“Through the stomach to the heart”, as we usually say, and there is a lot of truth in that. What would a trip be without local smells, flavours, strolling through markets or local bars smelling of regional cuisine? Getting to know the country, also means getting to know the rich and varied Canarian cuisine. The privileged location of the Canary Islands between the continents: Europe, Africa and the Americas, the exchange of goods, as well as the constant movement of people between the continents has also left a lasting mark on local gastronomy, which is characterised by an incredible culinary diversity. It is not only the islands that differ from one another, but also the individual regions on the islands.
Check out some culinary hits below.
One of the staple products of the Canaries – a symbol of Canarian identity. Canary flour originally made from roasted barley. Every culture has a cereal in its cuisine, which it uses as a base for making various products: bread, pizza, tortillas, pancakes, etc. In essence, the idea is to satisfy hunger with a product that is simple to obtain and resistant to climate change. In the case of the Canary Islands, gofio is such a product, already known to the original inhabitants of the islands, the Guanches. Over time, it came to be regarded as a food product of the poor and therefore fell into disfavour. Nowadays, however, it is making a comeback and is increasingly used in Canarian cuisine.
Another feature of local gastronomy, probably inherited from the Gunachas, is the love for meat. Even more than for fish. This preference is rooted in the Afrikan cultural background, where water was always far away and hunting and animal husbandry dominated daily life. This is why goat, beef and pork are among the archipelago’s favourites.
Cheese and wine
In the production of cheese, the islands have achieved their mastery. Canary Island cheeses and wines are products with a designation of origin. All the islands have at least one of these certificates. This is a quality criterion that has contributed to Canary Island cheeses being awarded significant prizes in competitions such as the World Cheese Awards.
There is similar recognition of Canarian wines scoring highly in the well-known Peñín and Parker awards, which are given annually to the best wines in the world. International prestige flows from afar, and can even be found in the works of William Shakespeare.
Papas arrugadas and mojo
The conquest of the Canary Islands and Columbus’s first voyages to America resulted in the exchange of various products between the continents. It is difficult to imagine what was eaten in Europe before corn, tomatoes, peppers or potatoes arrived there, among other products.
The aroma, flavour and texture of Canary Islands potatoes are unique to Canarian cuisine. So are mojo sauces. Typical Canarian sauces.