The market garden of Murcia: What is grown in Murcia?
Murcia's market gardens are one of the region's great treasures. A treasure of such magnitude that it is necessary to approach it with all five senses. The market garden is history, heritage, quality products and popular festivals and traditions. Every year, Murcia's market garden gives us the best fruit, vegetables and greens, which are combined like a work of art in traditional recipes and enhance any dish or stew.
The flavour and quality of the produce from the Murcia market garden is an open secret. Travelling through the orchard along the routes that take you past the mills, irrigation channels, waterwheels and other elements of cultural and heritage interest that will appear along the way as just another product is a highly recommended experience to soak up a 100% Murcian flavour. A good plan to discover during your next family summer holidays in Murcia.
More and more chefs are opting for local products to design the menus of their restaurants. This value for zero-kilometre products is what is demanded by a public that is looking for quality and flavour in their dishes. And here Murcia and its market garden have an advantage. Because there are few places where the flavour of fruit and vegetables tastes as good as in Murcia.
Agriculture in Murcia
Murcia's market garden is a very valuable ecosystem located around the region's capital. Rich lands and traditional crops that seem to have stopped time and are preserved as they were in the past thanks to the efforts of its people. Only with care, respect and attention can the best produce be extracted from the land.
The value of the region's crops makes Murcia one of the most fertile and fruitful regions in Europe and is key to understanding the business fabric of Murcia. The products of the market garden go from the Murcian countryside to the tables of half of Europe. The Region of Murcia is a powerhouse in terms of exporting products that are consumed all over the world, such as lettuce, tomatoes, aubergines and many more.
Typical vegetables from Murcia
Amongst the vegetables found in the Murcia market garden, the most important are Calasparra rice and Murcia paprika, both of which have a designation of origin. They are also the main ingredients in some of the main dishes of Murcia's gastronomy, such as caldero, jarullos or michirones.
Many of the vegetables grown in Murcia's market gardens are originally from the Middle East and Asia. These products were introduced into the region hundreds of years ago, due to the climate and the quality of the land. Aubergines, lettuces, peppers, green beans, chard and pumpkins stand out.
The importance of vegetables within the cultivation areas of the market garden can be explained by one fact: half of what is grown in the Murcian market garden are vegetables. Citrus fruits occupy a privileged position with almost 25% of the crops. The rest are sweet fruit trees, vines and other products.
Typical fruits of Murcia
Doctors and nutritionists often repeat the importance of eating seasonal produce. In the Murcian market garden this philosophy is helping people to eat healthier and comply with the need to eat five pieces of fruit or vegetables a day. Despite the prominence of the Jumilla pear thanks to its designation of origin, there are some fruits that should not be missed on your next trip to the region.
Peaches and apricots from the area of Cieza and Abarán and melons from Torre Pacheco are other of the most sought-after fruits in the summer months. Amongst so many Gourmet products, we must make room for lemons, grapes and almonds.
This tour of the Murcian market garden and its products reveals the importance of this enclave in the region's economy and gastronomy. This privileged orchard is a source of pride for all Murcians and it is a pleasure for those who are travelling through the region to discover it.
The rise of healthy cuisine and the recognition of local produce is helping to spread the intrinsic values of the Murcian market garden and hopefully perpetuate its traditions. A model to follow, which contributes to recovering the flavour of the natural.