Sunny summer greetings!
As a continuation of the theme of Alpujarra, today I will tell you about the tasty souvenirs and the local culinary traditions.
In the south of Spain, the chocolate, jamón, marmalade and cheese produced in Alpujarra are very appreciated.
And now everything is in order.
As a chocolate lover, I will start with this particular item. The most famous chocolate factory in Alpujarra, Abuela Ili Chocolates, has been operating in Pampaneira since 2007 and currently offers more than 50 varieties of chocolate. Black, milk, white, with sugar, without sugar, without additives and with additives of dried fruits, nuts, mint, etc., as well as for diabetics. This chocolate is unrealistically delicious.
The owner of the Abuela Ili factory, Mauricio Riera, is a Spaniard who was born in Argentina. Mauricio Riera uses cocoa from Africa and Mexico to make his chocolate.
In Alpujarra, Abuela Ili products are available in stores in Pampaneira, Treveles and Lanjarón. Here in Almeria, in the central market area, we also have a branded chocolate store of this brand. In addition to chocolate bars, you can buy cocoa powder and cocoa beans. The factory also has an online store.
A little aside, unfortunately, the art of making hot chocolate in Spain (at least in the south) is not developed. There are no variations, either it’s thick hot chocolate for morning churros, or liquid hot chocolate that’s served in coffee shops. The taste of either is the same. Here, they simply dilute the cocoa in milk. For hot chocolate and its different variations, however, one must go to Mexico, such as Queretaro.
Jamón is the national pride of Spain.
There are a great many jamon curing factories in Alpujarra, but the most popular is the Trevelez jamon. This jamón became famous as far back as 1862, when a food fair and competition was held on October 10 in Granada for the products produced in the province. It not only won, but also won the Queen’s Special Prize, a Crown Seal with the following inscription: “Awarded by Queen Isabel II in 1862. Treveles.” This seal is kept in the Treveles Town Hall, and a copy is present on every piece of produce.
Jamón from Treveles is naturally air-dried without the addition of artificial elements, and sea salt from the Cabo de Gata Reserve of Almeria is used in the production process.
Everyone knows that the Spaniards are very proud of jamón, so much so that they even write about it in works of fiction. Jamón from Treveles was praised by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón in “Alpujarra”, by Grigorio Marañón in “Apologetic Essay on Spanish Cuisine” and by Miguel de Cervantes in a number of his books.
Federico García Lorca himself was a great admirer of jamón from Treveles.
The prices of jamón vary greatly. Depending on the time of aging, you can buy jamón in Alpujarra from 87 euros (17 months of aging) to 169 euros (23 months). I think you can find even cheaper and even more expensive. This is such a spread of prices, as I saw during my trips around Alpujarra. The largest assortment of jamon is at the Maruja store in Treveles.
By the way, there is also a jamón museum in Treveles where you can learn the whole process of making jamón and taste the different types.
The marmalade from Alpujarra is 100% natural and is made from local fruits. Regarding fruit, the number of fruit trees in Alpujarra is impressive. Especially a lot of figs. So I would advise to take exactly fig marmalade. There are jams and marmalade quite exotic, such as zucchini or cucumber. As for zucchini, in Spain there is even a traditional sweet called El cabello de ángel (angel hair). This dessert in Spain and Latin American countries is made with caramelized fibers of pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini or mango pulp. The ones I tried here were from zucchini. There are also candies with this filling and baked goods.
By the way, there are also a lot of abandoned houses with orchards that sell for literally pennies (by Spanish standards). Young people prefer to work in major cities, so it turns out that the plots are empty.
As elsewhere in southern Spain, here are made from sheep and goat’s milk (or a mixture of goat and sheep) cheeses of varying degrees of maturity. The most expensive are aged cheeses with herbs and nuts.
There are also many “liquid gold” factories in Alpujarra. But at the same time, all of Andalusia is famous for its olive oil, so I would not call the oil from Alpujarra special. I’ll write about olive oil and how to choose it in Spain a little later.
These were the most popular edible Alpujarra souvenirs among Spaniards.
That’s all for now. Now you know what to bring with you from Alpujarra.