On the first Saturday of every September the village of Almáchar, Málaga, celebrates the Fiesta del Ajoblanco, which features the typical products of the area: muscat grapes, wine and raisins. Visitors can sample ajoblanco, a cold garlic and almond soup that has been prepared in this region for hundreds of years, as well as other culinary delights, all free of charge. This year is the 42nd anniversary.
A busy schedule of events begins in the afternoon with visits to open-air museums set up in the streets, displaying relics of historical interest such as agricultural tools, household furnishings, local ceramics and the process of collecting and processing raisins. There are tasting stations throughout the village where people can stop for refreshments.
At 9 pm there is a flamenco concert in the Plaza de España, followed by various other concerts along with (more) ajoblanco, tapas and sangria. After midnight the Noche de las Candelas begins and lasts until dawn. It’s truly a unique and enjoyable fiesta and well worth a visit.
If you have never tried ajoblanco here is a very simple recipe taken from the official website of the Denominación de Origen Antequera.
Blanch the almonds in boiling water 2 minutes to soften the skin. Drain and rub skin off with a clean cloth. Peel the grapes and remove any seeds. Crush the almonds, garlic, bread crumbs and salt with a mortar & pestle (or in a blender), slowly adding oil until thickened. Add the vinegar, continue blending a little more and then add the cold water.
Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. Before serving adjust the salt and vinegar (if necessary), add grapes and serve very cold.
* makes 4 servings
La Fiesta del Ajoblanco
September 4, 2010
Our vineyards lie just outside the village of Almáchar in the Axarquía.