There are few pleasures that can compare to sitting up at a zinc bar, drinking great wine, enjoying tasty morsels of expertly prepared food, and meeting new people.
Last night, we headed into Malaga for the launch of the city’s new Tapas Competition, the ‘Concorso de Tapas 2011’. Organised by DiarioSur and sponsored by Malaga brewer San Miguel and Andalusian olive oil producer, Hojiblanca amongst others, the event will run until November 20th.
Over 50 of the city’s best tapas bars are taking part; each has created its own signature tapas for clients to enjoy and critique, using a voting form. A signature tapa and beer from San Miguel is just 3 euro.
We started off in ‘La Cosmopolita’. I normally walk straight past this bar on my way to y usual favourites, but last night we stopped and took a look inside. It has a contrived rustic feel, but it is pretty smart and has a few good wines. I enjoyed a glass of Jorge Bouet, from Ronda. A typical tiny Ronda bodega, it only produces a few thousand bottles of the stuff, a mix of Tempranillo and Syrah and a little Merlot and a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon!
I couldn’t ignore my favourite bar, La Moraga. Although this is now an international brand, the crowded bar in Malaga is of course the original and the best. Their signature tapa was ‘Carpacho de presa Ibérica con aceite de olive queso payoyo e higos frescos’ (Extremely finely cut cured ham, served with a fresh olive oil, Payoyo goat’s cheese and fresh figs).
I was washed that down with a glass, or two, of Vega del Geva Roble red which is a Malaga mountain wine (Denominación de Origen ‘Sierras de Málaga’). It’s a blend too, of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.
I also tried for the first time a new dish, the chucky langoustine tempura prawns, (caught off the Huelva coast), wrapped in basil leaves; yum!
As if we hadn’t had enough, walking back to the car in Plaza Merced, we passed ‘La Princesa’ cake shop in Calle Granada, so had to pop in for the Malaga sweet snacks, called ‘borrachuelos’. I also was introduced to cream filled cakes called ‘Torta Loca’ / Crazy Cakes!
That wasn’t all – in Plaza Merced was a street vendor selling roasted chestnuts, freshly harvested from Montes de Malaga, so of course we had a paper cone of those to go!
Where’s the Alka Seltzer?…