The fruit that came to stay in Alta Axarquía
If a few decades ago, the chikpea was the main product in Alfarnate, today this legume has been replaced by the cherry, an acide frut that has found its ideal place for a quality production in the climate and geographical situation of this village —over 900 metres above sea level. Nowadays, there are more than twenty varieties of cherries grown in the lands of Alfarnate. Among them, the most common one is the variety ‘quince’ (‘fifteen’, since a lot of cherry types are identified with numbers), although there are also some other important varieties, such as ‘celeste’, famous for its sweeter taste; ‘burlat’, one that has an early harvest; or ‘corazón de cabrito’, which is one of the latest being harvested. To these we should add other varieties like ‘starking’, ‘bing’ or ‘lapin’. Around 4 million cherry trees make it possible that every year between 70.000 and 80.000 kilos of cherries are produced in Alfarnate. The majority of it is consumed directly as a fruit, although it is also used to make liqueur or an original gazpacho.
A big part of the harvest of the cherries from Alfarnate are distributed within the province of Málaga. Some produces take the product directly to some villages or towns like Málaga, Vélez-Málaga or villages in Costa del Sol, while others keep them in Alfarnate to sell them directly from there. In fact, thousands of persons travel every year to the Holiday of the Cherry in order to buy them directly from the farmers. It is a gastronomical event used not only to sell but also to give importance to the value of this healthy acid fruit. In the last years, some lands have started to grow another red fruit, the raspberry, like the local company Licores de la Abuela, who elaborates an alcoholic drink with it. A liqueur with cherries or resoli —made mainly with coffee— is also crafted in the village.