Andalucian agriculture is a European leader. Over the past few years Andalucian farming has changed a great deal – using modern, advanced methods and new technology. Olive oil, fruit and vegetables, wheat and wines from Jerez are part and parcel of Andalucia. Special mention must be given to our wheat, grapes and olives. These are known as ‘The Mediterranean Trilogy’, the three food staples of the region: bread, wine and olive oil.
The province offers a wide range of excellent agricultural products. Wheat and grapes are mainly grown on the northeast coast and around Jerez. The excellent wines and vinegars of Jerez and the ‘Manzanilla’ of Sanlúcar de Barrameda are world famous and have the protection of their own controlled ‘designation of origin’ (Denominaciones de Origen) such as “Jerez-Xérès-Sherry”, “Vinagre de Jerez” and “Manzanilla – Sanlúcar de Barrameda”. The major part of the olive production is from the Sierra de Grazalema. Organic fruit and vegetables are grown in smallholdings all along the coast and sold through cooperatives or in local markets.
Important numbers of smallholdings near the beach, known as ‘Navazos’ are to be found in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. In Rota the practice is known as ‘mayetería’. The crops include potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, beans, peas, green beans, melons, pumpkins, figs, quince, grapes and others. Similar crops are to found in the markets of Chiclana and Conil de la Frontera, where the stall holders are often the actual producers.
The enchanting local markets of Cádiz are very popular with both locals and visitors, offering a pleasant atmosphere and fresh, high quality products including fruit, vegetables, fish, shellfish, meat and spices. The markets are usually well situated, and, although many have been refurbished, most still retain some of the local architecture and much of the charm of bygone days.