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Gran Canaria imports many products to drink, but don't miss out on the local produce.
Furthermore there are a few things that are worth knowing about what is "normal" here.

Water !!!
There are 2 water systems on the Island. "Main water" is supplied by local authorities and is used for the houses in towns and villages. "Natural water" is also used in country areas in the houses and on the land. Tourists are advised to buy bottled water.
And here's a very good tip: Cold water (drink) out of the fridge might seem refreshing and will cool you down, but it is important to realise, that it can have the opposite effect. Your body becomes cooler where the water reaches and its automatic reaction is to compensate for this by trying to warm your body up!

Natural water

There is a network of pipes, gullies and tanks on the island which brings the natural 'spring' water from the higher altitudes to farms, towns and villages on the lower parts of the island. The quality of the water is excellent, but the quality of pipes and tanks may not always be so good.

The tourist accommodations usually have good quality water. Tourists are usually advised to buy bottled water for drinking and making tea and coffee etc. The local water should be OK for cooking and bathing.

Tap water
The quality of the tap water varies from area to area. Water ( in a few towns (areas) ) can be drunk from the tap, but to be sure, check by the authorities. The quality of the water in the towns can vary from week to week. The usual chemicals are added.

Bottled water - still

Agua sin gas: There are several companies on the island that bottle the spring water and distribute it to shops, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants. It comes in plastic containers or glass bottles varying from 100 ml to 8 litres. Always take a bottle with you if you go walking or driving.

Bottled water - aerated

Agua con gas: This is the same as the "still water" but with bubbles added.

A very big part of the drinking water on this Island, originates in Aqua's de Firgas.
A company, which are doing much for the water
is
AquaLyng

 

The Water Supply on Gran Canaria http://www.emalsa.es
The Management of the Water Supply on Gran Canaria http://www.aguasgrancanaria.com
 

Wine
In the 16th century, the most famous of the wines that were exported from the Canary Islands were known as “malvasia” or simply "vino de Canarias" (wine from the Canaries). At present, a much more extensive range of wines are being produced on the island under the denomination of origin, "Monte Lentiscal", and the denomination of origin, "Gran Canaria". The grape varieties that are most widely cultivated are
negra común, negramoll, tintilla, moscatel negra, malvasía and listan.

Both denominations encompass approximately twelve commercial brands that produce young, red and white wines. These magnificent wines have already conquered the local market and their fame is growing steadily.

One of the unique aspects of the island of Gran Canaria is the diversity of microclimates that are found on the island, which is why grapes of the same variety that are cultivated in a very small geographical area, present such a wide range of oenological characteristics. Another distinctive characteristic of the local wines is the fact that most of the vines were introduced onto the island before the occurrence of the phylloxera plague that devastated Europe’s vineyards.

Consequently, it is possible to cultivate the vines without having to resort to grafting, which is why the island’s viticulture enjoys certain unique characteristics.

The best way to get to know the wine culture of Gran Canaria is to visit the island’s wine cellars. Some of these cellars have their own museums and virtually every cellar has tasting facilities, where you can buy the local wines directly. In many cellars, it is also possible for you to enjoy the local cuisine by prior reservation.

This "rebirth" of viticulture in Gran Canaria has been enriched by the inauguration of the Wine Museum, which is located in a house in the centre of Santa Brígida. This house is more than two centuries old. ( See our wine page )

Beer
There are no breweries on the island - the raw materials don't grow well here and anyway there is very little flat agricultural land.
The popular Spanish beers are Dorado, Tropical and
San Miguel.
'Foreign beers' are widely available, with Heineken being the most popular.

Rum
The most popular drink in Gran Canaria is the rum, with or without cola (with cola, cuba libre); the town of Arucas holds the "Arehucas" factory; the Canarian had been producing the rum for hundred of years. It originates from the period that sugar cane was an important crop for the economy of the Canary Island, and they exported their "secret" of how to make it to South Americans during the colonization.

Ron Miel
A rum based honey liquor. Popular as an aperitif or a liquor after a meal. There are several manufacturers, and as with most things, the quality varies with the price. By the ones a little more expensive, available in the larger supermarkets.

Coffee
Coffee is popular on the island. Traditionally it is made with a percolator on the fire or stove, but that is time consuming so bars and cafes have machines for making it quickly. The beans are often fresh ground.
"Coffee break" in offices and shops is often taken in a local bar. This practice also encourages social contact.

Cafe solo

Strong black coffee served in small cups.

Cafe con leche
Coffee with warm milk served in larger cups. Note: This will almost certainly be pasteurised milk, as "fresh milk" is virtually unknown (See milk below).

Leche leche
Coffee with 2 types of milk; the pasteurised milk and a small amount of condensed milk. This usually does not need extra sugar.

Cortado
Almost as cafe con leche, but served in small glasses or tiny cups. Many Spaniards takes it as a little snack and empties the glass or the cup in one or two swallows.

Condensado
Coffee with condensed milk, is served in small glasses with a layer of condensed milk on the bottom and black coffee on top. Stir and wait before drinking. The stirring mixes the milk and coffee and the wait is to allow any coffee grains to settle to the bottom. This usually does not need extra sugar.

Carajillo
Black coffee with local cognac. Usually served in small cups and can contain up to 50% spirits depending on your taste and the whim of the person who makes it.
Don't drink this if you are driving. The hot alcohol works fast.

Juices

Orange juice
Orange juice is normally made, while you wait, from local oranges. Served in a tall glass, with ice if you like it, a spoon for stirring and extra sugar in case you like it sweeter.

Milk
There are almost no dairy cattle on the island so don't expect "fresh milk", or bottled milk. It isn't part of the way of life here.
If you ask for fresh milk in a restaurant or bar you will probably get a strange reaction. It's about the equivalent of asking for goats milk in a northern European cafe ... they've probably heard of it, they never use it and nobody is daft enough to ask for it!
Pasteurised milk is available everywhere, and condensed milk is used for milk/sweetening in cooking, desserts and coffee.

Pasteurised milk
Widely available in supermarkets and shops and in a number of makes and types .. creamy, normal, half-fat, extra calcium and vitamins etc.

Condensed milk
Used in coffee and cooking, is available in shops and supermarkets and comes in many sizes including handy tubes.

Goats milk
Is widely used but seldom commercially available. You may be able to get some if you talk to the local people in the rural areas.
Goats cheese is widely available.

 

 

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