Canary Islands Gastronomy
Canarian cuisine refers to the typical dishes and ingredients in the cuisine of the Canary Islands. These include plentiful fish, generally roasted, papas arrugadas (a potato dish), mojos (such as mojo picón), and wine from the malvasia grape.
Mojo (pronounced mO-ho) is a sauce which may be orange, red, or green depending on its ingredients. Mojo is heavy in garlic and can be moderately spicy, referred to as mojo picón. It is usually made of oil, vinegar, salt, red pepper, thyme, oregano, coriander and several other spices. This is the father to all mojos of Latin America, especially Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela, due to heavy Canarian emigration, and have also influenced the cuisines of the non-Hispanic Caribbean islands.
Papas arrugadas are small unskined potatoes which have been boiled in salt water and are usually served with chicken and topped with mojo. Their name in Spanish means “wrinkled potatoes” and refers to their condition after being boiled and served.
One very typical Canarian product is gofio, a flour created by grinding roasted sweetcorn. Gofio is produced locally and is added to many foods and also to warm milk as a drink, as well as made into a dough-like food called pella and eaten alongside meals. It is also made into a hot dip.
Canarians widely use olive oil in their foods, which are often prepared from scratch.
Other typical Canarian foods include ropa vieja (“old clothes”), a dish of chicken and beef mixed with potatoes and garbanzos (chickpeas), and potaje, a generic name for one of many stews. Canarian ropa vieja is the father to Cuban ropa vieja through Canarian emigration.
A sweet indulgence is bienmesabe which mean in Spanish “Tastes good to me”. It’s a paste made from grounded almonds, lemon rind and eggs. It’s normally served as a dessert, nowadays sometime with cream or ice cream.
The wine from the malvasia grape was a product of canarian export since the 17th century, immediately after the decline of sugar plantations and until its commerce was blocked by the British navy in the late 18th century. Nowadays the islands produce ten of protected geographical indications.