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One of the sure-fire ways to experience a culture is through its food. No matter where you are in CLC’s World, if you can find an authentic restaurant then you’re really in for a treat. But what if you could be guided to make that food yourself, at the hands of an expert local chef using ingredients you bought together from a market that very morning?

CLC World has linked up with Spain Food Sherpas in Málaga to provide you with an unforgettable cooking experience. Spain is a feast for the senses and here’s your chance to taste an ancient city’s culinary heritage.

At the heart of the group’s philosophy is a belief that the best food experiences come from meeting local people, learning about the history of Málaga as you stroll through the old town and tasting the delights of some of Spain’s most famous cuisine.

Most people will know that two types of dish in particular represent the best of what Spain has to offer, tapas and paella. Spain Food Sherpas concentrates on both.

The word tapa, supposedly derives from the Spanish verb, tapar, which means to cover. It can also mean lid. There are probably as many explanations of the origin of tapas as there are types of tapas themselves…and that’s a lot!

They range from shepherds protecting jugs of water or wine from snakes; a Spanish king who is said to have recovered from illness with small meals; a disguise for cheap wine by offering free cheese; another King who was served wine with a covering of cured ham to protect his drink from sand; a third King who tried to stop drunken behaviour by insisting food was served with wine and finally, as a device to test the faith of the newly converted during the Spanish Inquisition! So, you’ll have to take your pick on that one.

Your Tapas Tour’s highlights, which you can see on CLC World’s Your Guide, is organised with an English-speaking guide and includes a trip to the lively, bustling and fresh food-filled Atarazanas, Málaga’s famous central market.

Its arched entrance is the last vestige of a seven-arched shipyard! Apparently, the sea reached that far ‘inland’ even as recently as the late 18th century. After it fell into disrepair during the 19th century, the architect charged with constructing the new market insisted on incorporating one remaining archway.

Your group will normally be no more than 10-strong and be ready to embark on a three to three-and-a-half hour educational feast for the taste buds. This includes a tasting of iconic Iberian Ham (Jamón ibérico). You’ll find out how this world-famous delicacy is produced from black pigs and how the curing process can last up to 48 months!

By the time your tour comes to an end you’ll have sampled the offerings from several independent food hotspots and tasted up to 15 different types of tapas. It may be best to work out how you get home before you start your day!

If you have been on a Tapas tasting tour, then the next step is surely to learn how to make them.

You can choose a cooking class that takes in a tour of the Atarazanas market, or opt for an evening class.

As with all cooking classes, you’re going to eat what you make. You’ll be guided into making four traditional Tapas by an expert local chef.

Anyone who is vegetarian or dairy and gluten intolerant can be catered for with a bit of notice for the organisers. The classes currently retail at €75 for each adult (includes the market tour) or €65 for the evening course without the tour. Children under 16 are welcome to take part (up to two are allowed and must be accompanied) for just under €50 each.

Perhaps the dish that Spain is most famous for around the world is of course, paella. On this course you’ll be coaxed into preparing your own version of this fantastic dish. Don your aprons and prepare for a culinary experience, rich in history but with the emphasis on tasting and cooking, with wonderfully fresh ingredients purchased of course, from the famous Atarazanas market.

The idea behind taking the paying public on a culinary and/or food tasting tour was born in 2013. For those who remember the worldwide rise of the Slow Food concept – the promotion of local food and traditional cooking – in the late eighties, Food Sherpas Spain is most definitely made up of devotees. With the help of CLC World, this is a chance to savour and taste the real Spain in the heart of an Andalucian city whose history stretches back nearly 3,000 years!

You can email Spain Food Sherpas, using [email protected]

As a CLC World member you’re entitled to 15% off on presentation of your membership card

Remember to mention it when making your reservation either by email or on the phone. Spain Food Sherpas can be contacted on (+34) 644 329 806