Cuisine in the Canary Islands

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Food

The residents in the Canary Islands do their utmost to ensure visitors have a wonderful stay and this involves offering a great variety when it comes to food. You’ll find all sorts of eateries scattered throughout the Canary Islands, serving everything from Indian curries, Japanese sushi and British pub grub to Italian pizzas, Caribbean delicacies and French haut cuisine. With such a vast array of food on offer, it’s very easy to overlook the local cuisine during your visit.

Because the islands are surrounded by water, fish and seafood are available in abundance throughout the Canaries. If you’re looking for an unbeatable fish-based meal, be sure to check out one of the restaurants lining the shore – these have the freshest fish which was probably swimming in the Atlantic that very morning.

Vieja (Parrot fish) is popular with locals because of its delicious taste and should be first on your must-try list. Encebollada de bacalao (an onion and cod dish) is also commonly available in restaurants throughout the islands. Sancocho is a dish served in the eastern islands – Tenerife, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma – and is a hearty stew made of salted sea bream and potatoes which are cooked together with handfuls of herbs and spices.

If you’re fond of seafood, you’ve got to try lapas. These incredibly addictive bites of heaven are limpets drizzled with a garlic and parsley sauce, all served on a sizzling plate. Keep an eye out for ‘Hay Camarones’ scribbled across a blackboard in front of a restaurant – this means this particular eatery serves fresh shrimp which is a speciality and popular favourite in the Canary Islands. Whilst many people are familiar with calamari, chipirones sometimes create a few confused looks. These tiny squids are deep-fried and served whole – an extraordinarily tasty snack.

With such a varied selection of meat found on the islands, carnivores won’t find themselves going without. Although only a handful of animals are reared on the islands, all sorts of meat is available, including beef, pork, lamb and poultry to name but a few.

Black pigs are reared on some of the islands and if you come across this delicacy on a restaurant menu, be sure to order it. The meat from black pigs has a much stronger flavour than regular pork and is sure to please. Goats are also in abundance on the islands and although the strong taste and tough texture can sometimes put people off, the way it’s cooked in the Canary Islands results in a satisfying delicious dish which will leave you asking for seconds.

If you’ve never tried rabbit before, now’s your chance whilst in the Canaries. Conejo al Salmorejo is a common dish available in almost every traditional restaurant throughout the Canary Islands. Much different to hare, rabbit has a very subtle taste which is complemented perfectly by the salmorejo sauce, made with white wine, herbs and spices.

A trip to the Canary Islands isn’t complete without trying Canarian Potatoes. Without a doubt one of the islands’ most famous and popular dishes, Canarian potatoes are bite-sized potatoes boiled with their skins on in salty water until they’ve shrivelled up. Always served with mojo verde and mojo rojo, these potatoes are a marvellous side dish or filling starter.