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Nispero ... star fruit of the Costa Blanca and source of health!

Publicado el por Localtours

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More than 2000 years the Nisperos where brought back to the Iberian Peninsula from China by the sailors, through the port of Sagunto in Valencia. From here the nispero was introduced into the region of Levante and the southeast of Spain, where it soon became clear that the coastal region of the Mediterranean was an excellent habitat for the plant.

Spring is the nispero season, and in selecting them, we have to bear in mind the following factors: a uniform color of the skin (bright orange or yellowish), a healthy overall look and while exerting a slight pressure with the fingers, they should certainly not feel too soft. The flesh of the nispero has to be nicely coloured and should feel firm, when this is not the case, it’s a sign that the nisperos are not ripe and therefore it is certainly not advisable to eat them.

If however we buy immature nisperos, there is a simple trick to ripen them quickly. Wrap the nisperos in aluminum foil and place them in the freezer for an hour, by the next day they will be perfectly ripe and ready to eat!

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In general, the vitamin content of the níspero is rather on the low side, with a modest amount of vitamin A. However, the nispero contains lots of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and especially lots of potassium. They are rich in fiber, with a lot of pectin. They are a very tasty piece of fruit and also in the kitchen you will be amazed by the nispero, ideal for the preparation of jams and sauces, or as a side dish for certain meats.

During our trip to the Valley of Guadalest http://www.localtours.es/excursion/?id=19&idi=en on Monday afternoons we drive past fields full of nispero trees. Also on Tuesdays you can discover the nisperos, when we make our wonderful tour of the Marina Alta. The Costa Blanca tour http://www.localtours.es/excursion/?id=7&idi=en is the perfect way to get to know the most beautiful spots of the green North of the area. 

Murcia, pure Southern charm!

Publicado el por Localtours

 

The autonomous Spanish region of Murcia is situated between the better known regions of Andalucia and Valencia in South Eastern Spain. Murcia is approximately 882 square Km, and has a population of 1.3 million people, with about a third of these people living in and around the city of Murcia itself. The climate is warm, with an average winter temperature of 11 degrees and around 34 degrees in summer, and boasts more than 300 sunny days a year. A recent World Health Organisation study pronounced Murcia the cleanest province in Spain.

The North and West of Murcia is mainly mountainous agricultural land, and the majority of Spain's fruit and vegetable crop is grown around the river Segura. Indeed tomatoes, lettuce, oranges and lemons grown in Murcia can often be found in the supermarkets of other European countries.

The city of Murcia was founded in 825 by the Egyptians, and the region has been under varying political control throughout the centuries, including a period of independence in the 13th century and became independent again in 1982. The 18th century was a highly prosperous time for the region, mainly because of the silk trade, and the majority of the churches and monuments date from around this time. Nowadays, Murcia is the 7th largest city in Spain by population.

Standing on the banks of the river Segura, Murcia has been described as one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. The Moorish architecture and influence is very evident. The impressive cathedral was started in 1388 and took four centuries to complete. There are many celebrations and fiestas which take place all year round, and there is always plenty to do. Excellent shopping and varied cuisine are just two of the ways you can get to know Murcia better. Traditional arts and crafts such as weaving and embroidery remain popular. As well as celebrating its past, Murcia looks to the future with its impressive university building, and large student population.

The people of Murcia are very friendly by nature, and are welcoming tourism and residents from overseas. This region is very agricultural and horticultural, and has not seen the economic boom and commercialisation experienced by other regions of Spain. The traditional Spanish values and way of life are still evident here. The rise in Murcia's popularity with tourists, as well as investments from regional government is improving infrastructure and facilities. Some new property developments have been permitted and Murcia is becoming a popular holiday home location. Strict planning regulations do not allow high rise buildings, and ensure that towns and cities are not over-developed.

Murcia is a very exciting part of Spain to visit or to live in, with plenty for everyone. Whether it's a beach holiday, a golfing weekend or just a one day excursion, Murcia can provide it all.