Verdial Olive Oil Day. April. Unique Festival
This festival has been declared to be of Tourist Interest by the Provincial Council of Málaga.
Please check with the local Town Hall or Municipal Tourism Office for the festival date before planning any sightseeing activities.
Periana is the best natural amphitheatre in Europe. It is a land of contrasts in Upper Axarquía region, with fertile soils and endless hours of sunshine. The charms of these natural surroundings can be felt, smelt and experienced all over the year. During winter time the streets are perfumed with one of the most traditional products of the Axarquía: the Verdial olive oil. This variety is deeply rooted in the area located between Los Montes and Upper Axarquía.
Periana celebrates the Día del Aceite Verdial (Verdial Olive Oil Day) in spring, when the harvest season is over—which is the latest in the province. On this day the municipality offers a massive tasting of this “liquid gold”, with six thousand bottles of olive oil being handed out by the two local cooperatives.
As tradition has it, the celebration begins early in the morning by distributing the usual Desayuno molinero (Millworker's breakfast). This meal consists of bread, cod, green beans and, of course, Verdial olive oil, one of the most exceptional olive oils in Andalusia for its fruity taste.
The oil is produced in the two oil mills in the municipality (San José Artesano de Mondrón and San Isidro in Periana centre), which remain open on this day and offer oil tastings. Here, visitors will also be able to purchase—in addition to the fruity olive oil—another series of local products from Upper Axarquía, such as pastries, muscatel wine, raisins and nuts, among others.
Meanwhile, the deep-rooted verdiales will be performing at all points of the festival, along with a paella served to all attendees.
It is also possible to be informed about the ancient process for extracting olive oil. For this purpose, the cooperatives San José Artesano and San Isidro display their traditional tools and equipment such as millstones, presses or wicker baskets.
It is unquestionably one of the most prestigious culinary events in the province of Málaga, celebrated in an area where the olive grove cultivation is most valued.
There are two-century-old trees in Periana, which produce a crop from which the locals extract a rather special oil that has a unique colour, taste and smell.
The local inhabitants from Periana, who are extremely proud of this product, organise the Dîa del aceite Verdial every year at the end of March, in order to promote and make others aware of the characteristics of the “ golden liquid”.
Visitors to the village on the day of in question are treated to a free breakfast in the village square which consists of a cup of coffee, some bread, the famous “golden oil” and some cod fish. Later on visitors can purchase as little or as much of the oil as they like. The whole celebration is livened up by the presence of some “verdiales” music groups, the municipal band and some street entertainers, not to mention the ham, cheese and beer tastings that are on offer during the festivity.
There are some 15.000 hectares of olive grooves in the region known as, “Axarquia” and it is calculated that there are more than a million olive trees spread out over 17.000 small independent grooves
According to experts in the matter, the properties of the different kinds of oil from Periana are unique for their smoothness, delicate taste and sweetness. The three named types are “nevadillo”, “verdial” and “picudo