CAROB, SNAILS AND SARDINES

a postcard from a normal day in malaga…

Whenever people ask us about our commercial crops on our little Andalusian farm, we always mention olives and our almonds. Grapes were once a commercial crop for us – in the form of our Malaga-style wine – but that was many years ago. And, while it’s true we also once sold a bushel of pink grapefruit to a greengrocer in our local village, the only other crop we ever used to sell regularly was carob (algaroba in Spanish). Known as boxer in Britain, carob was best known as a chocolate substitute, especially during wartime, when supplies of the real stuff were sparse, and these days, it’s popular as candy (in the States), ground for flour, eaten as a dried fruit and made into syrups and even alcoholic drinks. But, in the 90’s it’s popularity seriously waned, and the price for the brown pods and seeds fell so low, it cost us more in diesel to get to the carob to the factory than we got paid for it.

However, the emergence of veganism has seen a massive spike in the demand for carob, and a corresponding rise in its value, making it a worthwhile crop once again. And, in the event we were paid a handsome €60.00 for our modest three sacks, giving us in turn, a pleasant excuse to continue along the road, to spend our earnings – somewhat ironically – on some delicious, decidedly non-vegan Malagueño cuisine…

Adding our 50kilos (highlighted) to the mountain of carob at our local depot/factory.
Then off to Malaga to spend our not-so-hard earned pocket money – firstly on these delicious caracoles (snails) in a spicy, cumin-infused sauce (a recipe from Córdoba)...
…Then down to the beach, for a few espetos (wooden skewers) of sardines , roast against smouldering olive wood. This shot, taken through a Perspex windshield, gives the scene a slightly wobbly look!

5 thoughts on “CAROB, SNAILS AND SARDINES

      1. Most Americans wouldn’t come near snails. My first encounter was hitchhiking in Italy in 1967 when a guy who gave me a ride stopped at what looked like an American Dairy Queen. However it just had a jar of plain cooked but cold snails which were served with a glass of white wine. He bought so I ate, never refusing free food and wine at the time. After that, however, I have only had them in butter.

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      2. That’s the classic French way of eating them (normally with plenty of garlic too). Most snails served in France and England are farmed (mostly in England, interestingly), brown shelled, large and mild flavoured. In Spain however, they prefer wild snails which are tougher, but far more flavourful. A bit like the difference between farmed and wild rabbit.

        Liked by 1 person

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