Feria de la Matanza

Published on 15 February 2024 at 21:39

On Sunday 4th February the first fiesta was held in our town, the Feria de la Matanza. This fiesta is based on a traditional event, that still happens in Spain, the killing of the pig. 


When I lived in Extremadura, I witnessed a matanza, although luckily, I did not see the actual killing, though it had happened recently, as was evidenced by the blood trickling down the drain. The men deal with the slaughter and butchering, whilst the women use everything except the carcass, which is then in the state you would see hanging in a butcher’s shop.


So it was in Aljariz, the pig had been killed elsewhere but the women were busy making all the embutidos, the sausages, chorizo, morcilla (black pudding) etc.  The evidence of their work so far was hanging up, whilst you could still witness them filling the casings and boiling the different sausages that would be eaten later.


John and I met some friends and spent a lovely few hours in warm sunshine chatting and drinking. Apart from the serving area where the cooking was happening, the local bar was also open. We took advantage of ordering our tapas from the bar, as the queue at the other place was extremely long. After finishing our tapas, we were looking at the desserts that the bar was offering when we noticed someone walking past with some lovely cakes.


Some Spanish cakes can be very disappointing, a concoction of dry pastry and synthetic cream. However, usually at fiestas, and certainly in good bakeries, you can get very good cakes. We went to see what was on offer, and we were not disappointed. Five cakes were bought, one each, us ladies being lucky enough to choose which we wanted, however the men seemed very pleased with what we brought for them.


I had a chocolate cake that was delicious, a delightfully fresh millefeuille (layers of flaky pastry) with chocolate cream between and chocolate ganache on top. Oh, my word, did I get in a mess. I had chocolate everywhere, as the cake flaked apart, the top beginning to melt in the sun. It was all over my fingers, around my mouth, absolutely everywhere! However, as my friend Mave said, it’s not a good cake unless you get in a mess with it . Fortunately, copious serviettes and a wet wipe or two cleaned me up.


A very pleasant day was had by all, and we are looking forward to the next fiesta. Will I indulge in another cake or hot chocolate and churros next time?

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