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Spain: Figs resurface in Tiétar and seek quality brand

Fig cultivation has resurfaced in the Valley of Tiétar, in the Spanish province of Ávila and is seeking to obtain its own quality brand in the coming years. The people behind this project presented it in the town of Candeleda, after the Association for the Promotion of Agro-food products from Gredos signed a partnership agreement with the Catholic University of Ávila (UCAv) last June.

One of the research groups from this academic institution, formed by three researchers, started working on the refinement of a supporting study for the next two years, before the Agrarian Technological Institute of Castile-Leon (ITACyL) makes a decision regarding the project and recognises the Tiétar fig quality brand.

Almost six months after the beginning of this project, the research group's coordinator, Cristina Lucini, presented the concept for the quality brand "Higo de Gredos" (Fig from Gredos).

She also presented the packaging with the suggested logo, followed by a tasting of fresh and dry figs and a presentation of various ways to prepare them: fig bonbon, fig with Serrano ham, fig pie, fig nougat, etc.

Lucini explained the advantages of a crop which is made special and different from the rest by the natural environment where it grows, which the coordinator referred to as "Ávila's Little Greenhouse".

The region has average temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius, and the water coming from the Gredos mountains ensure a greater content of sugars and volatile compounds, such as aromas.

An ideal microclimate for this product
This exceptional microclimate propitiates the development of a fruit that is attracting interest from many growers in southern Ávila, as according to Cristina Lucini, "many are choosing to plant fig trees, taking into account that their adaptation to this area is really good."

As a result of this, in recent years figs have gone from being a minor crop to becoming one of the region's main sources of income.

The most common variety in the Valley of Tiétar is the one known as "Cuello Dama", which is harvested from late August to early September, being quickly shipped to Madrid due to their short shelf life.

Dry figs are harvested weeks later and have a longer shelf life, as pointed out by Lucini, who stresses how this product's harvest is still done manually in the traditional way.

Source: Agroinformaciòn
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