Canarian cuisine is characterised by the relative simplicity of the recipes, the enormous variety of local agricultural produce and seafood and the eclectic range on offer, thanks largely to the many cultural influences that have rubbed off on the Canary Islands over its history.
Canarian gastronomy is certainly influenced by other styles of cooking, with Spanish cuisine being the most notable contributor. We would also highlight the legacy left behind by the Guanches (original inhabitants of the Canary Islands) and also the influence of Latin American cuisine. Lastly, it shares much in common with African cuisine.
The following ingredients are mainstays of Canarian dishes: garlic, potato, chickpeas, meat, fish, yams, cumin and coriander.
Papas arrugadas (Canarian wrinkly potatoes) are a superb example of the originality and simplicity of Canarian cuisine. The one essential condiment for potatoes and other Canarian dishes is hot mojo sauce.
Gofio is another product that’s never absent from Canarian cooking.
In terms of cheeses, goat’s cheese is the most common to be found on the islands. On some islands, baked cheese with mojo is a popular delicacy.
Other favourites include: Seafood, such as limpets, winkles, octopus or small sun-dried fish; Iberian sausage products such as sweet Canarian black pudding; the liver-based carajacas or garbanzada (typically made with chickpeas and bacon).
Stews are the most typical way of eating vegetables and broths are also very popular, including fish broth, potato broth and millet or wheat broth, without forgetting the famous rancho canario and puchero canario dishes.
Pork, chicken, rabbit, goat and kid goat are among the most common meat dishes.
We mustn’t forget to mention traditional desserts, such as bienmesabe (almond and cinnamon custard), frangollo, leche frita (fried milk) and truchas (sweet yam pastries).
The most common fruit are the Canarian banana, figs, avocado, mango, papaya and Canarian prickly pears, as well as seasonal fruit.
The most popular drink prepared on the island is either pure rum or honey rum. The island’s wines also deserve special mention, such as the Malvasia, which has its own designation of origin label of quality.