Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Grazalema's historic flour mill is back in business.

Grazalema is known for being one of the wettest areas in Spain, and one of the most popular walking destinations here in Andalucia. Frequented by Spaniards and foreigners alike the picturesque village is the gateway to a Pinsapo reserve, a Spanish Fir, that has survived evolutionary changes since the tertiary period.

Since the 17th century Grazalema became famous for its textiles, making blankets and woolen clothing. Below the village the valley known as “La Ribera” was an area with many water powered mills processing wool for the textile industry. There were also other water powered mills that ground wheat and the other main crop of the area Olives for Olive oil. However since the onset of the industrial revolution many of these mills were abandoned and left in ruins. The good news is that one of these mills has been lovingly restored and installed in the Tourist Information Centre of Grazalema and is now back at work milling wheat that is now being used by the local bakers to produce a true stoneground, wholewheat bread. The flour can also be bought directly from the Tourist Centre and makes great bread. Clive and Sue Muir, an English couple that run the centre and are responsible for getting the project off the ground believe wholeheartedly that local is best, and aim to produce flour for the entire surrounding area, using locally grown wheat, cutting down on transport costs and therefore making the whole process more sustainable. So if you are interested in seeing how a traditional mill works you can actually see it in action at the Tourist Centre, and go home with a bag of wonderful stoneground flour for only 1.25euros a kilo.

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