In southern Spain, a smoky, salty aroma can only mean one thing: Seasonal espeto. The Doodle of the Day (made by hand with clay!) praises the kind of the mid year, a famous Spanish dish of skewered sardines that are customarily simmered over kindling near the ocean. To commemorate the traditional occupation, the city of Malaga unveiled a statue of the Espetero, or sardine skewer maker, on this day in 2006.
Espeto gets its name from the Spanish word espetar, and that signifies “to skewer.” The snack first appeared in Málaga, Spain, at the end of the 19th century. For a quick meal, hungry fishermen skewered fish and dug pieces of wood into the sand next to a fire. People tried making espeto with sea bream, sea bass, or even squid in the beginning, but eventually sardines became the most popular choice. Insider tip — Espetos are just eaten in months without an “R” in their name and never on a Monday since there are no fish markets on Mondays.
Even though boats filled with sand and firewood are still used to prepare espeto, it is still a popular beachside snack today. Six sardines are grilled over an open wood fire and seasoned with salt by chefs. Lemon juice is drizzled over the golden sardines after they have finished cooking. During the summer, sardines are even more flavorful because they are more plump.
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