Prawns, clams, razor shells, tellinas, smooth clams, octopuses and other delicacies from the Alboran Sea

Málaga has been linked to the Mediterranean Sea for centuries thanks to the products that we take from the sea. Besides a wide variety of fishes, the Costa del Sol is known for having a variety of seafood, mollusc and cephalopods that is very famous and attractive for those who visit the province of Málaga every year. Prawns, langoustines, clams, tellinas, mussels, razor shell or smooth clams are some of the species fished in the Alboran Sea. Among this variety of sellfish and seefood from Málaga, the one that stands out the most is the prawn, a crustacean that is very consummed in chiringuitos and seafood restaurants in the province. It is smaller than other crustaceans from the Atlantic Ocean, but it is very valued when it is boiled. As well as the praw, another very valued crustacean is the langoustine. Among the molluscs, Málaga is proud of being the best province that works with smooth clams.In fact, it is an almost exclusive species to restaurants in Málaga, atlhough they can be found throughout the Mediterranean Sea. The presence of razor shells, a long shelled mollusc, is also quite common. Among the bivalves, tellinas and clams are also very popular in Málaga. Their difference is their size, ligher colour and their strong flavour. Besides these molluscs and seafood, the octopus is also very important. In the coast of Málaga, octopuses are caught using trawling. The cuisine of the province is full with references to seafood. Most of them are prepared in a simple way, grilled or boiled, as in the case of prawns, mussels and razor shells (they are normally served with garlic and parsley). Some of them can even be tasted raw, like smooth clams, although they are seasoned with a little bit of lemon and pepper. Clams and tellinas require more care when cooking. Clams usually follow a recipe of ‘Málaga’s clams’ or ‘marenga’s clams’, with white wine, olive oil, garlic and parsley. ‘Patatas con escandalillo’ or noodle casserole are very popular and, besides clams, they are served with prawns from Málaga. Octopuses can be prepared fried, in pipirrana or even in stews, with kidney beans or chickpeas.

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The coast of Málaga can be proud of having certain peculiarities, like the different marine waves or the dimensions of the continental platform in the coast, that has made it possible for spicies such as molluscs and crustaceans to create there their habitat. From Nerja to Manilva, Málaga has not only had an importante marine tradition but also important fishing ports and fish markets where this products are sold. That happened with La Caleta de Vélez, Marbella, Estepona, Málaga and Fuengirola, where it is very common to find seafood from Málaga.

The Alboran Sea is one of the most diverse Mediterranean areas in the world. Its close location to the Atlantic Ocean makes it possible for species from both seas to appear. Within this Mediterranean coastline, there are important parts of reproduction and breed of marine spices in the coasts of Málaga and Estepona. In both places there are some characteristics that enables these species to exist, like seafood and molluscs.

Eating seafood in moderation has some health benefits. They contain protein with essential aminoacids, but no fat on them. In fact, their content in lipids is not higher than 2% of the total intake. Some of them can have a high content of cholesterol, like mussels or king prawns. On the contrary, they have a lot of healthy nutritients and important minerals and vitamins, like E, A and some B vitamins.

The coastline of Málaga is divided into 9 zones of mollusc production. All of them go through continous analyses to determine the sanitary conditions, both of the water and the molluscs. With this control it is easy to avoid polluted spieces with salmonella, heavy metals or biotoxins. This controls determine the opening or the closing of certain areas of production for the capture of molluscs that are destined for consumption. This is why molluscs might be scarce in some establishments in Costa del Sol.