Gastronomy - Fruits and Vegetables

 © Michelle Chaplow Andalucia produces the best oranges and lemons
Andalucia produces the best oranges and lemons

Andalucia is known for its year-round growing season, producing fruits and vegetables even through the winter.

Specialty farming has taken root in Andalusia - the giant strawberries of Huelva, the asparagus of Granada (D.E. Huétor-Tajar), custard apples (chirimoyas) from the south; avocados from the Málaga and Granada coasts; winter tomatoes from Almería. Sweet bell peppers (these are marketed in packets of three, red, yellow and green, so they're called semáforos, or stop-lights) plus aubergines, artichokes, and--not to forget, garlic--plus other vegetables make Andalusia a cook's cornucopia.

Add to that the superb muscatel grapes grown in Málaga - which become both Málaga wine and Málaga raisins; almonds which flavour both sweet and savoury dishes; oranges and lemons and other fruits. All which flavour the local dishes.

Fresh Strawberries from Huelva. © Michelle Chaplow
Fresh Strawberries from Huelva.

Andalucia also has speciality agricultrual growers bringing fresh organic vegetables toboth the Spanish and European tables.

Janet Mendel is an American journalist who has lived in Andalucia for many years. An expert in Spanish cooking, she has written four books about Spain's food.

Traditional Spanish Cooking (Garnet Publishing) won the prestigious André Simon cookbook award. Her books can be purchased on-line from the andalucia.com bookstore. Her recipes can be followed in Take a Taste of Andalucía