The province of Granada's most exotic products, grown in its Costa Tropical, are reaching more and more consumers. In addition to avocados and mangoes, other tropical species cultivated in the southernmost region of Granada are making their way into both the national and export markets.
One of them is the cherimoya, one of the most traditional subtropical fruits in the province of Granada. The supermarket chain Mercadona has bought more than 1,500 tons of these cherimoyas of the Fino de Jete variety for the 2020 season, which runs from September to December.
Alberto Casanova, of Frutas Rafael Manzano, highlighted the growing importance of cherimoyas, which have had a very good campaign this year. "It is a very fine fruit to which we are more used here, but which is very exotic for foreign consumers." Although it is delicate and must be consumed within seven or eight days after it is harvested, more and more volumes are exported. "Between 20% and 30% of the production is shipped abroad."
The guava is another fast-ripening fruit with an increasing presence on the market. This year, its production on the Costa Tropical is going to double or even triple. Since it has five times more vitamin C than oranges and hardly any carbohydrates, the guava is a very interesting option for those dieting. The pulp is pink-colored because of lycopene, a micronutrient that acts as a barrier against external agents; a property that is especially welcome in our current times.
One of the newest subtropical fruits in Granada is the kumquat, a small orange whose size ranges from 2 to 4 cm and is eaten whole.
The company Dekúm, an acronym for "Derivados del Kumquat", based in the municipality of Vélez de Benaudalla, has specialized in the production and gastronomic treatment of this very special fruit. They started growing it seven years ago on their farms, where they had already specialized in organic farming. "We don't understand why it is not grown more, since it is a fruit with a great potential and many properties," says Alfonso Delgado, one of the owners.
In addition to marketing it as fresh, organically produced fruit, Dekúm also processes it into surprising products. They started with syrups and then went on to manufacture jams, which have an intense and strong flavor. The most recent additions to the range are the kumquat macerated in gin and vodka, in the style of the traditional cherries in liquor, and the kumquat chutney.