Probably the first couple things that come to mind when you think about the Canary Islands are the eternal spring of warm temperatures and blue skies and the stunning beaches and landscapes. Now add to the list its original and creative gastronomy: a combination of flavours quite different to the rest of spanish food.
The local food in each of the Canary Islands has its very own special features and peculiarities separating it from that of mainland Spain. Characteristically local ingredients such as coriander or corn help build a distinctive gastronomy.
Would you like to know more about the best local food in Gran Canaria? We’ll tell you all about it in 10 delicious dishes. Food lovers, take note!
Canarian food is best described as simple with an exotic touch. In the kitchen, traditional ingredients are combined to prepare unsophisticated dishes very reminiscent of the typical granny’s cooking. The result: scrumptious, healthy dishes for lovers of traditional food.
Among the many traditional canarian dishes there are a few you shouldn’t miss out on trying:
The name hints at a “soft cooked dish”, and it consists of boiled salted fish (typically sea bass or a local variant of grouper fish) garnished with potatoes, sweet potatoes, gofio and red or green mojo sauce, all of it served in a clay casserole. The perfect low calorie dish that still packs a punch of canarian flavour.
It was a traditional Good Friday meal but it’s nowadays a dish you can have in any season. It is quite popular all over the Canary Islands.
A classic one in the Gran Canarian traditional food menu, a delicacy if soups and stews are your fancy. There’s no big secret to it: modest, straightforward ingredients prepared with care. A stew with chickpeas, potatoes, tomato, thick noodles, pork meat, chorizo, paprika and saffron that you just must try if you want to be refuelled for the full day.
Chances are you probably don’t know what a Vieja means in canarian gastronomy. It is a species of parrotfish and one of the most valued fishes for local cooks with several different recipes and ways to be prepared. Here it’s garnished with a vegetable broth, potatoes, tomato, chives, garlic, coriander, cumin, chilli pepper and of course, olive oil. It is served with wrinkled potatoes.
How to prepare wrinkled potatoes? Small potatoes of a local kind are washed and well-cleaned but not peeled and then boiled in water with a very generous amount of salt. The result is ideal as a dish of its own with traditional mojo sauce, but also great to garnish other dishes such as the Vieja stew.
A hefty vegetable stew for the very mild canarian winter. The comprehensive list of ingredients include lots of vegetables and a little meat. Watercress (Berros), green beans, pinto beans, pumpkin, pepper, onion, tomato, corn cob, garlic, pork chop and a few spices such as cumin and saffron all add up to a very tasty recipe.
This is nothing more and nothing less than a potato soup, another very popular and traditional canarian dish. Consisting of potatoes, tomato, green pepper, onion, coriander, garlic and cumin. Over it some eggs are cooked. Similar to the tomato soup found in small villages in Andalucía, it’s an easy to make recipe that brings with it all the flavour of a bygone era. If you are vegetarian or like vegetable garden dishes, you’ll love this one.
A stew very popular in many latinamerican countries like Cuba, México or Chile and of course, in the Canary Islands. Commonly cooked using leftover Puchero stew, it usually produces a first dish in the form of soup, and a second dish being the actual Ropa Vieja stew. Prepared as a stew with beef (flank or other cuts) and potatoes, chickpeas, herbs and vegetables. After cooking the beef meat and the chickpeas the broth is reserved for soup. Then the beef is minced and fried with the rest of the ingredients.
A stew similar to others found in mainland Spain but with a canarian touch: corn cobs. This is a typical ingredient from Gran Canaria transforming the stew into something unique. The recipe’s secret: top quality ingredients cooked over a low flame. Different meat cuts, from beef, chicken, pork… with carrots, cabbage, potatoes, sweet potatoes and legumes.
It may sound confusing but this salmorejo is nothing like the andalusian salmorejo. This dish requires the rabbit meat to be paired with a sauce made of garlic, laurel, white wine, vinegar, pepper, thyme, oregano and sweet paprika and fried. Then a soft boil and it’s ready.
One of the traditional canarian dishes that can’t be missed at any of the local religious festivities, though it can be found in bars and restaurants the rest of the year. Prepared with marinated pork meat using paprika, oregano, thyme, wine and olive oil; then fried and served with wrinkled potatoes. A recipe loved by young and old alike; and you will love it too if you are a fan of mixed grill.
Frequently found all over Gran Canaria, and it’s a very simple recipe: Pork leg roasted in the oven, then cut in thin slices. Perfect for a sandwich or as enyesque (snack and bites).
Every buffet restaurant at Lopesan Hotels offers a traditional canarian food themed day, once per week. Come and discover it!