Planning a trip to the Canary Islands? Then take note of the most typical dishes of Canarian gastronomy to try.
Whether you are in Tenerife, Gran Canaria or any other part of the archipelago, you cannot leave the islands without enjoying some of their traditional dishes. With African and tropical influences, Canarian cuisine is exotic, delicious, and has an emphasis on freshness. Here, Musement highlights ten traditional dishes that you should try on your next trip to the Canary Islands:
1. Papas con mojo
Starting with possibly the most emblematic food of the Canary Islands. Served as an aperitif or a snack, potatoes with ‘mojo’ sauce is a portion of small, wrinkly potatoes cooked whole with water and lemon. The potatoes are accompanied by a traditional sauce called mojo picón (made from paprika, garlic, cumin, vinegar and oil), which can be red or green. In short, potatoes with mojo are the perfect dish to relax on a terrace after a day at the beach, even more so with a very cold beer.
2. Millet broth
The caldo de millo is typical dish of Lanzarote and consists of a broth made with corn (known as millet). The corn is mixed with onion, oil, salt and garlic along with chickpeas, rice or wheat. After having simmered for a long time, the result is a delicious thick broth, which some people like to accompany with cheese.
3. Canarian stew
Each Spanish region has its own version of the traditional stew, and in the Canaries, it is characterised by potatoes, sweet potato, corn, pumpkin, parsley and mint. All this is added to the base of the stew (chickpeas, vegetables and meat, which can be pork, chicken or beef). Despite the tropical climate of the Canaries, it goes without saying that this dish is reserved for the coldest days of the year.
4. Escaldón de gofio
Another typical winter Canarian dish is escaldón de gofio, an ancient recipe from Tenerife that consists of meat or fish broth poured over gofio (a kind of flour obtained from roasted grains such as corn, wheat and barley). You can also add pieces of meat or vegetables. A very traditional dish, dating back to the original inhabitants on the islands. It is simple, inexpensive and has a high nutritional value, which is why it is considered a superfood today.
5. Grilled cheese with mojo
Another typical dish of the islands is grilled cheese with mojo. In fact, mojo is a sauce that appears in many dishes on the islands, in this case, spread over slices of oven-roasted soft or semi-cured (and usually smoked) Canarian cheese. A sumptuous snack that emerged on La Palma and has spread throughout the archipelago and beyond.
6. Canarian Ropa Vieja
Translated literally as ‘old clothes’, this is traditionally a dish to use up any leftovers at the end of the week. Simple but bursting with flavour, it is made from pieces of meat and various vegetables that need to be used and mixed with potatoes and chickpeas, to give body to the dish.
7. Conejo al salmorejo and Pollo al salmorejo
A signature meat dish from Tenerife, it was traditionally made with rabbit, but several recipes also use chicken. The meat is usually left to marinate for a few hours in a marinade based on white wine, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, thyme and other spices. The meat is fried and accompanied by Canarian wrinkled potatoes.
The main ingredient of this typical dish is a white, salty fish, such as sea bass (although other white fish can be used too). It is usually boiled and accompanied by potatoes and gofio with some mojo sauce on the side.
We enter the sweet category with frangollo. A kind of flan made with milk, millet or maize flour, lemon, eggs, sugar, almonds, cinnamon and butter. It is usually prepared for special occasions, such as Christmas.
Another typical sweet treat is rapadura, also consumed in Andalusia and some parts of South America. Rapadura is unrefined whole cane sugar derived from the boiling and evaporation of sugarcane juice, it then moulded into the desired shape. Ideally accompanied with ice cream.