Food for Thought on a day out from Cantueso

A wonderful day out from Cantueso in Periana is a visit to the tiny village of Riofrio (cold river) about 45 minutes drive away, and a Mecca for lovers of caviare or if your pocket won’t stretch that far, to a plate of trout.  There are fourteen restaurants within the village of only 300 inhabitants and they are host to over 400,000 visitors each year, all thanks to the well stocked river and local fish farm.

There has been trout fishing in the river recorded for hundreds of years but it was not until 1964 when an enterprising family came in search of the perfect waters for their fish farm that the full potential of this natural resource was realized.  The cold, fast flowing water comes down from the Sierra Nevada and provides an ideal place to grow not only brown trout (500,000 kilos each year) but also Mediterranean Sturgeon.  They normally have 98,000 sturgeon in their pools, separated by age rather than size, all thriving in the most perfect environmental conditions.

Riofrio caviare can be found all over the world in Michelin starred restaurants or corner shops for the wealthy such as Fortnum and Mason’s.  There, Cold River Caviare retails at £50 for a 30g tin half the price of wild beluga which is becoming much more difficult to find. But why so expensive if it is farmed?

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Keeping Children safe on Holiday

Holidays should be fun

Accidents and other unforeseen happenings are not the first thing on your mind when planning a holiday but nagging doubts often linger particularly when you have young children.

Pool safety is top of most parents’ list and after looking at figures published by ROSPA on child drownings when on holiday, deservedly so.  In France the problem has been tackled with swingeing penalties for pool owner’s who do not comply with the law to make all pools secure for young children.

The fine for owners who do not comply is 45,000€ for private pools and up to 225,000€ for shared pools.  There are suggestions that these same laws will be adopted by other countries including Spain but let us be under no illusions, simply complying with the law doesn’t guarantee safety.

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What has Periana got to do with Ice Cream?

Now is the time to harvest Algarrobo beans in Periana and men can be seen in the olive groves beating the beans with long poles so that they fall onto nets spread under the trees.

The Tree with Three Names: The Algarrobo trees (also known as Carob or Locust trees) typically grow amongst the olives and produce a long brown pod which has traditionally been used to make chocolate substitute and for animal feed. However in recent years it has become a valuable crop because it can be turned into E410, Carob Gum, also known as Locust Bean Gum which is used as the ingredient that makes soft scoop ice cream, soft.

Carob/Algarrobo Beans

When in the bible it said that St John was in the desert and ate locusts, fortunately he was not eating the grasshopper variety but the sweet tasting Carob pods.

Closer to home we can roast the pods then grind them into a powder using a food processor or coffee grinder and then use in cooking anywhere where chocolate powder is called for. And if you are really desperate you can also chew them just as children did in the UK during the war when starved of real sweets.

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