Cantueso Periana SL,

29710 Periana (Málaga), Andalucía, Spain

Ziziphus mauritiana

Posted on October 5, 2021



also known as Indian jujube, Indian plum, Chinese date, Chinese apple, and dunks.

José our gardener has introduced yet another unsual tree to our gardens and the challenge as always is to decide how to eat or use the fruit.

In Spain they can sometimes be found high up in the mountains growing wild as a bushy shrub. They can exist with little water, and the fruit develops over a few months; starting out pale green and moving on to yellow, red and finally looking like an orange apple.

Like most other fruits they can be eaten raw, pickled, dried or as a drink. And like our other imported tree, the African Coral Tree, there are many claimed medicinal uses. We do not recommend any but maybe it is interesting to know that in India, Australia and Africa claimed uses according to Wikipedia include:

Being applied to cuts and ulcers; employed in pulmonary ailments and fevers; and, mixed with salt and chili peppers, are given in indigestion and biliousness. The dried ripe fruit is also a mild laxative. The seeds are sedative and are taken, sometimes with buttermilk, to halt nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pains in pregnancy. They check diarrhea, and are poulticed on wounds. Mixed with oil, they are rubbed on rheumatic areas. The leaves are applied as poultices and are helpful in liver troubles, asthma and fever and, together with catechu, are administered when an astringent is needed, as on wounds. The bitter, astringent bark decoction is taken to halt diarrhea and dysentery and relieve gingivitis. The bark paste is applied on sores. The root is purgative. A root decoction is given as a febrifuge, taenicide and emmenagogue, and the powdered root is dusted on wounds. Juice of the root bark is said to alleviate gout and rheumatism. Strong doses of the bark or root may be toxic. An infusion of the flowers serves as an eye lotion.


The fine grained timber is used in boat building, roof constructions, tool handles, and charcoal. It even has green credentials as the seeds can be turned into biodiesel. And as if that is not enough the fruit can, should you ever wish, be used to stupify fish!


Posted in - Cantueso Cottages - Food & Drink - Periana - Restaurante Cantueso

We Cater for All Sorts at Restaurante Cantueso, Periana Spain

Posted on February 1, 2015

All of us at Cantueso are animal lovers and as long as your pets are well behaved we can allow them in our cottages and on the restaurant terrace. We would invite you to look at these well behaved dogs who have the best of table manners.

In case you are now feeling hungry look at our complete menu here.


Posted in - Food & Drink - Periana - Restaurante Cantueso - Travel

Food for Thought on a day out from Cantueso

Posted on November 1, 2010

A wonderful day out from Cantueso in Periana is a visit to the tiny village of Riofrio (cold river) about 45 minutes drive away, and a Mecca for lovers of caviare or if your pocket won't stretch that far, to a plate of trout.  There are fourteen restaurants within the village of only 300 inhabitants and they are host to over 400,000 visitors each year, all thanks to the well stocked river and local fish farm.

There has been trout fishing in the river recorded for hundreds of years but it was not until 1964 when an enterprising family came in search of the perfect waters for their fish farm that the full potential of this natural resource was realized.  The cold, fast flowing water comes down from the Sierra Nevada and provides an ideal place to grow not only brown trout (500,000 kilos each year) but also Mediterranean Sturgeon.  They normally have 98,000 sturgeon in their pools, separated by age rather than size, all thriving in the most perfect environmental conditions.

Fish Farming in Riofrio

Riofrio caviare can be found all over the world in Michelin starred restaurants or corner shops for the wealthy such as Fortnum and Mason's.  There, Cold River Caviare retails at £50 for a 30g tin half the price of wild beluga which is becoming much more difficult to find. But why so expensive if it is farmed?

At Riofrio they are proud to be the first and possibly the only certified organic sturgeon farm in the world.  They have shunned the use hormone supplements in the fish diet, preferring to let them grow naturally and more slowly.   In this business patience certainly must be a virtue as sturgeon only mature between the ages of 15 and 20.  Up until the age of about nine the females cannot be told apart from the males.   At maturity the females will weigh around 30kg and will yield maybe 4.5kg of roe

When the fish are thought to be ready to spawn the “farmers” use modern ultrasound scanner technology to check.  Harvesting the eggs too early will result in dry eggs which have not yet absorbed the crucial fat from the fish's body.  Too late and they may lack definition and structure.  When seen to be ready the fish is then sacrificed in what is almost a surgical procedure.  After being stunned the fish is operated on by one of the staff who dressed in suitable surgeon like attire removes the eggs.  Millions of them for further refining and washing in salted spring water.  Finally the caviare is placed into tins and allowed to mature like a good wine for three to six months.

At Riofrio they are also keen to explain that they use every part of the sturgeon: the flesh is smoked, marinated or tinned; the oil goes to the pharmaceutical industry and is used in cosmetics and food supplements; and even the grey skin finds use in Italian handbags.

How to find Riofrio.

The village is just two minutes from the A92 motorway which runs from Malaga to Granada. From Periana you take the road towards Mondron A7204 and shortly after passing the olive oil factory above Mondron there is a right turn signed to Alfanarte.   Follow this along a pretty but winding road.  Through Venta del Rayo (watch out for massive speed bumps) and just before the motorway you will see a left turn signed to Riofrio.  It is easy to miss as the biggest sign is that of a hotel but if you do end up on the motorway go in the direction of Malaga and take the first exit to Riofrio.

If you are staying with us at Cantueso Cottages ask for a map.

When to go?

If you avoid July and August you will not find it crowded, and in autumn and winter it is still very attractive with walks along the river and surrounding area well worth doing. The temperature however is always several degrees colder than the coast, in fact last week when I came by at 8 o'clock in the morning it was zero degrees, so take a coat.

Even in winter there are still several restaurants open and you will be amazed at how many ways there are to present trout if you don't fancy caviare.

Que approveche!


Posted in - Cantueso Cottages - Food & Drink - Periana - Things to Do - Travel

There is Gold in Periana

Posted on September 1, 2010


Many people are surprised to learn that Spain is the world’s largest producer of olive oil and a typical harvest can yield almost a million tonnes, of which almost half comes from our Axarquia region.

Much of this is extra virgin olive oil, which is basically the juice of the pressed olives with the water removed. It is the highest grade and to qualify its acidity level must be less than 1%.

The village of Periana is surrounded by olive groves where the Verdial variety is grown producing an oil of the highest quality. The climate, soil, method of cultivation, and production processes all go to create “oro verde” or green gold. A golden yellow oil with intense bouquet and sweet fruity flavour, gentle on the palate, ideal as a dressing or for cooking.

The Periana Olive Oil Cooperative is situated in the centre of the village and has over 800 families as members who in turn look after over 300,000, centuries old, olive trees. We at Restaurante Cantueso are proud to be members of this organisation

Periana Gold has been awarded many accolades from around the world and continues to be milled at low temperatures via a mechanical process and without the use of any chemical additives. Tours of the factory are possible and there is a small shop selling olive oil and associated products. Their website may be seen here.

Being close to the growing areas means that the olives can be transported to the mill in very short time, thus helping to keep the acidity down. Olives are a labour intensive crop with little assistance from mechanical aids. Whole families are engaged from the very young to grandparents all helping at different times in the growing cycle.

It is of course an unusual occupation in that there is only one “pay day” each year and then much depends on world prices, as this is nowadays an internationally traded commodity. Sadly the straightened times we live in have affected Spain’s olive growers with prices falling by as much as 25% last year. Over production and falling demand are blamed for this drop.

Arriving in Malaga province by air, you cannot fail to notice the vast areas of olives covering not only the flat lands but also the most severe slopes and always with never ending lines and geometric patterns. The thousand-year-old tree is at the heart of the provinces industry and also provides the key ingredient for Malaga’s distinctive cuisine.

Olive trees are well chronicled in the bible, Greek legends and elsewhere. It was of course an olive branch in the mouth of a dove that told Noah the flood was over, and winners at the Olympic games are crowned with a wreath of olive leaves. The Olive is the longest living tree known and can be up to a thousand years old, which is all the more remarkable when you consider that they live on sap from April to October. The harvest is normally between November and April.

In a similar way to the fig tree, olives seem to thrive when planted in between rocks or with their roots constrained, which considering the terrain in our valley is just as well.

In October it is a good time to make pickled or seasoned olives. The green fruit is not yet ready for the oil factory but can be “sweetened” to make the familiar tasty appetiser often given as tapas in bars. In years gone by stuffed and pitted olives were prepared by hand, but now one machine can do in an hour what previously took ten women a whole day.

 Green Olives Andalucian style.

Take a quantity of olives and beat them with a tenderiser mallet or rolling pin. The idea is to break the skin to allow the alpechin to escape. This is a watery liquid and if it remains the olives will be acidic. Soak the broken fruit in a bowl of water for eight to ten days changing the water every day. When they are soft they can be stored in salt water, vinegar or olive oil ready to receive a marinade later.

Produce a marinade as follows:

Mix garlic, salt, oregano, ground pepper, red pepper and oranges and after straining the water add the marinade with fresh water sufficient to just cover the olives. Leave for a few days to absorb the flavour of the marinade. Quantities? Guesswork, according to how pickled you like your olives. A starting point is to make several strengths of marinade and then have a tasting session after a week or two.

Store with marinade and water liquid in glass preserving or recycled jars.

Que aproveche!

In the event that you don’t get around to preserving your own olives we at Restaurante Cantueso still sell boxes of marinated black olives.

Posted in - Food & Drink - Periana - Things to Do - Travel