IX Día del Melecotón, Periana, Spain Saturday 30th July 2011
Another special day is coming up in Periana with lots of festivities as the village comes out in force to celebrate this special crop for which the village is justifiably famous. The day will see competitions and entertainments all day in the main streets and continues well into the night.
The most important competition is the Concurso Gastronómico when anyone can enter a special dish in which the main ingredient is Peaches. It is always strongly contested and there are three prizes of 100€, 200€ and 300€.
Last year more than 5000 people came to the village and this year is bound to be just as lively. A stroll around the streets filled with the scent of peaches is bound to get your taste buds moving and suitable food and refreshment stalls will be available.
A little Peach History: It is thought that a resident brought the first seedling to Periana after a visit to Argentina 200 years ago and it thrived in the wonderful climate and fertile land. As the crop developed it was taken to neighbouring villages on the backs of donkeys and eventually became popular with buyers from Murcia and surrounding provinces. However it was not until the last half of the 20th century that the crop came to prominence being appreciated for its taste, aromatic scent, soft velvet skin, colour and culinary versatility and by the 70’s a good year would yield as much as 4 million kilos.
Sadly as so often happens in agriculture, the crops were affected by pests and several years of drought which led to a steady decline in production. This continued until about ten years ago when market demand encouraged growers to plant more trees and the municipality started to promote peaches once again. Hence this year is the ninth in which the village and visitors will get to party the night away.
If you have time come up and visit us at Restaurante Cantueso where Carmen our chef is sure to produce some very tempting dishes, and whatever you do, don’t forget to buy a box of these special fruits to take home before you leave.