Canary Islands: Fortunate Islands. Spain

The paradisiacal islands of sun and fine sand beaches, which enjoy a spring temperature throughout the year are an archipelago of 7 islands (Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro) and a few islets (Alegranza, Graciosa, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este, Roque del Oeste and Lobos). Each island is diametrically diverse from the others and its landscapes evoke corners of all the regions of the planet.

The Fortunate Islands, the Champs Elysees, the Garden of the Hesperides … were the first names found in the Greek and Roman writings on the Canaries. It was an archipelago of volcanic origin inhabited by the Guanches, a very tall race, with light skin, who lived on the cliffs, in caves or in small towns with circular-plan houses. In 1496 they joined the crown of Castile, after a series of struggles in which the value and Guanche nobility stood out. A few years later, Columbus’s ships would make a stopover in Gran Canaria and La Gomera before leaving for the New World.

The Canarian cuisine can be considered as the most original and cosmopolitan in Spain, because together with the dishes of evident peninsular inspiration, it presents recipes that could very well be considered Latin American or African, and together with it totally original and indigenous solutions. Due to its privileged climate, the wealth of fruits of its land and the rich coasts with abundant fishing, Canarian cuisine is succulent and light at the same time.

Among its most famous recipes, due to the genius of its simplicity, we find wrinkled potatoes, potatoes cooked with skin in plenty of very salty water, so that their skin acquires the effect to which the name alludes. They are served with mojo picón, spicy sauce based on oil, garlic, chilli and paprika. Something so simple that it has reached the masters degree, and on which many jealously keep some more particular recipes. They are taken with other dishes or alone. Actually there are many mojos, considered as cold sauces, and they are also used in other stews, such as mojo cochino, which is a pork stew that uses this sauce.

One of the most traditional and oldest Canarian recipes is the gofio, a pre-Hispanic recipe that formed the food base of the Guanches or ancient Canaries. It is a flour of wheat, millet, barley, and other roasted whole grains, with which numerous Canarian recipes are made since it is very versatile. A typical recipe is the gofio balls that accompany many traditional dishes, such as the sweet black pudding from the Canary Islands, made from pig blood, sugar, almonds and raisins.

The fishing wealth of the island allows you to naturally taste numerous fish and shellfish in the most varied forms of international cuisine. In this field, the Canary Islands also offer very tasty indigenous recipes, such as fish stews, which are given various names depending on the island of origin, and the Canary Sancocho, which uses salted fish in a mojo sauce.

The Canarian tradition also has numerous legume stews, such as chickpeas and beans, the most famous being watercress stew. Its delicious cheeses include those from El Hierro, and Fuerteventura or smoked ones from La Palma, along with Flor de Guía, from Gran Canaria.

The fantastic exotic fruits that grow on the islands naturally become part of numerous delicious desserts, such as the banana, abundant on the islands, which has an exquisite flavor. The Canaries defend that the banana that is consumed in the rest of Europe does not have the flavor of that of the islands, and they are right, because this fruit picked ripe and consumed fresher has a flavor so intense and delicious that it is incomparable. These original recipes include those of fried plantains.

Canary wines have an ancient tradition and Shakespeare already named them in his literature. Among them we can highlight the artisanal wines of Malvasía, Lanzarote, the reds of Taraconte in Tenerife and the lesser known and not for that reason less tasty wines from El Hierro and La Palma. And to complete the cast of “bottled pleasures” we should not leave the islands without having tasted the original and delicious rum and rum-honey distillates.

Iberinbound, incoming travel agency in Canary Islands, specialized in Group tours if they are Educational, Students, Leisure , ad-hoc groups, Shorex, MICE, invites you to discover, any day of the year, all what Canary Islands can offer you and make you addicted with the good weather. You will see how it recharges your batteries and draws you a big smile.