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Even with the start of the 'new normality' on 21 June 2020, popular fiestas and most large gatherings and events are still prohibited and social distancing guidelines still in force. Dates listed on this site, therefore, are still subject to cancellation or change and we will update, where we can, when any new information is made available.

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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Buñuelos de almendra (Almond fritters)

Buñuelos de almendra (Almond fritters)

Buñuelos (fritters), like many traditional desserts in Spain, these are of Jewish heritage. The Sephardic Jews made fried buns with wheat flour, which they called bimuelos as early as the 10th century to celebrate Hanukkah, they were not identical to those we know today, but very similar. Christians adopted this dessert for this date, November 1.

This recipe is for Buñuelos de almendra (Almond fritters), although there are many different varieties and fillings. In Spain the dessert recipes for All Saints, Carnival and Easter are among the best of the year, rivaling Christmas nougats and marzipan. 


½ natural yogurt
3 tablespoons of honey
1 egg yolk
60 grams of softened butter
80 grams of flour
50 grams of chopped almonds
icing sugar and olive oil


To prepare the dough, mix the butter with the beaten yolk, the yogurt and a teaspoon of honey, stir until you get a homogeneous paste.

Add 80 grams of sifted flour to this dough, little by little and knead with your hands. If the dough is still sticky, add a little more flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for about two hours at room temperature.

Now prepare the filling, mix the almonds with the rest of the honey, stirring until they are amalgamated. 

Place the fritter dough on a floured work surface and roll it out thickly, cut out about twelve dough discs.

In each disc, place a small portion of the almond and honey mixture, then fold the edges over the filling, pressing carefully so that they are well sealed. Shape them into a ball with your hands and fry them in plenty of hot oil until evenly browned.

Place the fritters on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil and sprinkle a little icing sugar. Allow to cool completely and finish by sprinkling a little more icing sugar on them when you serve them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Nine Canarian words that come from English

Naife canario Teknad / CC BY-SA

Tourism is a recent phenomenon, but some parts of Spain had contact with foreigners long before the tourist boom. This is the case of the Canary Islands, whose strategic position in the Atlantic, between Europe, Africa and America, made it a mandatory refueling stop for ships for a long time. Among foreigners, the English stand out and the relationship has left its mark on the Spanish that Canarians speak every day, and there are several 'Canarianisms' whose English origin is still evident. English was not the "international language" that it is now, so is noticeable in its highly adapted phonetics to the local language.

Here some of the most curious words in the Spanish of the Canary Islands with an origin (sometimes surprising) in English.

Papas autodate, chinegua…

In the Canary Islands and Latin America potatoes are 'papas'. This word is not of English origin, but Quechua, and it was the peninsular Spaniards who changed the name of this tuber by crossing it with that of the batata (sweet potato) to become patatas (potatoes).

However, some varieties of Canarian potatoes do have names that derive from English. This is the case of autodate potatoes, a variety «white, elongated and highly esteemed to eat», according to the Dictionary of the Canary Academy of Language, and whose name comes from the English 'out of date', because that's what it said on the outside of the boxes!

Even more fun is the case of the quinegua potatoes or chinegua potatoes, which arrived in the Canary Islands from England during the reign of English King Edward VI. His name was deformed into the current one by it's pronunciation.

Cotufas y queques

When Canarians go to the cinema, they don't eat palomitas (popcorn). In the eastern islands (Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria) these are called roscas, possibly because of the rounded shapes that the corn acquires when exploding. However, in the western islands (Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro) they are called cotufas. The origin of this word is English: popcorn, before being cooked, is 'corn to fry'. (In the Canaries corn is known as millo (millet). This Canarianism is of Portuguese origin.)

Another Canarian food with an English name is the queque, a word used for all types of cakes in the Canary Islands and which derives from the English 'cake'. There is also the word bizcocho in Spanish. Don't ask for gateau, because that sounds like gato (cat)!

Foniles y naifes

The culinary is not the only semantic field with various Canarianisms coming from English. Curiously, one of the most typical elements of Canarian crafts is the naife, a knife with a characteristic shape and probable Spanish peninsular origin, but with an English name. 

Another tool that gets its name from English is the fonil (funnel).

Chonis y cambulloneros

Just as in peninsular Spanish, foreign tourists are guiris. In Canarian Spanish a specific name appeared for English tourists: John, or Johnny, from which choni derives. Later this was applied to the rest of European tourists, especially Nordic ones, and increasingly, by extension, to people with a high economic level. This curiously contrasts with the peninsula, where choni is the name used for a female adolescent without manners (chav).

At the other end of the scale are those who had to make deals to earn a living. And what better way to do this than to buy the merchandise on the boats docked in the port, which, according to the accounts, were exempt from taxes and announced that "[you] can buy on [board]". Although the story may be embellished, this port marketing was called cambullón, which the Canarian Academy of Language defines as "merchandise traffic (...) in ships docked or anchored in the port" or "illegal trade carried out on land with products from the ship's pantry. ' The cambulloneros became a relatively important part of the coastal population of the islands, and were immortalized in their folklore.

Perder la guagua

However, if we think of the Spanish of the Canary Islands, one of the first things that comes to mind is the guagua, the well-known islanders' bus. 

As a curiosity, this is not the only use of the word guagua in Spanish, as in several Latin-American countries, the word that refers to children or bread made in the shape of them.

While the origin of the Latin American guaguas is Quechua, the immediate origin of the Canarian guagua is in Cuba, although, according to the Real Academia Española, the initial origin is "disputed" (but they don't offer any further explanation). A well-known proposal, which nevertheless suffers from the lack of documentary evidence, is that guagua comes from the company Washington, Walton, and Company Incorporated, the first company that brought buses to Cuba and which was advertised as Wa & Wa Co. Inc.

One other hypothesis, collected by the great etymologist Coromines, is that guagua derives from the English word waggon (also the root of vagón), which was used for a «medium-sized car used for the free transport of a small number of people».

What I was told locally is that guagua comes from the sound of the claxon.

Panellets sweets for All Saints Day

Assortment of Panellets traditional dessert for All Saints Day
Mutari 15:57, 30 October 2007 (UTC), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Panellets (literally 'little loaves') are another traditional sweet for All Saints Day, most typically of Catalonia, but they are more likely of Arab origin, given the ingredients used. This recipe has been shared by the Mercado Municipal De La Laguna (La Laguna Municipal Market) via La Laguna Ahora. The most popular are the panellets covered with pine nuts, consisting of marzipan rolled in pine nuts and varnished with egg. 

To make the first batch of Panellets

The ingredients: ½ kilo of raw ground almonds, ½ kilo of sugar, 250 grams of stewed potatoes, grated rind of a lemon, 2 whole eggs and a yolk. For the varieties of panellets; 150 grams of pine nuts, 150 grams of chopped almonds and 125 grams of grated coconut.


Cook the potato with its skin, peel it once cooked and let it cool. Mash it with a fork and mix it well with the sugar, then add the ground almonds, the lemon zest and mix well.

Separate the yolk of two eggs from the whites, reserve these and pour the yolks into the previous mixture, stirring so that all the ingredients are mixed. Put the chopped almond, pine nuts and a third of the coconut on small plates separately.

Start to make balls and reserve a third of the dough to mix it with the rest of the grated coconut. The rest, roll them first in the egg white and then one batch the pine nuts one and the other in the almonds. Put the panellets on the baking tray covered with greaseproof paper or foil and a little flour.

Preheat the oven to 170º C. Continue with the preparation of the panellets, form balls with the coconut dough and roll them in the grated coconut, also place them on the tray. 

To finish, brush the surface of the pine nut and almond panellets with egg yolk and they are ready to bake for 10-12 minutes, check and remove them when they have browned.

Here are some more variations to try: 


The same mixture must be made as with the lemon panellet. Introduce 1 hazelnut in the center of each panellet. Bake at a high temperature, 240ºC.


The same system is used as with the pine nut panellets, although the shape they are given is similar to that of a small croquette. Logically we must substitute the pine nuts for almonds in the paste. The cooking time is a little shorter.


Starting with the basic marzipan, add ground coffee until it is brown. The intensity of the flavor depends on our taste, it is convenient to try the mixture until determining the correct measure. Soluble coffee can be substituted for coffee extract, although the flavor is better with ground coffee, it is also more natural and aromatic.

Make small portions in the form of croquette. It should be coated with a lot of powdered sugar, the more the better. Cook at a high temperature of 240 ºC.


For the preparation of the mushrooms we use another marzipan mixture, which is called rough marzipan, since it is much harder, 50% almond, and does not contain water in the kneading. Form small round balls and then press the center with the cap on the neck of a glass bottle. This bottle must be well floured to prevent the piece from sticking.

After forming the mushroom, they should be left to rest for 24 hours. Brush only with egg yolk and give it them quick and strong bake, just enough to dry. Once baked and once cold, wet the tip of the mushroom with gelatin. Coat the tip with a chocolate chip.


Start with the base marzipan and add chocolate to the mixture until the color is similar to the coffee panellet. Make the same shape in the form of croquette, only in this case make a small groove in the dough, to later fill with chocolate coating.

Cook the panellets, sprinkle them with icing sugar abundantly, and as indicated above, fill the grooves with tempered chocolate


Make balls the size of pine nut panellets, and place 1 well-drained candied cherry in the center. The pieces are then coated in granulated sugar. Bake at a high temperature, 240ºC. 


Starting from the base marzipan, add 300 gr. of desiccated coconut for each kilo of marzipan. The shape that is given to the coconut panellet is made by pinching the dough, approximately it should be about 30 grams. If possible, it is preferable to place the "pinches" on wafer paper cut to the appropriate diameter, if not, spread them on greaseproof paper.

Sprinkle with plenty of icing sugar before baking the pieces. Bake at a high temperature of 240 ºC.


A small piece of strawberry pulp is added to the base marzipan, plus a little coloring to reinforce the color. The process is exactly the same as the rose pink panellet.

Marron Glacé 

Add Marron Glacé (candied chestnut) paste to a marzipan base (proportions to taste), to obtain a chestnut color in the mixture. Make small balls and roll them in granulated sugar. Before baking form a small hole. Bake at a high temperature, 240ºC. After cooking and once the pieces are cold, fill the hole with more candied chestnut paste.


Add about 100 gr of ground almonds to each kilo of marzipan base. Form long bars as if they were churros. Slit down the length of the bars with a knife to access the interior and fill this center with candied quince. Close and stretch "the churro" again.

Coat with plenty of sugar and mark small incisions in each of the bars. Freeze the dough to be able to cut it and once cold, cut pieces of about 30 gr. each. Bake at a high temperature, 240ºC.


Lemon essential oil and zest should be added to the base marzipan, or just the extract. Rolled 30 gr pieces in plenty of sugar. Bake at a high temperature, 240ºC.

Pine nuts

Add a little lemon zest or extract to the base marzipan. Form small balls of about 25 gr. Have a generous quantity of pine nuts, which should be soaked in a little water and an egg. Coat the marzipan base with abundant pine nuts, leaving no gap. Spread the panellets on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Brush with egg yolk and bake at high temperature (240 ªC) until golden.


Pink panellets are made by adding pink coloring to the base marzipan plus a little rose water. Form round balls and coat with plenty of icing sugar. Bake at a high temperature, 240ºC.

Panellets por los Santos

Panellets tradicionales y caseros de Todos los Santos

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Huesos de santo rellenos con yema (Saint's bones stuffed with egg yolk)

Huesos de santo rellenos con yema (Saint's bones stuffed with egg yolk)
Image: Tamorlan, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Saints Bones are a typically Spanish sweet, often served as a dessert for the celebration of the Day of the Dead and All Saints Day and, which will appear in shop windows and showcases of pastry shops in the market, as much as they do in houses. This exquisite and traditional sweet is made with almond paste (marzipan) as the main ingredient. They are white, elongated and cylindrical in shape. The bone is in the shape of a tube, similar to that of a real bone with its marrow, which is then filled with sweet egg yolk or syrup.


For the paste:
200 gr. raw ground almonds
100 gr. ground hazelnuts
200 gr. of icing sugar, anise and water.

For the sweet yolk:
100 gr. of sugar
4 yolks
500 ml. of water.


Start by preparing the paste: mix the ground almonds with the sugar. When well mixed add a tablespoon of water and another of anise. Knead the paste and add the hazelnuts. Knead well, form into a ball shape. Let it rest in the fridge, while we make the filling.

Place the water with the sugar in a saucepan. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually incorporate the syrup. Stir well and pour it back into the saucepan that, now, we will place into a bain-marie so that it thickens without boiling. Allow it cool.

Take the paste out of the fridge and roll it out. Sprinkle with icing sugar and cut into squares. Roll the squares around a 1 cm stick (use the handle of a wooden spoon), bake for 3 minutes at maximum temperature. Allow to cool, then using an icing bag fill with the yolk.

Huesos de Santo - Receta tradicional de Todos los Santos

Titsa reduces the minimum amount required to recharge the Ten + card to two euros

Transportes Interurbanos de Tenerife (Titsa), bus company, has announced the reduction of the minimum amount to recharge the Ten + cards at stations and interchanges, as well as in the network of more than 500 kiosks throughout the island to just two euros.

Vice president and councilor of Mobility of the Cabildo (Tenerife Island Corporation), Enrique Arriaga, explained that this measure is intended to make public transport more affordable and to promote public transport among the inhabitants of the island, especially among those who use it very occasionally. "With this measure, users will be able to recharge the amount they will need to travel, which encourages the use of the bus and decongests the island roads".

Manager of Titsa, José Alberto León, points out that this initiative aims to respond to the demands made by non-regular users, “who were not motivated to recharge the previous minimum of 5 euros, as they would only use part of that and the rest of the recharged amount remained on the card, which penalises them for use of the bus”.

In addition to the aforementioned points of sale, the company has machines for selling, recharging and checking the balance at the Santa Cruz de Tenerife and La Laguna interchanges, as well as at the Costa Adeje and Puerto de la Cruz stations and at the preferred stops in Los Cristianos and San Isidro.

Titsa rebaja a dos euros el importe mínimo de recarga de la tarjeta Ten+

Monday, October 26, 2020

Recipes for All Saints Day & Day of the Dead: Huesos de merengue (Meringue bones)

Huesos de merengue (Meringue bones)

We could not resist! La Laguna Ahora, as every year, offers a series of recipes for the celebration of All Saints Day from the Mercado Municipal De La Laguna (La Laguna Market). This is for these delightful Huesos de merengue (Meringue bones), which, they say, are very easy to prepare, perfect to serve on Halloween or at children's celebrations.


6 egg whites

300 g of icing sugar

a pinch of salt

juice of half a lemon


With a whisk, whip the whites until stiff together with the salt and lemon juice. Then add the sugar little by little, continuing to beat.

Place the meringue in a piping bag with a large nozzle.

Place baking paper on a tray and pipe the meringue, shaping it into a bone. Shape it in a single movement: start at one end of the bone, work through the elongated part, and finish at the other end. In this way, you will prevent them from breaking.

Bake in the preheated oven at 100ºC for approximately 1 hour, until the meringue is dry and dull. Allow to cool and serve.

Recetas típicas del Todos los Santos y Fieles Difuntos: Huesos de merengue

TIP: You can serve the meringue bones with a little strawberry or berry jam on top, imitating blood.

Huesos de merengue (Meringue bones)

Día del Carmen will replace Shrove Tuesday as a holiday in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Procession of the Virgen del Carmen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council proposes that the day of the Virgen del Carmen, on July 16, replace Shrove Tuesday as a holiday within the city's calendar next year, the municipal corporation has reported. The council has also chosen Monday, May 3, Día de la Cruz (Day of the Cross), as another of the non-working days in the municipality.

"Our aim is to reinstate Shrove Tuesday as a holiday in 2022, but in the face of this atypical situation that we are currently experiencing, we believe that July 16 is the best possible alternative, also creating a long weekend at the beginning of the third quarter of the year", says a statement the Councilor for Parties, Alfonso Cabello. He explains that the festival of the Virgen del Carmen is one of the most deeply rooted celebrations in the city, as well as in other municipalities on the island. In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, this devotion dates from 1670. The proposal for making this day a holiday has a precedent in 1931, when the City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife considered that the Virgen del Carmen was an official holiday, along with that of Santiago, Santa Cruz and Shrove Tuesday.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Buenavista celebrates festivities for Virgin of Los Remedios adapted to the pandemic

Buenavista' square dressed for fiestas some years ago

Buenavista del Norte is celebrating its festivities by adapting the format to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The Councilor for Culture and Festivities, Ángeles González (CC), points out that "for the municipality the month of October is for meeting, for enthusiasm and faith in our patron, the Virgin of Los Remedios, for this reason we wanted to develop a program that complies with the strictest health security protocols ".

The events, which began on the 15th, include exhibitions, concerts, religious events and festivals with limited capacity. This weekend the exhibition 'The memory of our fiestas' will open; a concert with Chago Melián will be held; there is eucaristía de vísperas (Evensong), and a fireworks display by the Toste Brothers. On Sunday 25, the big day, the bishop will officiate the Eucharist and, in addition, the Art Festival will be held.

Buenavista celebra unas fiestas patronales adaptadas a la pandemia

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Comparsa Tropicana 2020

Comparsa Tropicana 2020

The comparsa groups epitomise the spirit of carnival with all they impart in their 'colour, joy and rhythm [...] with exuberant costumes and sonorous drums.' Comparsa, Tropicana were in third place for interpretation at the Comparsas Contest in 2020.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Tropicana | Comparsas Adultas | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Carnivals of the World: Cologne Carnival

Image by Rena Limberger from Pixabay

Carnivals of the World was the theme chosen for Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival in 2021 (even though that will not now take place) and one of those listed was Cologne Carnival (German: Kölner Karneval), a carnival that [obviously] takes place every year in Cologne, Germany. The first worldwide Carnival parade took place in Cologne in 1823, although Carnival in Cologne is almost as old as the history of the city itself. Carnival week begins on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, with parades during the weekend, and finishes the night before Ash Wednesday, with the main festivities occurring around Rosenmontag (Rose Monday). This time is also called the "Fifth Season". 

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

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