Updated: Jan 25
If you like oranges, then this is the fiesta for you. This past Sunday the village of Coin celebrated its 22nd Orange Fiesta, or as it's locally known, La Fiesta De La Naranja. It was, as it is every year, a big event. The streets and alleys were filled with locals and visitors in festive mood who were seemingly quite hungry. It's known across the region as one of the culinary highlights of the year. Even as far back as the Phoenicians, who were from Lebanon and conquered Spain between 1,500 to 600 BC, this area was famous for it's citrus fruits, even though what these invaders were really interested in was tin and silver. In fact, the capital of the province -- Malaga -- was given its name by the Phoenicians who called it Malaka.
Everything and anything to do with oranges is celebrated during this fiesta. And all events are accompanied with a musical band called a 'tuna'. There's also competitions to see who's the best 'orange' cook in the village. Among the more usual things to try are freshly squeezed orange juice and the orange salad which is made by adding garlic, potato, spring onions and cod. But the dish that steals the show is the Sopa Hervia, which is a HUGE soup cooked in the village square. It has sliced oranges for decoration but is made out of produce from local kitchen gardens: peppers, tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, and bread from the day before. Originally, it was the soup that farm workers would have eaten at lunch to keep them going.
To finish off the Fiesta de la Naranja, there's a selection of home-made orange desserts that compete for first prize. These are then are sold and shared amongst the visitors.
Visitors who aren't used to seeing citrus fruit fall off the trees and left to lie on the streets, will also be surprised to see Council members giving away bags filled with oranges to anyone who'll take them.