Are you hungry? You should try these 7 Canarian dishes!
Canarian gastronomy is characterised by its variety and richness of ingredients, and by its simplicity. It’s the result of island fragmentation, indigenous heritage (the typical gofio from the Canary Islands), peninsular cuisine and Latin American influence (potatoes and corn).
Traditional Canarian dishes are important elements of cultural identity. In this article, we present you the most typical dishes you should try. Enjoy the local products and the essential dishes to get to know the traditional cuisine of the Canary Islands!
7 typical Canarian dishes that you must try
Sancocho is probably the most typical and well-known dish of Gran Canaria. In the other Canary Islands, there are some variations in the way it’s prepared.
The basis of sancocho is salted fish (usually wreckfish or sea bass). After a few days in salt, it’s ready for consumption after desalination in water.
The fish is then cooked with chopped potatoes and sweet potatoes, accompanied by parsley, coriander and an onion. Accompanied by a good red mojo sauce and pella de gofio, this is one of the most popular dishes in the Canary Islands.
2. Watercress stew
Watercress stew is probably the most important first dish in typical Canarian cuisine. Watercress is an aquatic plant of the cabbage family and is also very rich in vitamins and minerals.
To prepare it, white beans are first soaked for a day. Afterwards, they’re cooked. A mash is prepared with garlic, cumin, a little paprika, oil and salt. Then, it’s added to the water where the beans have been stewed, together with the chopped watercress, a piece of yam, two corncobs and a piece of salted meat (such as a pork rib). When the watercress is cooked, peeled and finely chopped potatoes and a little saffron are added. It’s also usually accompanied by gofio and Canarian cheese.
3. Potatoes with mojo
Potatoes with mojo are a must in a Canarian meal. There are almost 30 varieties of potatoes in the Canary Islands. We highlight the "papas bonitas", black potatoes or "papas coloradas", which are ideal for wrinkling.
To prepare them, they’re put in a cauldron and covered with water. Add a generous amount of coarse salt and cook them with the lid on (allowing the steam to escape). Once they’re soft, remove the water and put them back on the heat until the skin is dry and rough.
The sauce, the mojo, is made with red peppers, a small head of garlic, cumin, oil, vinegar, paprika and salt. For the green mojo, the red peppers are replaced by green peppers and a little parsley is added.
4. Rabbit in salmorejo
Rabbit in salmorejo is one of the tastiest meat dishes. The chopped rabbit is soaked in a marinade (salmorejo based on oil, garlic, paprika, hot pepper, cumin, thyme, salt and vinegar) for a whole day before preparation.
The pieces of rabbit are then fried in oil before the salmorejo is added until it’s fully cooked. It’s usually accompanied by papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes).
5. Ropa vieja canaria
Ropa vieja is a dish of chickpeas, beef and chicken. A broth is prepared. In addition, potatoes, green pepper, tomatoes, onion and garlic are included, as well as different seasonings (bay leaf, thyme, oregano, paprika, parsley, oil and salt).
6. Goat meat
Another popular dish among the Canarians. The meat requires a long cooking time (between 2 and 4 hours), with two bay leaves and thyme to give it more flavour. It’s recommended to remove the fat from the meat. Then, a kind of stew is prepared with goat meat and a stir-fry of garlic, onion, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, bay leaves, saffron, parsley and wine. It’s also accompanied by wrinkled potatoes.
7. Tollos in sauce
Tollos are strips of dogfish (or other small sharks) dried in the sun. They need to be soaked overnight. They’re boiled in water to soften them, drained and cooked in a sauce prepared with oil, vinegar, garlic, onions, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Likewise, they’re served with papas arrugadas.
Would you like to try some of the most delicious dishes of the Canary Islands?
So much for our article on the typical dishes of the Canary Islands. If you want to taste the dishes first hand, HD Hotels invites you to stay in one of our hotels. We’re present on all three islands:
Tenerife: HD Parque Cristobal Tenerife
Lanzarote: HD Beach Resorts & SPA