The Escuela de Idiomas Nerja cooking class has become the favourite extracurricular activity of the students who visit the Costa del Sol town year after year to learn Spanish and have a global experience immersed in Spanish culture. The cooking class offers the chance to make a typical Spanish paella step by step in addition to a mixed salad, homemade sangria and a fruit cocktail for dessert featuring the classical mango from the Costa del Sol’s tropical agriculture as the main ingredient.
Students gather twice a month in the school’s inner Andalusian courtyard at 7 p.m. to start making the paella under the direction of a teacher who specialises in Spanish gastronomy. The atmosphere is dynamic and relaxed as young people and adults speak Spanish while dicing the garlic, onion, peppers, tomatoes and more needed to prepare Spain’s typical paella.
After tossing these ingredients into the classical paella pan (a large skillet with two handles which was specially invented just for making paella), students continue by cleaning and cutting the different types of fish used in the recipe. Other students at different tables are responsible for preparing a mixed salad with Nerja’s typical avocado as the star ingredient and a third group of students is responsible for making the sangria and then the dessert. Both sangria and the fruit cocktail are made with fresh fruit selected at local markets.
Everything is ready about an hour later for sampling. Students sit with the teacher at the table to have the menu they prepare for dinner. Amid laughs, lively conversations and Spanish background music, the group of students enjoys an evening that is often unforgettable for them during which they learn to cook the most typical dish in Spanish gastronomy all while practicing their Spanish language skills in a relaxed atmosphere without the pressure of being in a formal classroom setting.