The caramelised flavour of nuts
The smell of freshly made sugared nuts is atractive and appealing. You will know if there is a shop of sugared nuts in Málaga for their special smell. A smell that will seduce you, enchant your senses so you’re transported to the next stop that sells them. The sugared nuts from Málaga is a common product for almost each region. A traditional product that can be bought in the street while you are walking throught the city centre or wander through the corners of the furthest villages of the province.
The sugared nuts are caramelised nuts with a sweet flavour and a crunchy texture. Its production is complex and it’s based on a manual process in which they boil syrup that will later coat the nuts. In order to make sugared nuts you only need a few ingredients, just a little bit of water and sugar. But in order to increase the flavour, you can add other aromatic plants like vanilla (the most common added ingredient in the making of sugared nuts).
In the streets
In Málaga, sugared nuts are usually sold in the streets. Even today, there ara a few artisanal street shops that make this caramelised nut. They use a large saucepan and a wooden spoon to mix the nuts and the syrup while they are boiling.
The biggest advantage of these street shops is that you can enjoy freshly made and hot sugared nuts, a very appropiate snack during the months of autumn and winter. When it is bought in the streets, the most usual way to serve it is inside paper cones. They can also be bought packed in shops.
Not only corn
The most usual way of making sugared nuts is with peanuts. However, using peanuts is not the only option to enjoy a good sugared nut from Málaga. But, actually, any nut can be taken coated in sugar. That is why it is also usual to eat sugared nuts made with almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts or even sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Their name comes from the verb ‘coat’, which, according to the Royal Academy of Spanish Language, means ‘introduce candies in syrup that produces lumps’. Moreover, they also understand coating as the ‘state of the liquid that solidifies and turns into lumps’. The origin of this snack is unknown although it is a common product in the whole world. However, sugared nuts are usual in other cultures using different foods, like beans in Japan or sesame seeds in Arabic countires
Sugared nuts are very commom throughout Málaga, but the place with the oldest tradition is Mijas. Sugared nuts are a part of the culture and cuisine of this coast village and one of their identity signatures. Like in the rest of the province, sugared nuts in Mijas can be bought in street shops. Some of them have been selling in the streets for over four decades.
The consumption of nuts is really benefitial for our health. Nuts have low content of water, so their content of nutrients, vitamins and minerals is higher. If almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts or peanuts already offer an important source of energy, the fact that they are coated in caramelised sugar adds more energy to each bite.