As part of the slow living movement you have recently embraced, you care about taste and provenance, and therefore champion exquisite products that are exceptional in quality, but familiar in origin. The astonishing diversity of the land around you—and the invaluable help of the Club’s staff members—played a decisive role in your decision to start your own organic kitchen garden (that was when you began to cultivate a taste for a life of organic farming.)
It is little wonder that organic food has risen in popularity over the years – feeling good and staying healthy is a priority that most of us share. Although organic produce always costs notoriously more than conventionally grown food, it does not have to cost you the earth. The number of local shoppers looking to shop more ethically while keeping their food bill low has reached new heights. That is why an increasing number of producers in Malaga province have decided to make it easy and affordable for you to stock your pantry with organic goodies. Between your bumper crop of veggies and the local organic grocer’s, you are satisfying your hearty appetite like never before!
But, where can you buy local organic products?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
If you only ever crack out the extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over the odd salad or dress a dinner party dish, you might be surprised to learn that people across the Mediterranean use extra virgin olive oil for all their everyday cooking needs – from marinades and casseroles to shallow frying, and everything else in between.
With olive fields stretching as far as the eye can see, Spain is by far the biggest producer of olive oil in the world. In recent years, Malaga province has made a name for itself as an organic extra virgin olive oil producer. Sierra de Yeguas, Finca La Torre, Montexaquez Oliva, Gil Luna, Molisur or Molino del Hortelano are some of the companies selling organic EVOOs in the region. You can order yours online or simply pop into any large local supermarket or small local greengrocer’s shop.
Organic Free-Range Eggs
Nothing beats organic hens spending their days foraging through pastures full of natural grasses, herbs and clovers and enjoying pecking at fruit, chasing bees and insects … generally clucking and strutting around. Organic free-range eggs are packed with protein, contain next to no carbs and taste delicious to boot. You can source them from a number of farms located in the Guadalhorce Valley area and in the Sierra de las Nieves. Worth mentioning is Finca La Huertezuela, in the vicinity of Alozaina. It may be wise to call in advance before making a special journey.
The trend for all things artisanal shows no sign of abating, and the popularity of craft bread is definitely ‘on a roll’. Malaga province boasts several artisanal bakeries with interesting organic staples packed with seeds, inclusions, long fermentation and traditional baking methods. These include La Curruca—located in Coin—, or El Mimbre, with several stores throughout the region. Both producers demonstrate clean label ethics, support sustainability and use best quality ingredients. With a love of baking at their core, their organic baked goods include soft bread muffins, classic white bloomers, malted loaves, rustic wholemeals, multiseeded rolls, and pure sourdough. With these healthier and tastier options, it is time to say ta-ta to stale mass-produced bread!
The world of pasta is bountiful and there is truly something for every occasion, whether it is a decorative farfalle or an understated rigatoni. Pasta comes in over 300 shapes that are designed to meet three vital areas of pasta consumption – ‘forkability’ (how easy it is to get and keep the pasta on a fork), ‘sauceability’ (how well it holds a sauce) and ‘toothsinkability’ (how satisfying it is to eat).
For traditional master pasta makers, head to the municipality of Humilladero, where pasta is made under the Spiga Negra brand. A number of local organic grocery stores show us a whole new world of pasta-bilities and sell a whole variety of different shaped organic pasta. From noodles, spaghetti, rigatoni, conchiglie, casarecce to macaroni or tagliatelle, there is something for everyone. Look for Merkaetico El Cenacho, La Huerta de Ceres, Siete Semillas, La Chiquita Malaga, Alieco El Palo, Biomilanes, El Tesoro del Puchero, Fruteria Frasco, and some stalls in the Atarazanas market.
You are proud to report that your green-fingered attempts have finally paid off. With your tomato plants thriving, you are sure to grow a bumper crop of sweet and juicy tomatoes—and after picking a couple fresh homegrown tomatoes … you swear they taste heavenly! To be perfectly honest, you prefer to slice them into a salad, rather than turning them into sauce. You have Al Jaque, the local co-op located in Montejaque, for that. They are masters at making the most of the different varieties of tomato. Think tomato conserva (slow-roasted tomatoes taste delicious in a rustic pasta and can be added to just about any dish that wants some rich flavour); tomato ketchup (honour your burgers with a ketchup worthy of them that is better-tasting, and healthier than commercial ketchup); tomato jam (with a luxurious and refined texture and a touch of sweetness to it, it is great on toast, or served alongside grilled lamb or salmon, and pairs exceptionally well with cheeses and cured meat), and tomato purée (keeping tomato purée on hand is like having money in the bank; it is a base that can add depth and flavour to all kinds of dishes).
The rise of the coffee shop culture and eating on the move also means fewer people sit down to toast and jam for breakfast. Not you. You are at the forefront of the clean eating buzz and love waking up to a delicious and nutritious breakfast. The richest-tasting varieties of fruits grown locally yield multi-variety jams, marmalades and breakfast spreads that are in a class of their own and make some breakfast favourites among residents at The Wine & Country Club.
Two community food co-ops service the Serrania de Ronda area – the forementioned Al Jaque, in the town of Montejaque, and another one located in Benalauria. The latter also produces chutneys that marry the sweetness of the fruits with a discernible kick of spice and are perfect as an accompaniment to savoury bites such as chicken or crispy squid, or as a garnish for cheese. Also worth trying are their Ronda red wine jam and Pedro Ximenez wine jelly – a mix of sweetness and the gentle aroma of Pedro Ximenez, making it a perfect accompaniment to game dishes.
Mindful Eating At The Wine & Country Club
Fresh fruits and vegetables from your organic kitchen garden, foodstuffs sourced from local producers, self-produced organic wines … It is with good reason that you have become a champion of local produce and have begun to advocate a farm-to-fork philosophy. In addition, life at The Wine & Country Club, surrounded by nature, has challenged you to eat mindfully and healthily, as a way to enjoy what you are eating whilst being attuned with your body and acknowledging your thoughts and feelings.