The “espeto” is a typical dish from Malaga and the Granada Coast, and consists of skewering, that is, skewering fish, traditionally sardines, on fine and long rods, to be roasted with firewood on the sand of the beach.
The technique consists of inserting the sardines through their back and making sure that they are all placed equally on the shaft, above or below it. The reason is that once skewered when placed on the coals it will be necessary that the spine of the sardine is always below the cane since, if this were not the case, when turning the meat of the sardine loin it will have softened and they would fall when breaking. If all the sardines have been correctly placed with their thorn underneath the shaft, when turning it over, it is the thorn that will hold the sardine so that it does not fall on the grill.
Obviously, although the traditional is the sardine, many other foods can be skewered. This is how it is common to broach other fish such as horse mackerel, sea bream, sea bass, etc. In these cases, the cane is introduced through the animal's mouth. It is also common to see squid or other large mollusks. The embers of the “espeto”can be used, of course, to roast other foods such as meat or vegetable skewers or potatoes.
Currently in Malaga there is the monument to the “espetero” that is located on the Paseo Marítimo de Antonio Machado, next to the Playa de la Misericordia.
Usually in each “espeto” there are four or five sardines. The way to consume it is with your hands. A splash of lemon is enough to garnish this delicacy that adds pleasure to your palate. There is a Spanish expression to describe when some food is very good: “Está para chuparse los dedos” (It is to lick your fingers).