Among them, its gastronomy has been elaborated along
several centuries with excellent raw materials
(meat, fish, fruits and vegetables) and laid out in
original and tasty recipes.
Thus, we invite you
to make a trip trying some of the traditional dishes of Gran Canaria,
starting by the "Enyesques" (snacks) among which we can find famous
"Papas Arrugadas" (small potatoes boiled in their jackets), "Ropa Vieja"
(type of casserole) or "Carajacas" (filleted liver). This can be
followed by first courses such as "Fish Soup" or "Watercress Soup". And
the second courses can be composed of meat like "Salmorejo Rabbit", or
fishes like "Sea Bream Casserole".
To end with we
invite you sweeten your palate with any of the desserts like "Bienmesabe"
(very sweet almond paste) or "Yolk Mass".
All this can go well
accompanied with a good wine with O.D. "Gran Canaria" or "Monte
With the recipes
that we offer you here, you can try and cook some of these dishes at
home, but really the best idea is to give yourself some holidays in Gran
Canaria and enjoy our flavours in the restaurants that you will find in
any spot of this island.
local cuisine is characterised for being a healthy and light diet. Goat
meat, tollos en salsa, the ropa vieja or the delicious pork leg are
served in any restaurant or "bar de tapas" (snack bar) for starters or
snacks. But one of the most traditional dishes of the Canary cuisine is
the "Sancocho Canario". The basic ingredients are the salty "cherne" (a
type of fish), potatoes, sweet potatoes and "Gofio".
The fruit and vegetables found in most shops, cafes and restaurants are
grown locally using "normal" cultivation methods which often means that
they have more flavour than visitors from Northern Europe would normally
When buying fruit and vegetables in the supermarket it is usually easy
to tell the difference between the local and imported produce.
The imported stuff looks "perfect" - identical shape, identical colour,
no marks or blemishes, and is often labelled "import".
The local produce comes in cardboard or wooden boxes, is delivered
directly to the shops and markets by local farmers. The fruit is often
misshapen. It usually tastes wonderful so don't turn your nose up, try
The main local variety of banana is shorter and straighter than "the
usual" banana, and are delicious.
Choose the loose oranges which are not perfectly shaped. Ideal for
The avocados sold in Northern Europe are kept in cold storage for
travelling and are ripened artificially.
The local avocados here come straight from the trees .. and you can
really taste the difference.
The fruit of the local cactus is eaten in large quantities here, it is
very juicy and contains many edible seeds. When you buy it in the shops
the spines have usually been removed, otherwise lay them on the (sand)
floor en brush them off with a stiff broom or hard brush. Keep it in the
fridge for a few hours, then cut the ends off, slice the skin
lengthways, peel the skin back and eat the centre.
In the summer months fresh figs can be plucked directly from the trees -
or bought in the shops. Don't eat the figs which hang in the sun, it may
well give you 'tummy-trouble'. In the rest of the year dried figs can be
bought either loose or plastic-wrapped.
In the autumn, the almonds are harvested from the trees and kept in
storage to be eaten throughout the year. They are often sold in small
plastic bags in shops, or along the roadside. They are sometimes
roasted, sometimes covered in salt or sugar.
Canaries make use of almonds in many things, desserts, biscuits, cakes,
spreads, liquors etc. etc.
When you taste the local tomatoes you will realise how much flavour is
lost in the commercialisation of the growing process. If you grow your
own tomatoes at home you will know what we mean.
In season there is a good supply of sweet chestnuts which can be eaten
fresh, or barbequed.
Meat is for the
Canaries an important part of the daily menu. They eat mainly pork, and
also lamb, goat, rabbit and chicken. You will also find it on the menus
of restaurants serving local food.
Young goat is often served deep fried (Cabrito Frito)
or in a stew (Cabrito en salsa).
Goat meat has a strong flavour, similar to lamb. It is usually eaten
off-the-bone and the Canaries find it normal that you use your fingers.
Rabbit is often served in a stew/sauce, or in paella or fried.
You may see this soft spicy sausage in the meat display counters in long
strings which are an almost orange colour. The spicy meat inside is
squeezed out of its skin and spread on bread.
There is a wide variety of Spanish sausage available. Smaller quantities
are available pre-packed in plastic, or from the meat counter, or you
can buy a whole sausage and slice it yourself. It is mostly fairly hard
and with a high fat content, and lots and lots of flavour.
There is the usual assortment of sliced ham, but you can get that at
home so why not try the smoked ham ......
The Serrano is an Spanish speciality. It is often hung in meat shops and
restaurants and sliced very very thinly. It can be a bit chewy but has
an excellent taste.
Canary Islands are surrounded by the Atlantic ocean which provides a
good variety of fish. Strangely the price is a bit high. Lots of
different fish is available in tins.
Well-known and delicious to eat are the paella and the zarzuela.
Some main fish are tuna, swordfish, sardines and octopus.
On Gran Canaria the cheese is made from goats milk. There are very few
cows on the island, largely due to the lack of pasture for grazing, so
dairy products have to be imported.
You can find all kinds of goat cheese in the shops.
Several of the islands have a
typical cheese speciality of their own, best known are the smoked cheese
of La Palma and Flor de Guía of Gran Canaria.
sauces and Gofio
Potatoes grow well in Gran Canaria. Potatoes and yams, or sweet
potatoes, are part of the staple diet. Farmers get 3 to 4 crops per year
of the small potatoes varieties. They are often eaten with one or more
Potatoes are also used in the tortilla, the Spanish omelette.
Another traditional "filler" is Gofio, a flour used in many ways.
Small, locally grown, potatoes cooked in their skins in water rich in
sea salt. The salt residue can be seen on the crinkled skins. Usually
eaten with mojo sauce.
A sauce made of, among other things, green peppers, garlic and spices.
A sauce made of, among other things, red peppers, garlic and spices.
There are soft and spicy versions.
You will notice differences in the taste of the mojos .... because each
family has its own recipe.
Garlic mayonnaise, also the taste of the Alioli is different in every
A kind of flour made from toasted and milled cereals. Used with milk for
breakfast, in drinks, in meat dishes etc. Canaries say it is very
healthy and many eat it every day!
The most typical
dessert is Bienmesabe, a mixture of honey, almond cream, eggs and
rum. Besides that, you have a wide choice of tropical fruits, like
papaya, avocado and mangoes. Platanos fritos (fried bananas) are
also in great demand. Also, try the biscuits and meringues from Moya and
the marzipan pralines from Tejeda.