In a city that’s fast building a reputation as a serious foodie destination, it’s not surprise to find Malaga tapas at the forefront. It’s also no surprise that several companies offer Malaga tapas tours.
We’ve already been on one of these and the other day were luckily enough to be invited on another. This tapas tour not only gave us some pretty amazing insight into food in Malaga (so much more to this than you might think) but also gave us a chance to see how the different companies offering tapas tours in Malaga differ.
This time our hosts were Spain Food Sherpas and their slogan already gave us an idea of what to expect. But I wasn’t prepared for such passion and in-depth knowledge about Malaga food. I’m not exaggerating when I say that after our 3 hours I came away with a whole insight into the world of tapas in Malaga.
The real taste of Malaga
“Get to know Malaga’s real taste” says the Spain Food Sherpas flyer and that’s certainly what we did. Our guide Simone (who is German but speaks impeccable English and Spanish so full marks there) met us in Calle Larios and took us to our first stop. Not a tapas bar, but a small grocer’s shop.
Here, we spent a good 15 minutes just looking at the window display. But in that time, we came away with a recipe for tostón de bacalao (a typical tapa in Malaga), a guided tour of the main Malaga produce and two new ones for my must-try list: spicy medlar fruit jam and gin tonic jam. All from Malaga of course.
The market for Malaga tapas
Next, we made our way to Atarazanas Market. Nothing new here – it’s in our Guide to Malaga as one of the best markets in Malaga, we shop there regularly and take our visits to look round the stalls. But what was new was Simone’s extraordinary knowledge of the produce.
Again, she gave us some recipes to try (I tried the salchichón cold sausage and raisins dish the other day – delicious!), told us how to choose the best ham (jamón serrano) and all about the secrets of good frying.
We watched this at work and for the first time in my life, I found myself feasting on a plate of fried anchovies at 11.30 in the morning. And guess what? They were so, so good. And of course, fried to perfection.
Simone offers a wealth of anecdotes and fun facts about Malaga food. We won’t give them away here, but did you know Malaga produces 30 different types of citrus fruit?
And we tried the extraordinary combination of a dried fig with a fried almond. Who would have thought you’d get that explosive of flavour. Delicious!
Best Malaga tapas
We could have easily spent the rest of the day in the market, but it was time for the tapas. Again, we won’t give away where Spain Food Sherpas took us exactly but it was good to go to 2 places (out of 3) that are in our Guide to Malaga!
Our first stop was for ‘breakfast’ with a difference. Firstly, because it was washed down with homemade vermouth and secondly, because I have never had so many spreads for my toast before. Simone says that what you get varies every time and no two tapas tours are the same.
But it’s all homemade except the sobrasada lard spread from Mallorca including some delicious jams. The photo doesn’t do them justice but you get an idea of just how much was on the breakfast tray.
Next up was Andalusian cooking with a 21st century twist in one of our favourite places for tapas in Malaga. Here, I tried an amazing take on sword fish – a great combination of flavours and deliciously tender. That’s gone on my must-have list for next time along with the langoustine wrap.
And finally we made our way to another well-known city venue. We’d been here before and had been a little disappointed so this restaurant in Malaga doesn’t feature in our guide yet. Simone made it her mission to change my mind and gave the chef carte blanche on my tapas.
I tried a spinach dish with a creamy mayo sauce and a baby-sole fish with a confit of carrots. Both full of flavour and both a surprise. Mission accomplished!
Throughout the tour, Simone offered lots of information and tips about food in Malaga and we exchanged ideas for new venues to try. We now have a new list of restaurants in Malaga that we need to visit and I hope we managed to give Simone some ideas as well.
By the end, we were too full for dessert – we’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: tapas might be small but they’re very filling! But the coffee went down a treat.
All in all, this Malaga tapas tour was delicious and inspiration, and we came away with so much more than just a satisfied stomach.
Choice of foodie activities
Spain Food Sherpas offer several activities for foodies in Malaga: Tapas Tour with a group of between 2 and 8 people, price €55 and €65. Cooking workshops in central Malaga that include shopping for the ingredients, cooking them and then of course, eating your creation. This activity always includes at least one recipe from Malaga and Malaga wine.
The company also has trips to Ronda where you combine sightseeing with wine tasting and typical local dishes. And they do tailor made activities – there are some great ideas for unusual things to do in Malaga here including fruit picking in the Axarquía (and this isn’t apples or strawberries, more custard apples and mangos) and cocktail creating.
Our thanks to Spain Food Sherpas and Simone for a great morning in Malaga!