Day of the Black Pudding. April. Unique Festival
The welcoming Canillas de Aceituno is located in Sierra Tejeda, enjoying a privileged setting in the interior of the Axarquía region. Graced by natural surroundings of olive groves, fig trees, almond trees and vineyards, this tradition-loving village's beauty also stems from its urban landscape brimming with winding narrow streets and flowered white houses.
Situated within the Mudejar Route at the foothills of the Sierra Tejeda, the municipality is part of this natural park.
Despite being known for many different aspects, its cuisine may be one of its best attractions, given the variety of dishes and the high quality of local products.
The last Sunday in April, Canillas de Aceituno holds “El Día de la Morcilla”—one of the best-known festivals in the whole province—coinciding with the festivities of the Virgen de la Cabeza, who is the village's patron saint. The ceremony begins with a floral tribute at the church; the image of the town's patron saint is then paraded through the streets and, after it has been returned to the church again, the Black Pudding Festival begins.
This day is marked by the consumption of over 300 kilograms of local morcilla (“black pudding” in Spanish), which differs from the normal one because it is made with onions and according to the traditional local recipe. It is usually offered with a glass of wine of the region for an ideal accompaniment.
There also is live music for the hundreds of people visiting the municipality that day.
Other typical dishes that make up the extensive local cuisine are oven-baked goat meat or in almond sauce, gazpacho with grapes, ajoblanco (cold garlic soup), migas (“breadcrumbs” in Spanish), fennel stew and the succulent olla (a sort of stew).
The last Sunday in April sees Canillas del Aceituno stage its patron saint celebrations in honour of the Virgen de la Cabeza. This day is marked by the consumption of over 3,000 kilograms of morcilla or black pudding, probably the oldest of all sausage meat products given that its main ingredient is blood.
The distinguishing feature of the black pudding eaten in this town is that its list of ingredients features onions, which are chopped and cooked a day before slaughter takes place. The black pudding is hand-made from pig’s blood, onions, clove, thyme, aniseed and rosemary.
The ceremony begins with a floral tribute at the church; the image of the town’s patron saint is then paraded through the streets and, after it has been returned to the church again, the black pudding festival begins.
During the course of this traditional celebration, thousands of people gather a various points in the town to sample this product, which can be eaten raw or grilled and, of course, washed down with wine or beer, which are also free; all of this takes place to a backdrop of verdiales dancing.