The classic espeto or sardine skewer is very simple and comes from a technique invented in the late nineteenth century in the neighborhood of El Palo in Malaga, a tradition that has hardly changed ever since.
It is made just with a few sardines that are grilled on a cane skewer over the heat of an open wood fire. Just like that. Keep in mind that you can also cook like this other types of fish (sea bass or bream, for example) and as well a tasty squid.
However, in Malaga when speaking about espeto, it means speaking about sardines and in order to prepare them well, there are a few secrets that make this dish the favorite of many.
These are the keys to prepare an authentic espeto:
1.Keep the sardines in ice water before skewer them, to keep the fish in top condition and to have resistance when introducing the cane. It’s one of the secrets shared with us by experts of preparing well espetos.
2.It is preferable to use medium sized sardines, since they have the best taste: the very large ones do not cook well and the small ones dry up very quickly.
3.The cane is the vegetal one that is obtained from the streams that overlook the sea, but sometimes some made of metal are used as well
4. Use olive wood . On the other side, the fire, which is very commonly prepared in old boats filled with sand from the beach in Malaga, should be done with wood that consumes itself slowly and keeps a low flame,without excessive force. The use of olive wood, especially its root, is strongly recommended because of its slow combustion.