Near the collegiate church a number of old almond trees still remain. This area is known as the “Priest of Alquézar’s Almond Grove” and was once the open-air laboratory for the experiments of Mosen Rafel Ayerbe.
Born in Radiquero, this priest dedicated years experimenting with new varieties of almonds with the aim of obtaining one with high yield and, more importantly, one that could survive a late frost, a factor that caused constant problems for local farmers.
It was here in this small grove that he finally obtained the Desmayo or Largueta almond, a discovery that won many awards including the agricultural Grand Cross of Merit. He collated all of his knowledge and experience of cultivating the new almond in his book “The Desmayo Almond.” There is no doubt that this contributed to the diffusion of the variety as well as to the development of techniques used in its cultivation, many of which are still in use today. This all took place over 80 years ago.