The Festival of San Isidro Labrador

During May guests at Cantueso were able to join in the village festivities in celebration of “San Isidro” an annual event lasting several days with lots of fun for all ages.

San Isidro Labrador is the patron saint of Periana and once a year the inhabitants celebrate a successful harvest with a procession through the streets taking several hours and after which the parties start.

The history of the procession is said to date back to a time when a there was a poor summer with little rain and a resultant low yield harvest. The local farmers paraded the statue of St Isidro though the fields and afterwards the harvest improved and subsequently the grateful villagers were inclined to give their weight in grain every year in thanks.

Villagers Donate Grain from their balcony (photo courtesy perianaypedanias.blogspot.com)

This is the basis of the procession which today stops under any balcony in the village displaying a decorated shawl or blanket, and the householders pour sacks of wheat into the waiting carriage below. The image of St Isidro, adorned with spikes and red and white carnations is specially constructed so that grain poured from above passes through a funnel into a hopper below. This hopper holds about 500 kilos of grain and when full is put into sacks which will eventually be sold and the proceeds used to defray the cost of future celebrations.

Years ago only the rich could afford to donate wheat (never any other grain) as many families only had enough for their own families, but nowadays many villagers are pleased to take part as a thanks for their families health and prosperity.

Stewards carrying the Staute around the village (photo courtesy perianaypedanias.blogspot.com)

The procession was previously in the control of four stewards and their wives always newly married and childless. However it now usually needs ten to fifteen stewards to carry the statue and it is they who control the day’s events and work throughout the year planning and organising.

The original statue of St Isidro was destroyed along with the church in the Periana earthquake of 1884 but subsequently replaced, and during the civil war it was hidden by a quick thinking villager and so survived those troubled times.

Apart from the religious events, Periana has its local holidays for all of the days that the pilgrimage lasts for. From first thing in the morning till the early hours of the next day there’ll be more than enough time to taste some of the region’s products, eat with friends, drink some wine and enjoy a whole range of acts and events that have been prepared.

THE FINALE
On Saturday the finale, called a Romeria, starts with a procession from the village centre down to the shores of Lake Vinuela. In the lead there are Spanish horses and decorated tractors and even a cart drawn by Oxen. The villagers, many in traditional dress, follow on foot singing and dancing, no doubt in order to work up a thirst for the drink stops along the way. After a good few hours they reach the lakeside and there is music, dancing, BBQ´s and lots of fun lasting well into the night. And for the hardy few the procession returns the next day, albeit at a slightly slower pace, as of course it is uphill!

You can see the latest view of Periana and Lake Vinuela from the live webcam at Restaurante Cantueso or go to the main web site.

Gardeners’ Dilemma

Torrija a typical Spanish Desert

Apart from pests a much heard complaint from gardeners is what to do with a bumper crop. Hours and weeks of tender care can so often result in success coming all at once, and not to make full use of the produce is just unthinkable.

At Restaurante Cantueso we grow lots of different fruits, and are fortunate in being able to use many of them in the restaurant, so nothing goes to waste.

Just now, our chef has made good use of our surfeit of lemons, and produced a traditional Spanish Torrija, which is a delightful dessert made with French toast (pieces of bread soaked in an egg and lemon mixture) an orange brandy snap filled with cream, and finished off with a lemon curd sauce. As can be seen in the picture he has also been able to use some kumquat in the decoration.

Diners who have tried it so far have been extremely complimentary. One saying that the French toast seems to “explode in your mouth with lots of subtle lemon flavours, and definitely not a dessert to share!”

Some varieties of lemon can produce a crop all year round, and if you are looking to plant a tree and want year round lemons look for the “Lunares” variety.

Nispero or Loquat

We also have lots of Nispero or Loquat which is always a welcome sight, heralding as it does, the summer with many more fruits to follow.

Restaurant Summer Hours

We look forward to seeing you

 

Summer opening Hours:

The restaurant hours are:

  • Lunch 13.00 to 15.30 hrs and Dinner 20.00 to 22.30 hrs

  • Sundays we only serve Lunch
  • Closed Mondays

  • Tuesday to Saturday open Lunch and Dinner

Horario de apertura:

  • El restaurante está abierto: de 13.00 a 15.30 h y de 20.00 a 22.30 h

  • Los domingos sólo servimos el almuerzo: de 13.00 a 15.30 h

  • Cerramos los lunes

  • Los martes hasta los sábados servimos el almuerzo y la cena