Part of Malaga’s charm comes in the fact that it’s a city where traditions run deep. And a good way to see those traditions is in the typical Malaga figures. Some sadly disappeared and other still very much alive and part of daily life in Malaga. Here are three of the most typically traditional.
The biznaga is one of the symbols of Malaga and sellers of this ‘flower’ (made up of about 20 jasmine flowers) can be seen throughout the city during the jasmine season (June to August). Dressed in traditional attire – striped sash and white shirt – biznagueros (once only men but now women as well) carry an intoxicating scent of jasmine with them as they visit bars and restaurants selling their biznagas.
You’ll also find biznagas adorning the city during the August fair – they’re an essential part of the ‘gateway’ in Calle Larios almost every year.
The gold biznaga is the top prize at the Malaga film festival and a biznaga brooch or hairpin also makes a nice and unusual souvenir.
This statue of a biznaguero has pride of place in the Pedro Luis Alonso gardens, near city hall. There aren’t any jasmines in these gardens, but the statue is surrounded by enormous rose beds whose fragrance is at least as strong when the thousands of roses are in flower.
Very much part and parcel of daily life in Malaga until just a few decades ago, the cenachero was the best person to buy your fresh fish from. Laden with two characteristic baskets that hung one from each shoulder – a bit like the two trays on weighing scales – the cenachero would sell his wares in the street or door to door in all parts of Malaga.
The cenacheros are no longer part of Malaga’s street scene, but there’s a statue in hommage to these fish sellers from the past on the south side of Plaza de la Marina, opposite the entrance to the port and now with the Malaga ferris wheel behind it.
An espeto of sardines (six or seven fish speared on a wooden stick and chargrilled over an open wood fire) is one of the most typical dishes in Malaga. And an experience you should definitely include on your holiday in Malaga.
Grilling an espeto to perfection is a work of art and a skill often passed from one generation to another. Almost all the beach restaurants in Malaga employ an espetero whose job also includes grilling squid, octopus and large fish.
This statue of an espetero sits on the western seafront promenade, not far from some of the best espetos in town. We like those served at Gutierrez Playa and Merendero Litoral.
What other typical Malaga figures have you noticed on your Malaga holiday? Let us know and we’ll include them in this post.