning or as a late afternoon snack. Trust us, you’ll be surprised how something so simple can be so delicious!
Try some of these delicious foods — and more! — with us on a Devour Malaga Food Tour. This 3+ hour exploration of Malaga’s historic center is a great way to learn about the city and try great food and wine while at it!