So, there has to be a plus side to doing a 3rd year of level 1 at our Spanish lessons apart from revision! Yes, we are invited on the ‘school’ trips organized by the Casa de la Cultura in Antas. To date we have visited Cape Palos, La Manga, Murcia and last week Serón.
Serón is in the province of Almería, Andalusia and located at an altitude of 822 metres. and in the heart of the Sierra de los Filabres.
On approach, you first see the castle at the very top of the village giving the most stunning views of the Almanzora valley. The Moorish castle dates back to the 13th century. The Christians taking charge in the 17th century. This fortress in Serón is included in the Ruta de los Castillos (The Castle Route) throughout Andalucia. There is major restoration happening currently.
Visit Parroquial de la Anunciación Church where, at first sight, it has a stunning marble interior, however it is actually all marbleizing (painted marble effect) as the pueblo couldn’t afford marble.
Serón holds the Fiesta de Jamón (ham festival) on the first weekend of July each year. We had expected to visit the jamon curing specialist producers in Serón, however, in true Spanish ‘planning’ style, at this time of year there are no tours as the producers are crazy busy preparing for Christmas!
But our stop at Seronés Artesano cheese company more than compensated. Especially as our Spanish tutor sneaked off to buy some red wine to compliment our cheese tastings! In order for the cheese to be of excellent quality, Seronés choose the best milk from the Murciano Granadina breed of goats.
Here come some facts – The Spanish Breeders Association of Murciano Granadina states that they will refuse to accept any goat that has even the tiniest amount of white hair. Their milk has 5.6% fat, and 3.6% protein, which is better than most other goat breeds in Mediterranean Europe. Seronés Artesano’s Gourmet achieved bronze in the specialty of cured goat unpasteurized cheese at the International Cheese Festival with over 3000 participants. Amazing after just two years of professional production…….all in this small pueblo!
So the only decision, goats cheese with orange (I bought!) or with peppers or rosemary, thyme….. www.serones.com (Before consuming, it is recommended leaving the cheese for about 30 minutes at room temperature so that all its qualities are enhanced)
We hop back on the coach and drive a few kilometres for a late lunch at Las Menas set further up the mountains. Las Menas is an old abandoned mining town. Originally lead was mined and later in 1885 turned to extraction of iron ore. The mines eventually closed in 1968 because they were unable to compete with North African suppliers. There are ruins of buildings and an information board showing what these buildings were when it was still a thriving community. A popular place for picnics, camping and hiking etc in the summer season but was really quiet at this time of year, apart from us ‘school kids’!
Finally, full with lunch, cheese, wine and lots of walking up really steep hills, we all relax on our coach ride back to Antas. Another little ‘gem’ discovered in Spain.
P.S Now for the real cheese tasting!