Valsequillo warms up for one of the most delicious gastronomic events of the year and one of the most crowded fruit fairs on the island of Gran Canaria. After three years without being held due, to the pandemic, the Valsequillo Strawberry Fair returns this Sunday, April 23 for its eighth edition.

This is a fair that has managed to consolidate itself in the calendar of popular events on Gran Canaria and has also achieved its flagship product, the Valsequillo strawberry, being recognised and valued by consumers as of quality, all the result of the work and effort of local farmers.

 


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The Fair begins at 9:00 a.m., with the opening of the Fair, in which there will be more than thirty stands of strawberry producers and other strawberry-related products such as strawberry Mojitos, crepes, strawberry bread, ice cream, sweets and even cosmetics made with strawberries will cover the surroundings of Plaza Tifariti with their products.

At 10:00 a.m. the gastronomic activity begins, in fact, the La Dulce Tentación de Telde pastry shop will perform a demonstration of a cake made with local strawberries. At 11:30 a.m., the Best Chef of the Canary Islands, Richard Díaz, from the Sorondongo restaurant, will hold a show cooking with strawberries as the protagonist. The Association of Bartenders of Gran Canaria, for its part, will offer a master class in cocktails with strawberries. And chef Daniel Castro will put the finishing touch to the cooking demonstrations with the preparation of strawberry butter, a prawn and strawberry tartare, and a cheese fritter with strawberry aioli. Some show cookings that will be in Tifariti Square and that can be followed through a screen that will be located in the same square so that attendees do not miss any detail.

But the Fair does not end here. The little ones in the house will have guaranteed fun all day with a series of cooking workshops and strawberry crafts, such as the 3D workshop and strawberry mask making. An edition in which the Dessert Contest will not be missing. More than twenty applications have already been received for the Dessert Contest, aimed at amateur pastry chefs, which will have the Valsequillo strawberry as its main ingredient and which includes three prizes of 100, 150, and 200 euros. The most interesting thing is that the attending public will be able to witness both the dessert tasting by the jury, which will assess creativity, presentation, and enhancement of the product, as well as the awards ceremony for the winners.

Numerous stands with the best products from the area’s strawberry producers, as well as strawberries with cream, sweets, milkshakes, and ice creams made from Valsequillo strawberries, will delight visitors, who will be able to taste them for free since the farmers have put 1000 kilos of strawberries for the occasion.

In addition, there will be guided visits to the strawberry farms in the area, which on this occasion will be organized as walks that will depart from the Tourist Office, located in the town center, starting at 10:00 am. The last edition in 2019 already broke a record, bringing together more than 15,000 people, and this time it is expected to reach that figure again.

Animation, children’s activities and live music will make the VIII Valsequillo Strawberry Fair a day for the whole family. The morning will begin at 10:00 am with an open day at the Benito Pérez Galdós Municipal Library. Throughout the morning there will be workshops and entertainment activities in the Plaza de San Miguel.

At 11:00 there will be a children’s show “My way: Badabadum” at the Teatro Cronista Oficial Jacinto Suárez Martel. At 12:00 noon, the Library will host Pedro Pérez’s storyteller titled “Cuenterreando”. One morning the music will be in charge of “Los Salvapantallas” who will offer a concert at 1:00 p.m. in the town.

 

With a harvest of about 2 million kilos a year and about 200 direct jobs, strawberries have undoubtedly become the most important agricultural product in Valsequillo in recent years. But it still has a lot of growth capacity to continue supplying the local and visiting population. For this reason, the Valsequillo City Council, through the local Employment and Development Agency, has projected the brand “Ruta Viva de la Fresa”. An initiative that is included within the Destination Tourism Sustainability Plan and that has funds from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.

The Valsequillo strawberry, despite its high quality and being a Km0 product, faces strong competition with strawberries imported from abroad, so the institution works throughout the year to carry out actions that continue to promote the preferential consumption of local strawberries through the tourist product Ruta Viva de la Fresa. A project that includes awareness campaigns and training for strawberry farmers to open their farms to tourist and educational visits, carry out information campaigns on the characteristics of the local strawberry among consumers, distributors and restaurateurs or promote and promote the Strawberry Fair. A plan that will allow us to work throughout the year with the sector, investing in the economy of the municipality and in this crop.

 

 

FRESCANARIAS Association

The Association of Frescanarias Entrepreneurs was founded in 2016, given the importance of the union in the strawberry sector of the municipality of Valsequillo in Gran Canaria. The study of new techniques and improvements in production, the continuous evolution of product quality, improving food safety, and reducing the ecological impact of chemical control are, among many others, the purposes for which this association was born, which, It not only seeks the joint defense of the partners but also of all the strawberry farms in the municipality.

Local producers have struggled to be able to compete at an equal price with imported strawberries since the competition that it offers is not because it is of better quality, but because it is cheaper. Surpluses from the Peninsula and other countries arrived at cost price in the Canary Islands, a situation with which the strawberry from Gran Canaria could not compete, despite having the advantage of being a product of the so-called kilometer zero. For this reason, the Association and the Valsequillo City Council began a process that in May 2020 included the strawberry in the new Tax on Imports and Deliveries of Merchandise in the Canary Islands (AIEM).