The first edition of Frigiliana’s culinary festival, dia de la Miel de Caña (Day of Sugarcane Honey), was celebrated in 2014, and was an excellent success. Another first that year was the opening of the doors of the El ingenio Nuestra Senora del Carmen sugar cane honey factory to the general public. this is currently a main attraction of the festival and a free guided tour is given round the premises showing the old machinery, boilers and rooms utilized in the method of creating honey.
Frigiliana features the last operating cane honey factory in Europe.
Naturally the festival activities take place round the Plaza de Ingenio, upon which a stage is erected and where varied acts – Rociero choirs, flamenco performing arts and popular regional dances – will be seen from the morning till fall.
Throughout the day visitors have the chance to try, free of charge, a large array of culinary delights that use cane honey as the main ingredient, prepared in the square by the women of Frigiliana. 2 of the favourites are: arropía, a sort of caramel made of honey, and popcorn coated with solidified honey. For those wanting to try different dishes that also use honey as the main ingredient, there are many participating restaurants in the village that supply marvellous dishes.
The main activities of dia de la Miel de Caña take place from around 10:00 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon, though the entertainment on the main stage goes on all day. From 3.30
El ingenio and cane honey
Sugarcane may be a plant from Southeast Asia. it had been taken to the iberian peninsula by the Arabs, then cultivated principally round the Malaga and Granada province’s coastline.
At the start of the seventeenth century there was already a sugar factory in Frigiliana known as San Raimundo, of which there are still many remains of today. In 1720 though, industrial activity was transferred to the Nuestra senora del Carmen mill, located within the Palacio de los Manrique de Lara building, the ancestral home of the Counts of Frigiliana. In 1928 the company de la Torre, SA was founded and acquired the factory. The Ingenio is currently the sole operating sugar cane honey producer in Europe – here is their web site.
Miel de caña is obtained by press the sugarcane with rollers causing the juice to flow out. this is then cooked to evaporate the water, eliminate the impurities, and produce a concentrate. the ultimate product includes a texture just like bee’s honey and has a very pleasant flavour.
For those inquisitive about its nutritional values, cane honey is a very complete food, rich in calcium salts, vitamin B, low sugars and minerals such as K, magnesium, and iron. Like real honey, it can be kept for an extended time even once the container has been opened. it’s used as a natural sweetener in yoghurts, cottage cheese, fresh cheese, curd, etc, in addition as being very useful in baking and cookery. Note that because of modern regulations (via EU pedants), it should be known as ‘juice concentrate from the sugar cane’ and not cane honey