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Thursday, September 09, 2021

The 11 best recipes of Canarian cuisine

Las papas arrugás con mojo, probably so typical it's become stereotypical

Every list of the "best" of something is bound to be highly subjective. This, therefore, is probably more accurately a list of eleven of the most typical dishes of the Canary Islands, which is nowhere near as seductive as headlines go, but still not to be missed. But I agree that the Canary Islands have exquisite ingredients such as its cheeses, its wines and its fish, indigenous and exclusive products such as gofio and its sauces or mojos that make gastronomy one of the attractions of any visit to the fortunate islands. 

1. Papas arrugadas con mojo (Wrinkled potatoes with mojo)


Papas arrugadas is perhaps the best known dish in the Canaries. Cooked potatoes that are saturated with salt - originally it was sea water - to make the skin wrinkle. They are eaten hot with the skin, dipping the potatoes in the green or red mojo or spicy, mojo picón. A true exaltation of a humble ingredient such as potato to make a dish of authentic luxury. 

2. Sancocho Canario (Canarian Fish Stew)


Sancocho Canario is usually eaten at Easter and is a traditional dish on the island of Gran Canaria, although it can be eaten on the other islands. It is a fish elaboration - it is usually cherne (stone bass or bass groper), sea bass or salted sea bass - that is consumed with potatoes, sweet potatoes, mojo and gofio forming a pella or loaf.

3. Conejo en salmorejo (Rabbit in salmorejo)


Conejo en salmorejo (rabbit in salmorejo) is a tasty stew with a powerful flavour, which is eaten accompanied by wrinkled potatoes and is enjoyed with the wines of Tenerife.

4. Queso asado canario con mojos (Canarian grilled cheese with mojos)


Canarian cheeses, mainly made with goat's milk, are tasty, creamy and with a powerful flavour. One of the most peculiar ways to enjoy them is roasted on the griddle (or oven tray), served with the different mojos that are common on the island. (Personally, I prefer the version with the contrasts of spicy mojo picón and sweet miel de palma.)

5. Carne de cabra compuesta (Goat meat stew)


It is a common recipe on the islands of Fuerteventura, Gomera, Hierro and Tenerife. 

6. Potaje de Berros (Watercress Pottage)


Watercress pottage is a Canarian dish, from popular cuisine. It is a simple and inexpensive dish, based on cooking vegetables with pieces of meat or pork ribs (although I've had many a vegetarian version too), with abundant watercress leaves and beans. 

7. Pata asada canaria (Roast leg of pork)


This is a way of preparing pork - usually the leg or ham - that achieves a meat with a delicious texture. Although it can be eaten as a cold meat, in a similar way to ham, it's usual to serve this meat cut into slices and accompanied by a sauce, like any other roast.

8. Ropa vieja canaria (Canarian old clothes)


Ropa Vieja Canaria is a traditional dish using leftovers, which makes them take on new life in a dish that even surpasses the one from which it comes. Although it is traditional in Canarian cuisine, is also made in other regions of Spain with some variations.

9. Escaldón de gofio (Scalded gofio)


Gofio, toasted and stone-ground grains to which a pinch of salt is added, is an intrinsic part of Canarian cuisine. One of the most interesting preparations is the Escaldón de gofio, made by adding gofio to fish stock and stirring until a thick cream or puree is obtained. 

10. Tortillas de calabaza (Pumpkin tortillas)


Pumpkin tortillas are a traditional Canarian dessert, which is usually prepared around Carnival time. Made with pumpkin, eggs and anise, it is a very popular, simple sweet, reminiscent of torrijas or Rebanadas de Carnaval (French Toast), when finished by sprinkling the tortillas with sugar and cinnamon. See also Tortitas de Carnaval.

11. Frangollo


Frangollo is one of the richest desserts in Canarian gastronomy, along with quesillo, a variant of flan that is usually prepared on the islands and is also highly appreciated. The frangollo recipe is a thick, unroasted cornmeal-based dessert.

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