The Camino de Santiago (The Pilgrim’s route)

Tarta de Santiago

About the Pilgrim’s Route
The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching about 500 miles across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James in Santiago.
Every year hundreds of thousands of people of various backgrounds walk the Camino de Santiago either on their own or in organized groups. Some people set out on the Camino for spiritual reasons; many others find spiritual reasons along the Way as they meet other pilgrims, attend pilgrim masses in churches and monasteries and cathedrals, and see the large infrastructure of buildings provided for pilgrims over many centuries.
Without doubt at the end of their journey they will visit the great Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the relics of the apostle St. James are believed to be buried. They will also see Tarta de Santiago in the window of every pastry shop and restaurant.

About the Tarta: Torta de Santiago (in Galician) or Tarta de Santiago (in Spanish), literally meaning cake of St. James, and is an almond cake. The Galician name for cake is Torta but often the Spanish word tarta is used instead. It is made from ground almonds, eggs, and sugar, lemon zest, sweet wine and brandy.

Originating from Galicia in North-Western Spain during the time of medieval pilgrimage, this tart is traditionally decorated with the St James cross. With its wonderfully moist almond and citrus flavours, this torte makes a perfect dessert or partner to an afternoon café con leche.

It is a round shape and can be made with or without a base. The top of the pie is decorated with powdered sugar in the shape of the Cross of St. James, which gives the pastry its name.

At Cantueso we cheated with our photo and placed the cross on a slice rather than the complete cake! But at least you don’t have to walk so far 🙂

Our Team of 2018

The all girl team of 2018

At Cantueso we are very proud of our team who work so hard in serving the public both in the restaurant and cottages and we would like to introduce them to you.

L to R: Vanesa, Ana, Nicky, Carmen, Lucía, Sheila

Vanesa (front of house) – is new this year and has a gift for mixing our summer special cocktails and no doubt her maths degree helps with our not too friendly till!

Ana (front of house manager) – is here for her second year with us, in charge of front of house. Her winning smile and efficiency makes her very popular with guests. In real life she is a music graduate waiting for a teaching job in schools.

Nicky (the boss) – say no more.

Carmen (head chef) – first joined us in 2007 and has been responsible for many popular dishes which have origins in all regions of Spain. She is particularly proud of the fact that everything is home-made and wherever possible using local produce.

Lucía (head of housekeeping) – was already here when we took over in 2007. She has been invaluable during our many refurbishments, and makes sure that all ten cottages and the apartment are always properly prepared for guests.

Sheila (sous chef) – joined us this year after graduating from the catering college in Malaga. She has already proved to be a great asset in the kitchen, always smiling, industrious and never wilts under pressure.

They are all Periana locals and look amazingly happy considering they had just finished a busy service with over forty diners!

A PS: we do have one male member of the team, José our gardener, who was not present when the photo was taken. He is featured in a separate post regarding our plants and gardens.

Pink Gin (centre) is this summers favourite tipple

Summer Menu at Cantueso

Just a selection of Tapas dishes from our summer menu

Our chefs have been busy creating some new dishes and many old favourites for this summer, which we hope you will try and enjoy.

As always all our food is home made and please remember we can cope with allergies and food intolerences. Just let us know and look at our special menu which lists all the main allergens. Click below to see full details of our summer  menu.

Cantueso menu May 18

Summer opening times at Restaurante Cantueso

Lake Vinuela seen from the Restaurant Terrace at Cantueso in Periana

 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

Die Öffnungszeiten der Bar und des Restaurants sind:

  • Mittagessen von 13.00 bis 15.30h und das Abendessen von 20.00 bis 22.30 h

  • Sonntags bieten wir nur den Mittagstisch an.

  • Dienstags bis Samstagen bieten wir den Mittagstisch und das Abendessen an.

  • Montags Ruhetag

De openingstijden van restaurant zijn:

  • Lunch van 13.00 – 15.30 uur. Diner van 20.00 -22.30 uur

  • Zondags serveren wij alleen een lunch

  • Maandags gesloten

  • Dinsdag t/m Zaterdag open voor zowel de lunch als het diner.

Figs Galore in Periana (a PS)

We can’t help expounding the nutritional value of figs, and would like to remind anyone locally that the season is close to ending, so find them now. Plenty available along the byways of Periana and even at Cantueso if you ask nicely :).

Last of the Summer Figs

August in Periana is so very fruitful and we have been enjoying lots of peaches and are now trying to cope with a bountiful supply of figs, grapes and almonds. Bonnie our black lab has a preferred route for her morning constitutional which passes our neighbour Antonio’s plot so that she can pick her own grapes which hang from his hedge (or rather the chain link fence). Around here they tend to be the Muscatel variety, greeny red, very juicy and sweet. but complete with seeds. If you have become accustomed to the supermarket seedless/tasteless varieties just come for a walk around the village and sample these delights.

While on your stroll watch out also for figs which are all around and often never picked. We have this summer been asking our guests to help out so as not to waste these black beauties which grow in abundance in the garden at Cantueso. Figs are full of fibre and minerals such as calcium and magnesium and just two will contribute to your five a day quota.

For those of you reading this in Britain you can of course buy some at M & S but they will cost about 80p each!

 

Fig Parfait on the menu at Cantueso

Eating one of your five a day has never been easier.

We have as in other years turned some surplus figs to good use by making Fig and Ginger Chutney. Not very Spanish we know but our kitchen often make their own version which they call marmalade and use it as an accompaniment to Serrano ham or cold cuts. In case we can tempt you the recipe is below.

Fig & Ginger Chutney

1.3kg Figs, chopped

450g onions chopped

1.1l malt vinegar

450g cooking apples peeled and chopped

450 g seedless raisins or dates, chopped

3 tablespoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

900g granulated sugar

Chop as coarse or as fine as you like.

Place onions in a preserving pan or large saucepan with a little of the vinegar and cook to soften but not brown.

Add apples, raisins or dates and continue to cook until soft and pulpy.

Add the figs, ginger, salt, sugar and remaining vinegar, bring to the boil and then simmer until thick again. Be careful not to burn the sugar on the bottom of the pan.

Pot into sterilised jars.

Hints: if you don’t have a preserving pan with sloping sides evaporation of vinegar will not be as efficient so reduce the vinegar to 1 litre.

Sterilise jars by washing in the dishwasher. Ideally use Killner type jars but any metal cap jar will normally work well as long as they are sterilised.

Makes about 2.2 to 2.7 kg. Keep for at least two months before eating.

Cooking time about two hours.

and if you still have figs why not try

 

Figs in Syrup

1 kilo Figs

500g Caster Sugar

Juice of one lemon

1 Vanilla bean (cut in half lengthways)

1 tablespoon rum or brandy

Method:Place sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean and 625ml water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add the figs lower the heat and cook uncovered for about 20mins.

Remove the softened figs with a slotted spoon and set aside. If the syrup is still watery and pale, boil it a little more until thickened. Place figs in a suitable preserving jar. Let the syrup cool and then pour over the figs adding the rum or brandy over the top.

Place a disc of greaseproof paper on the top making sure the figs are submerged.

Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within one month.

Perfect for pouring over vanilla ice cream.

2017 Menu now Available

We have been working over the last few months on our new menu and hope you will find something to tantalise your taste buds. As always we can accommodate specific allergies and will guide you through the ingredients of each dish, and whenever possible cook a variation to suit your needs.

Cantueso menu

as at 12th July 2017

 

¡que aproveche!

Confused by Coffee in Spain?

photaki979231_0.5mb Coffee drinking in Spain is very ritualised and Spaniards vary consumption according to the time of day; maybe a solo to kick start the morning or a carajillo at the end of a celebratory meal, but no matter what you need there is bound to be a caffeine solution to suit you.
There are many different types of coffee in Spain and many vary according to region so here we give an overview of the types you are most likely to encounter in Andalucia and are typical of what we serve at Restaurante Cantueso in Periana.

Café Solo
Small black coffee usually served in small cup or glass. Also called Espresso which is really the base for all types of coffee in Spain (made by forcing nearly boiling water under pressure through the ground coffee) and should not be confused with Espresso coffee known to Brits from the sixties when Espresso coffee bars served frothy white coffee, in Spain it is black.

Café con leche
Large cup, half coffee and half steamed milk. Also called a Mitad.

Café Americano
Baiscally a Café Solo in a large cup with added water.

Café Cortado
Small black coffee with a dash of steamed milk.

Café Sombra (shade)
As con leche but with less coffee. Also called Café Manchada (stained) One wag descibed this as a drink for those who don’t like coffee!

Café Nube (cloud)
A vaiation on Sombra and Manchada and dependant on where you are may contain even less coffee.

Café Carajillo
A Solo but with a splash of brandy.

Café Cappucino
Like a con leche but more froth and cocoa powder sprinkled on top.

Café Hielo (iced)
Normally you are served a glass full with ice cubes onto which you pour a café solo. Good for a summers day when you need a shot of caffeine but nothing hot.

Café Bombon
A café solo with condensed milk.

Café Latte
A con leche served in a large glass with extra steamed milk.

Café Descafeinado
Decaff coffee normally requested as “de maquina” so as not to get instant from a jar!

All types of coffee vary not just by name or region but also by bar or restaurant. The following terms may also be encountered.
Largo (extra strong), Semi Largo (strong), Solo Corto (espresso).

Whatever you do don’t be confused, just try something different, and you may get a pleasant suprise! At Cantueso we are always willing to let you experiment so just ask.

photaki1042804_0.5mb

San Isidro Fiesta 2017


The annual festival in honour or the patron saint of Periana, St Isidro, will take place on the 12th to 15th May. As usual it will have plenty of entertainment for all ages and feature some well known Spanish musical performers. The village will be very much alive during the days and nights of the festival with plenty to see and do. Typically the villagers come out en masse late at night accompanied by their children (who normally sleep during the day.) Highly recommended to those with strong constitutions!

The official programme of events is as follows.

THURSDAY, MAY 11

18.00 Hours: Celebration of the festival Saint, with “besapies” (kissing of the feet) and the offering of floral tributes to San Isidro Labrador. Villagers are asked to contribute floral gifts with red and white carnations. These are used to decorate the throne of the patron saint.

20.00 Hours: Departure from the children’s throne of San Isidro to the town fountain. You are all invited to bring along and play musical instruments.

FRIDAY, MAY 12

20:00 Hours: Parade of the Municipal Music Band of Periana, announcing the beginning of the Fiestas.

21:00 Hours: Traditional Proclamation of the Festivities of San Isidro Labrador by Francisco Ramón Larrubia.
00:00 Hours: Fireworks and firing of rockets at the crossing of the Paseo Bellavista.
00:30 Hours: Coronation of the Miss and the Mister of the Festival of San Isidro 2017, in the Municipal House.

01:00 Hours: Opening of the Municipal House with the Melodies Orchestra.

02:00 Hours: Performance of the Quartet La Perdición.

03:30 Hours: We will continue with the Melodies Orchestra as long as the body holds out.

SATURDAY, MAY 13

11:30 Hours: Children’s party in the San Isidro Labrador School with our monitors Sonia and Sandra. Playground.
Election of the Children’s King and Queen of the fiesta of San Isidro 2017.

13:30 Hours: Beer tasting offered by Paco Zorrilla.
Tasting of sausages offered by butcher Pepe and María Dolores.

Endowed by the Panda of Verdiales San Isidro de Periana and the Choir Path of Olivares de Periana.

There will be a wine tasting by courtesy of Spectacles Rosa.

16:00 Hours: 7-a-side female soccer tournament on the municipal soccer field.

18:00 Hours: Ribbons Race on the Bellavista Promenade.

23:30 Hours: Opening of the Town House quartet La Perdición.

01:30 Hours: Support group to be nnounced.

02:30 Hours: The Orchestra of Melodies continues until the wee hours of the morning.

SUNDAY, MAY 14

13:30 Hours: Opening of the Day Fair in the Town House with a performance by the Abraham Ortiz group.

Beer tasting offered by Paco Zorrilla.
Sausagetasting offered by Rafael and Mónica.

18:00 Hours: Fiesta in Honour of the third age with a dance performance by Laura Maria.

Snacks offered to all grandparents of Periana and their villages.

Election of the Grandfather and Grandmother of the Celebrations of San Isidro 2017.

22:30 Hours: Opening of the Town House with the Quartet of Perdition.

00:30 Hours: Performance of the Mesmer “Anian Berto”.

01:30 Hours: We will continue to dance until the body gives in, with the Quartet of Perdition.

MONDAY, MAY 15

11:00 Hours: Solemn Mass in honour of our patron Saint Isidro Labrador, officiated by our parish priest Eduardo Romero.

Election of Mayors 2018

Mass enlivened by the rociero choir “Camino de Olivares” and Periana Municipal Music Band

13:00 Hours: Transfer to the Fountain Square of Santa Maria de la Cabeza, accompanied by the Mayordomos 2018.

Tasting offered by the Mayordomos 2017 in Plaza de la Fuente.

16.30 Hours: Departure of the procession of San Isidro Labrador accompanied by the Band of Municipal Music of Periana and Band of horns and drums La Estrella

23:30 Hours: Opening of the Municipal booth by the quartet “La Perdición”

03:00 Hours: Closure of San Isidro Labrador accompanied by fireworks

 

Goes Down like a Bomb!

Might not look explosive but it certainly packs a punch!

Might not look particularly explosive but it certainly packs a punch!

At Restaurante Cantueso we are always seeking to offer you new or different Spanish delacacies either “para picar” or on the a la carte menu. This summer is no exception.

Potato Bombs (Patas de Bomba) is the latest and as we are already getting favourable feedback and questions about the dish’s origins we thought we might explain. It is currently the signature dish in many of Barcelona’s tapas bars and was created by an enterprising bar owner (Maria Pla) in the late 1920s. It turns the humble croquette into a bomb shaped potato ball which, whilst maybe not too explosive, has a deliciously piquante filling.

During the ’20s and ’30s before the civil war had begun there were many anarchists operating throughout Catalonia, particularly in Barcelona, where they had copied the techniques of the Italian underground movement to wreak havoc against the nationalist authorities. During this period, because of these anarchists, Barcelona became known as la rosa del fuego, the rose of fire. And the weapon of choice in this urban warfare was a steel ball, filled with explosives, and having a string fuse. This became the inspiration for Maria Pla and her culinary creation found immediate acclaim. No doubt when George Orwell sat writing his famous works on the bloody wars surrounding him in Barcelona he would have also been familiar with this less damaging bomb. Not only is it now a reminder of those troubled times but also a credit to the gastronomic resilience of Catalonia’s tapas culture.

We hope you will come and try this latest dish and maybe some of our other new additions.

People Say the Nicest Things!

Lake Vinuela seen from the Restaurant Terrace at Cantueso in Periana

Lake Vinuela seen from the Restaurant Terrace at Cantueso in Periana

As the season has just started and with the restaurant reopened after our winter break it was nice for staff to see such lovely comments as these posted on another website.

Review #17309028 “Cantueso Rural Cottages with Mountain and Lake Views”

A  beautiful and tranquil location with a bird’s eye view of the lake & fantastic hospitality!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

We spent three idyllic nights in one of the cottages on site. They are all arranged cleverly to take in the amazing views of Lake Vinuela. We had the most amazing view from our veranda and spent most of our time outside, by the pool or our three children would be exploring the many areas thoughtfully designed to entertain them; trampoline and crazy golf overlooking the lake, games room with table tennis, darts board, table football and a host of toys for smaller children. We adults were blown away by the standard of the tapas food that was served at lunchtime and overindulged both times we ate there. Nicky was a great host, very smiley and welcoming. The property had a rustic charm, very cool inside despite being unusually warm during our stay (27/28 degrees in April!) and well equipped with everything you’d need to cater for yourselves. It was lovely to be part of a small community of other cottages, with other families and children around. The pool was lovely with a good shallow end for smaller children but also a deep end for the children to dive into. We will definitely be back for another quiet getaway in the future. Thanks again for your hospitality!

Date of arrival 12 April 2017

A typical Cottage at Cantueso

A typical Cottage at Cantueso

Restaurante Cantueso Spring Opening

See menus on our web pages. Lots of choice and tapas style dishes.

See menus on our web pages. Lots of choice and tapas style dishes.

Horario de apertura en primavera:

De 13.00 a 15.30 horas y de 20.00 a 22.30 h
Los domingos sólo servimos el almuerzo
Cerramos los lunes
Los martes hasta los viernes sólo servimos el almuerzo
Los sábados servimos el almuerzo y la cena

The Spring bar/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 Friday open for Lunch only
Saturday open Lunch and Dinner

Cantueso opening times for Summer

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


Die Öffnungszeiten der Bar und des Restaurants sind:

  • Mittagessen von 13.00 bis 15.30h und das Abendessen von 20.00 bis 22.30 h

  • Sonntags bieten wir nur den Mittagstisch an.

  • Dienstags bis Samstagen bieten wir den Mittagstisch und das Abendessen an.

  • Montags Ruhetag


De openingstijden van restaurant zijn:

  • Lunch van 13.00 – 15.30 uur. Diner van 20.00 -22.30 uur

  • Zondags serveren wij alleen een lunch

  • Maandags gesloten

  • Dinsdag t/m Zaterdag open voor zowel de lunch als het diner.

Olive Oil Day 2017 in Periana

oil day 2017

On Sunday, 23rd April Periana celebrates its eighteenth Verdial Oil Day, which this year will again be attended by various radio and TV personalities. This celebration honours Periana’s extra virgin oil (verdial variety), offering visitors one of the best products in the land known locally as “liquid gold.”

On many stands, around the centre of town, this superior oil will be offered for tasting together with bread for dipping, and from 10 o’clock you may savour the free Miller’s breakfast. It comprises cod, beans and of course oil from Mondrón and Periana.
Visitors can also purchase other local products such as bread, brandy, sweets, seasonal fruits and meats.

Throughout the day there will be bands, prize givings, and children’s entertainment.

Paella Time at Cantueso Cottages

During the winter months when the Cantueso restaurant is closed we offer a personal chef service to guests staying in our cottages. It enables them to have a special meal cooked and delivered to them or cooked in their cottage. We provide a suggested menu but will cook to order any Spanish speciality (within reason!).

We appreciate the family allowing us to use their photo.

We appreciate the family allowing us to use their photo.

Paella is always popular and many treat it as a master class with it being cooked in front of them so that they can see the little twists that make it so special.
Over Christmas the Ter Maat family took advantage of this service and our chef Joel Falcone cooked a Paella for them.
Joel has been with us for the last 8 years and is responsible for devising and cooking our summer menu. When we re-open in March you will be able to try the Paella too 🙂

Are You Intolerant?

New Laws on food labelling of allergens for restaurants and food providers

At Cantueso we have long been able to help people who suffer from allergies and food intolerances because fortunately we produce all our own dishes and do not rely on bought in pre-prepared products.

However new regulations from December 2014 will cause considerable work as it will mean that we have to ask all suppliers of a raw ingredient to similarly identify what is in their product. Even the wine or oil we cook with will have to be analysed for the allergens.
It is estimated that 1-2% of adults and 5-8% of children are affected. This equates to millions of people throughout Europe with a food allergy, but does not include those with food intolerances. This means the actual number of affected people living with a food allergy and/or a food intolerance is considerably higher. (Interestingly when people in the UK were asked about allergies 20% claimed to suffer!)

Nuts, one of the main culprits in food allergies

An allergic reaction can be produced by a tiny amount of a food ingredient that a person is sensitive to (for example a teaspoon of milk powder, a fragment of peanut or just one or two sesame seeds). Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from mild symptoms such as itching around the mouth and rashes; and can progress to more severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, wheezing and on occasion anaphylaxis (shock).

There is no cure for food allergy. The only way to manage the condition is to avoid food that makes the person ill.
When we re-open Restaurante Cantueso on the 20th March 2015 after our winter break, we will have available on request, a menu with the allergens shown and a member of staff to advise.

In the past we have helped many families who come to Cantueso with children (who it seems suffer in greater numbers than adults) and made sure we cook dishes for them that are safe to eat.
No doubt we will also have diners again who tell us they are lactose intolerant and carefully select their starter and main but when they see Carmen’s home made desserts, they look thoughtful and say “well I suppose a little won’t hurt” 🙂 !

The new laws for food businesses relating to the labelling and provision of allergen information centres around a list of the 14 most common triggers.

• Cereals containing gluten namely wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat), rye, barley, and oats.
• Crustaceans and products thereof (for example prawns, lobster, crabs and crayfish)
• Eggs
• Fish and fish products
• Peanuts
• Soy beans
• Milk and milk products (including lactose).
• Nuts (namely almond, hazelnut, walnut, cashew, pecan nut, Brazil nut, pistachio nut and Macadamia nut (Queensland nut)
• Celery
• Mustard
• Sesame seeds
• Sulphur dioxide and sulphites
• Lupin seeds
• Molluscs for example: mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, snails and squid.

XII Peaches Day Festival

dia del melocoton 12On Saturday 2nd August 2014 the 12th Peaches Festival will once again be held in Periana. Unlike last year when due to economic restrictions it was held alongside the August festival, it will once again be a stand alone event.

During the day there will be the usual stalls and amusements set up along the main street with various free tastings, and a medieval market. There will also be the popular cookery competition; dishes for which should of course contain Peaches.

Later there will be an on stage Festival of Rock & Roll, with various tribute acts and then music with Dj’s until the early hours.

In previous years 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 twelth 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.

¡Que aproveche!

Periana Olive Oil Day and news update

picProgramme of Events
On Sunday, April 6 Periana celebrates its fifteenth Verdial Oil Day, which this year will be
attended by Javier Ojeda and Fran Perea . This celebration honours Periana’s extra virgin oil (verdial variety), offering visitors one of the best products in the land.
In many stands, around the centre of town, this liquid gold will be offered for tasting together with bread for dipping and from the 11 o’clock you may savour the typical miller’s breakfast. Olive oil based, with cod, beans and oil from Mondrón and Periana.
Visitors can also purchase other local products such as bread, brandy, sweets, seasonal fruits and meats …

• 10:30 AM Parade of the Municipal Band of Periana. Delivery of Passports and sealed “Singular Economy” all morning in the Plaza Alfonso XII.

• 11:00 AM : Miller’s Breakfast

• 11:30 Folk entertainment on stage in Fountain Square and Plaza de Alfonso XII.

• 1 2:30 Flamenco Performance “Nuria Martin”

• 13.00 Address 2014 by Javier Ojeda, vocalist of the band Danza Invisible.

•  13:15 Awards Ceremony 2014 Verdial Olivo.

Olivo Verdial Cultural Awards 2014 to Fran Perea , the actor and musician who is currently touring with his play’ Feelgood ‘.

Olivo Award Verdial Málaga to Stephanie Martin Palop , Provincial Coordinator of the Andalusian Institute for Women;

Olivo Verdial Axarquia Award to The Association “Hope” for Women with Breast Cancer in Axarquia

Olivo Verdial Award Informationto Gema Cold Luque for her Blog Periana and Districts;

Olivo Verdial Periana Prize to the Adult School “José Alarcón” ;

•  15.00 Tasting of typical products, enlivened with music.

•  17.00 h Concert 2014 OIL Falete.

There will also be a Playground for children.

 Malaga Airport Road Changes
The final part of the new access road to Malaga Airport has been opened and means that there are now two ways in and out. Our website instructions are still valid but will be amended when we have had time to explore all routes and to note the road number changes which affect car hire pick up points. Google maps show the new layout quite well and might help to explain the following information.

As a temporary measure please note the following:

When leaving the airport from a car hire pick up point follow signs to Malaga and look out for either the MA20 (Ctra Ronda Oeste) or MA21 (Av Velazquez) roads signed to Motril and Almeria. If you follow these roads you will connect onto the A7/E15 motorway also signed to Motril and Almeria, as per our detailed instructions. We always recommend caution when using satnav because the new roads tend not to be “seen” and when you get to the point where we say keep left onto the A7 often a satnav will urge you to go via the Granada motorway which is slightly shorter but very winding. See our website How to Find Us Page.

Airport collections:
Anyone collecting friends from the airport should be aware that there are now two ways to leave the usual collection area outside departures (yes departures!). As before you can go past parking P2 and keeping right go down the slip road to the brewery roundabout. However confusingly this slip road is now signed to Torremolinos and a fork to the left is signed to Malaga. This left hand lane leads onto the new arial motorway section and links up to the MA20. This is the link which has been open in the other direction since last year.
The completed works took five years and cost 61 million Euros and was funded by the EU. So as Jeremy Clakson would say we own it!

Malaga Metro Soon to Open
After many years of disruption caused by engineering work on Malaga’s new underground system there is light at the end of the tunnel 🙂 Sorry. The new metro should open late June or early July. Staff training and trial runs are already taking place.

Olive Oil Ban in Spanish Restaurants

From 1st January it has become illegal to use the traditional cruet sets on tables which dispense olive oil, and as from now it must be presented in sealed bottles with labels to denote the quality, origin and production date.  And then after opening, even if you only use a drop, it must be thrown away!

DSC00646The Spanish government has introduced this law after a setback in the EU parliament last year when at first EU wide legislation was passed and then following lots of criticism from ecologists and politicians it was reversed.  David Cameron, UK prime minister, said he was against such legislation and commented:  “This is the sort of thing that deservedly gets the EU a bad name.”  Ecologists also argued that the waste packaging and added costs to both producers and customers made little sense and was simply protectionism.

The Spanish olive lobby did not give in and the new legislation is the result of pressure in Spain and follows Portugal and Italy who already have such laws in place.  It is indeed true that oil often gets mis-labelled with virgin being sold as extra virgin by unscrupulous dealers and the Spanish government thinks this latest law will help stamp it out.  They also argue it is to protect the consumer who might add a little to his salad or dip his bread into a dish of extra virgin oil when in fact it is only virgin!

DSC02191A large part of the problem stems from 2010 when olive oil prices dropped by 25% causing severe problems for the many small growers (often the only income for an extended family) and who only get one pay day each year.  This decrease was as a result of over production and lower demand, mainly due to the economic crisis, and with cheaper oil from emerging markets adding to the problem.

As restaurateurs we don’t think this legislation will help at all and the bigger worry is whether the government will decide to legislate on what is used in kitchens where by far the larger consumption takes place.  Many restaurants will ignore the law and some may get around the problem by using an alternative oil such as walnut or rape seed and having olive oil available on request.  Either way the law will not produce the hoped for result.

For the record we never use anything except our local grown “Periana Gold” extra virgin oil for everything except high temperature frying when it is not suitable.

DSC00635

 

 

August Festival in Periana

cartel feria agosto 13

From the 15th to 18th August the annual festival will take place in and around Periana. As last year it will now include the XI Peach Festival and is repeating many popular features including: Outdoor painting competition; municipal band performances on several days; The Cuban Show Band; Peach and Sangria tastings; cookery competion (using peaches of course); fireworks most nights; children’s festival; foam festival in front of the town’s fountain; The Seguridad Social showband; The spectacular Pasacalles and many more singers, dancers and other acts every evening until late.

There will be lots to see and do so go early and be prepared to stay late and best of all it is free.

I’m Smarter than the Average Bear!

yogi

Yogi certainly was and it seems that either he or one of his family of admirers came to Cantueso earlier today.

Yogi’s table had the new “Para Picar” menu and were so pleased that they decided to leave this unusual thank you card in the kids playroom. (Well where else?)

We are pleased that the new menu ideas are receiving nice comments and we hope lot’s more of you will come and try them 🙂

Saffron the New Spanish Gold

It takes 250,000 of these flowers to make 1 kilo of saffron

Lovers of Paella will know that you need that most important spice, saffron, to give it the distinctive deep yellow colour and most critically the taste to die for.  However what is less well known is that despite Spain being one of the largest growers of the saffron crocus from which it comes, they cannot keep up with demand.

In La Mancha where it was first introduced by the Moors, whole families have for centuries grown, harvested and sold this sought after spice.  As with olive growing it is a family business that involves dedication and tradition not to mention patience.  Imagine how long it must take to strip the stigmas from the crocus flower with it needing 250,000 flowers to yield 1 kilo of threads.  At this point it is worth 3000€ per kilo.

In La Mancha they can only produce 1500 kilos per year and yet exports from Spain are about 190,000 kilos.  An amazing mismatch that can only be explained by the import of Iranian, Moroccan and Greek produce.  The growers of La Mancha are quick to point out that the largest exporters are the regions of Valencia and Murcia where saffron is not even grown.  Often these inferior products contain more than just the stigma and tests have even found a completely different spice such as cardamom being present.  It is claimed that lower quality foreign imports make up the difference with adulterated product being commonly sold as Spanish (apparently it is within the EU laws to label it as such).

Cooks who want the best should look for saffron with the official “Genuine La Mancha Saffron” label.

At Restaurante Cantueso we only cook Paella to order after 24 hours notice as it cannot be prepared in advance without losing lots of delicate flavours.  In a previous blog post we detailed the great influence that the Moors have had on Spanish culture, architecture, agriculture and of course cuisine. See “Sugar the lost crop in Periana”

Driving from UK to Cantueso in Periana, Spain

 

We are often asked for advice about driving to Spain and one of the main questions is whether it is better to use the Ferries or go through the Channel Tunnel and which is cheaper.

An example of our own trip to the UK last month will help to clarify some points.  Periana to Colchester is a trip of 1400 miles going through the Tunnel and 700 if using the ferry from Santander or Bilbao to Portsmouth.  Using the ferry means that you can drive to Santander from Periana in one day of hard driving, mostly motorways which are excellent and we managed the 550 miles in 9 hours plus a couple of stops.  The ferry departed the next day so a night in the town was necessary.

Not really a hardship as Santander has some excellent fish restaurants including  El Serbal a Michelin starred place that must surely be the cheapest in Europe.  Lunch menu 35€ or 8 course tasting menu with wine for each course 85€, no service charge or extras for seven sorts of bread, water, appetisers etc.  And when did you last get a glass of wine for 3.60€ apart from Cantueso J

The Brittany Ferry takes about 23 hours, with comfortable cabins and good restaurants as you would expect from a French boat.  They describe it as a cruise and certainly their flagship the Pont-aven has all the facilities you would expect on a cruise.

Depending on the day and time you travel the journey can be one night or two, and things have improved so much in recent years that even travelling with pets is possible. There are pet friendly cabins or kennels and an exercise area on deck.

So far as costs go it was on this occasion about the same as going through France where the tolls are high and of course the extra mileage means a lot more fuel and usually two nights in hotels. Much depends on how much time you have and whether you wish to make it a leisurely drive or a sprint.

We shall make the return journey in February and that will be even easier and cheaper as there is a ferry leaving Portsmouth at 10.30 a.m. which arrives in Spain the next morning at 09.30 a.m. meaning no need for hotels just one night on the boat and the drive down to Periana.

On balance: the ferry saves time, can be cheaper (particularly if you book a reclining seat rather than a cabin!) and much more relaxing start or finish to your holiday.  I particularly like the booking website for Brittany Ferries because you can go online and change your route, timings, accommodation etc. at any time before travelling without cost penalties.  Makes a change after the cheapie airlines rip-off the customer policies.

Any minus points? Not really but remember the Bay of Biscay can be lumpy in winter J

 

www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/

www.eurotunnel.com/

Restaurante Cantueso Chef wins Culinary Competition Prize

Congratulations to Carmen

Carmen Muñoz our talented chef was awarded second prize in the Concurso Gastrónomico during the recent “Day of the Peach” festival in Periana.

During the week Carmen had been serving up several specials at Cantueso, using local peaches of course, and at the last minute on Saturday after Lunch service had finished she decided to enter the culinary competition which was to be judged at 8 o’clock. This gave her less than three hours, and she set to work creating a wonderful Tarta de Melocotón y Chocolate (Peach and Chocolate Gateaux). It consisted of a multi-layered chocolate sponge filled with peach and fresh ginger marmalade. This hotly contested competition received over forty entries from all over the area and Carmen received two hundred Euros as her prize.

Unfortunately in her haste she didn’t have time to take a photo and had to be back at the restaurant to run the evening service, so we can only assume the five judges liked what they saw and tasted. So much so, that when at midnight Carmen collected her certificate and prize all that remained of the entry was a clean plate!

Felicidades Carmen!

Smell the Fruit on Peach Day in Periana

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.

¡Que aproveche!

Never Trust a Restaurant with a View!

Or so said that famous moaner Michael Winner in his column in the Sunday Times last week. He went on to say the reason was because they thought the view was enough, and then continued in familiar style to slag off Min Jiang the restaurant on top of The Royal Garden Hotel in London.

We cannot comment on the London restaurant but we certainly don’t agree with his tar them all approach. We add below a photo taken a month ago at Restaurante Cantueso just so that Mr Winner might see what a good restaurant view really looks like. Pity he cannot visit Periana and sample some of Carmen’s cooking as he might then agree that there are always exceptions to any rant 🙂

A View to Match the Food!!

Another Sherry Aunty?

Summer Menu and Drinks at Restaurante Cantueso.

We have just introduced our summer à la carte menu and will again also be offering some special seasonal drinks in addition to our usual wine list.

Carmen our chef has created a new summer menu combining some old favourites with new seasonal dishes and intends to offer a daily special starter, main course, and dessert. She has also revised our popular six-course tasting menu.

And of course it wouldn’t be summer without a few special drinks. Pimm’s of course, and now that Sherry is a trendy drink again, we will try to tempt you with the likes of Rebujito a cocktail of chilled dry sherry mixed with soda or Seven-up: an ideal thirst quencher for the weary traveller and typically popular at Spanish ferias.

Sherry known in Spain as Jerez, has of course been popular in Britain for centuries and in the main it was British families such as Sandeman, Osborne and Byass that in the 18th century cornered the market producing a high octane wine (typically 15-20%) which is fortified with brandy. It can only legally be described as sherry if it is produced in the “sherry triangle” of southern Andalucía.

In the past sherry has been known as a drink for weddings or funerals and of course Christmas wouldn’t be the same if aunty didn’t have a glass or two of Bristol Cream, but now there has been a strong revival with wine lovers discovering the likes of manzanillas, finos, palo cortados, amontillados, and olorosos. A different taste for every occasion and every meal. Maybe in the past you have tried Pedro Ximenez poured over ice cream, or a crisp well-chilled fino with olives or tapas. Fino and manzanilla are perfect accompaniments to Spanish food and soups of many styles. The two can be used interchangeably in cooking and are well suited to steaming mussels and other shellfish, or as an ingredient in soups.

Continue reading

Sugar Cane, the Lost Crop around Periana

Most visitors to the Costa del Sol will have a vague idea that there was a Moorish presence in Spain at some time in the past, and are attracted to tourist destinations such as Cordoba and Granada which have some of the most stunning Moorish architecture to be seen anywhere in Europe.  The Alhambra Palace in Granada is in fact the most visited tourist attraction in Spain.

Canes like these are still seen alongside riverbeds and not to be confused with Sugar cane. They are tradionally used as a building material or even to make musical instruments.

As we will see later there was much more to the Moorish invasion than just architecture and anyone travelling the roads around Periana some fifty years ago would have noticed the remaining sugar plantations started by the Moors over one thousand years before, and which until the middle of the last century was a valuable part of the local economy.  Plantations were established all along the Costa del Sol and as far inland as Periana, further inland the temperatures were too low and there was insufficient water supplies.  There were several sugar mills along the coast notably in Motril and Torre del Mar, but today all that is left of the latter is a chimney.  This refinery was for many years owned by the Larios family (of gin fame) and they were able to make not only sugar but also rum and honey.  We at Restaurante Cantueso still use Caña de Miel (Cane Honey) and find it popular on such dishes as aubergines in batter.

Continue reading

Restaurante Cantueso goes Greener

There is something comforting knowing that somewhere in Spain our old cooking oil, long after it cooked your calamari, is running someone’s car.

Increasing oil prices and Middle East tensions make biodiesel fuel increasingly important as it is so environmentally friendly, renewable and above all cheap.  And when converting old cooking oil it makes even more economic sense.

For some years it has been a geeks’ paradise with “home brewing” DIY biodiesel kits costing a few hundred Euros, and as long as they could find sufficient used chip fat they had a fuel for their cars costing a few cents per litre.

More recently commercial operators have entered the market and will not only produce biodiesel from waste oil but also deal with unwanted by-products previously a problem for home producers.  For Cantueso, this means our old sunflower oil is now converted into fuel and we have a supply of soaps, hand and floor cleaners all from the glycerin that is the main by-product of the process and someone somewhere drives down the Autovia on Cantueso biodiesel 🙂

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.

Continue reading

Driving over Pomegranates in Periana

No this is not a sequel to the best selling book by Chris Stewart, Driving over Lemons but our way of drawing attention to the odd times we live in.

The Fruit Hand Grenade

Around us at Cantueso this autumn we have the sight of grapes withering on the vine, figs rotting on the floor underneath the trees and yes pomegranates on the side of the road.  Food for free but nobody seems bothered.  Just look too at the Spanish supermarkets that sell Israeli oranges and imported lemons from the Americas and yet they grow well here.  Yes, we know that fruit is not always in season, but with the all year round varieties of lemon grown in Spain, there can be no excuse. It is even more strange to find that buying blueberries in Spain is difficult but if you buy them in the UK, the country of origin on the pack is Spain.  Maybe it is our fault as consumers and we really should only buy things in season.

Continue reading

Tapas Tour of Malaga

If you fancy a great day out in Malaga why not try our tapas tour?  We know that many of you enjoy tapas at Restaurante Cantueso and thought that when staying in Periana you might like to visit some great and quaint bars in Malaga that serve equally delicious tapas.  Some of the bars boast a menu of over one hundred different tapas.  We have sampled a few bars and there are many more to be explored.  Beware however of the bars with menu boards outside in many languages.  They tend to be tourist traps.

The first thing you must do is appoint a non-drinking driver or get a taxi, as it can be a little alcoholic.  Tapas tasting is thirsty work.

We recommend that you start about midday and expect to take three or four hours.

The starting point is in the Alameda Principal opposite the train station.  There is El Corte Ingles the large store on this side of the road and plenty of nearby parking.
Start to walk up the Alameda Principal (turn left with your back to the store) and cross the bridge and as you pass the flower stalls in the centre of the road look out for no 18 which is the oldest bar in Malaga called, La Antigua Casa de Guardia. Stop for a drink and notice they chalk your bill on the counter in front of you, and make sure you don’t move along when it is time to pay or you may get your neighbours.  They specialise in sweet Malaga wines but other drinks are available.  They also serve shellfish but save yourself for later, as it gets better.

Continue reading