Nov 29 2023

Unique Gastronomy in the Canary Islands

The Canaries combine the traditional islander diet with centuries of Spanish influence - all against a tropical backdrop! We take a look at the iconic dishes from this unique part of Spain.

Nestled just off the North African coast, the cuisine of the Canary islands combines the native guanche people’s traditional diet with centuries of Spanish colonial influence - all against a tropical backdrop! The area has a diverse gastronomy that revolves around the flora and fauna of each island - not to mention the volcanoes! Here are some of the iconic dishes and wines that represent this unique part of Spain.

Papas Arrugadas con Mojo - The most famous dish from the islands, these shriveled little potatoes pack a salty punch, having been boiled in very salty water for a wrinkled texture. Papas arrugadas are served with sauces such as mojo verde (with cilantro and avocado) and mojo rojo - picón (with tomato and pepper).

Pata Asada - The most popular cooking technique for pork in the Canary Islands, roasted pig leg is then cut into slices. It’s served as a main dish with sauce, as a cold cut in a sandwich or as an enyesque - that’s the Canarian word for a small sharing plate!

Gofio Escaldado - An intrinsic part of Canarian cuisine, gofio is ground toasted grains used for adding substance to dishes and also to make a paste base for sauces. Gofio Escaldado is made with fish stock, for a creamy purée that is perfect to as a dip.

Quesos y Embutidos - Goat cheese is typical of the Canary Islands, with DOP variations that can be fried, grilled and even steeped in spices like paprika. In terms of cured meats, there are soft forms of chorizo and a sweet morcilla sausage made with sultanas and almonds.

Gofio escaldado in bowl on gray stone background

Sopas de Miel - Honey is frequently used in Canarian dishes and desserts. In this festive recipe from La Palma, sopas de miel are a breaded dessert with either miel de caña (molasses) or bee honey.

And, to wash it all down? Some of the many DO wine growing regions of the Canary Islands need a mention here.  Look out for DO Gran Canaria (with over 70 wineries), DO La Palma (famous for Malvasia wines), and DO Lanzarote - its grapes are cultivated in crater-like hollows in the volcanic terroir - and the results are the malvasías volcánicas!

cheese with smoked sausage, bread and red wine