Totalán’s Fiesta de la Chanfaina

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Chanfaina fiesta in Totalán, this Sunday, November 25th.

While most villages in the Axarquia have traditionally held back on their festivities during this month, Totalán’s Fiesta de la Chanfaina more than makes up for this shortfall in entertainment!

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Just as it has since 2005, the little village of Totalán is celebrating its typical dish called chanfaina, on the last Sunday of November. You’ll be invited to try a plate of it, plus there’ll be other typical local products for tasting too, such as fried pumpkin, olives, grapes and cured meats.

There’s also a musical treat in store too with performances by colourfully garbed groups called ‘Pandas’ playing flamenco Verdiales (more details below).

Apart from all this, you’ll be able to walk around plenty of market stalls set up for the occasion, as well as see some special exhibitions of old farming tools and other crafts.

But it is the chanfaina that’s the star of the show, and many of the good people of Totalán will be up very early in the morning preparing the 6000 rations that are dished out on the day. The ingredients of this delicious dish are potatoes, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, breadcrumbs and various spices like oregano, saffron, pepper, cloves, cumin and bay leaf.

Chanfaina started as a humble dish that was the sustenance of many farmers in the past during their back-breaking days out in the fields. This is why the exhibition of the ancient implements that they would have used is also an integral part of the day.

This festival has become so popular that it has been declared by the Andalucian parliament as something of provincial wide tourist interest. So why not pop along yourself and join in the fun!

Programme of festivities:

12.00 – Food stalls open

12.30 – Panda de Verdiales music groups – Mountain style and Comares styles *

  2.00 – Prizes awarded for the best chanfaina

  3.00 – Everyone is invited to tuck into a plate of chanfaina!

* The Verdiales is a form of flamenco that first developed a century ago in the Los Verdiales olive-growing region north of Málaga. The name derives from a specific type of olive – the ‘verdial’ – grown in the region. There are three styles of Verdiales folk singing and dancing: the Almogía, Montes and Comares, corresponding to differing areas of Málaga.

The groups who perform it are known as ‘Pandas’, and their happy and simple songs are usually marked by a passionate cry of ‘ay’ with vigorous clicking of the fingers. Traditionally, members of the panda wear colourful costumes with unusual hats decked with flowers, ribbons and also mirrors, bells, and beads…

How to get there...

Totalán is 22 kilometres from Málaga and 9 kilometres from the coast at Rincón de la Victoria. It is a charming little Moorish village with narrow, steep, winding streets and whitewashed houses, on the eastern border of the Axarquia, close to the Montes de Malaga. Definitely worth the visit.

Malcolm Lewis

Malcolm Lewis

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Malcolm Lewis

Malcolm Lewis

About Me

I worked in this glorious part of Spain for over 11 years – from hosting a local radio programme to founding both a magazine and newspaper for English speakers in the region. Always the aim was to give people a better insight into the fascinating eastern Málaga region, something that, along with my wife Julie, we now aim to continue with our website.

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