Although the Canary Islands are technically owned by Spain, Canarian food and Spanish food have very little in common. Thanks to the unique location off the northwestern coast of Africa, the Canaries acted as a hub between Europe and America for centuries and their cuisine clearly reflects that. From spicy sauces the colour of traffic lights and melt-in-the-mouth meat to some of the most amazing wine you’ll ever taste and coffees with more than a caffeine kick. Here are 6 must-try Canarian food from the Canary Islands.
Top 6 Must-try Canarian Food
This hugely popular side dish literally translates into “wrinkled potatoes” and tastes a lot better than it sounds. The almost bite-sized potatoes are grey in colour and covered in a thin, sparkling layer of salt which gives the skin its wrinkled appearance. But as soon as you take a bite, the salty skin gives way to a yellow, fluffy, sweet interior that will make you happy you didn’t order chips.
Often served with pretty much every dish in the must-try Canarian food, mojo is a type of spicy sauce that comes in 2 varieties. Mojo verde, a cool and refreshing sauce made from green peppers and coriander; and mojo rojo, a spicy sauce made from red peppers and chillies that can be anywhere from pleasantly heat-packing to blow-your-head-off hot. I’m not exaggerating when I say these sauces go with everything!
Carne de Cabra
Not much natural vegetation grows on the volcanic Canaries, so farmers don’t keep animals like cows and sheep that need a lot of grazing space. Instead, they raise livestock that needs minimal care and green food – goats. When cooked properly, goat meat is extremely flavorfu.l And it has such a soft and delicate texture that it falls off the bone. In the Canaries, you’ll usually find it served in a stew of onions, peppers, wine, herbs and spices.
Must-try Canarian Drinks
Vino Blanco Afrutado
The tipple that can easily convert even the biggest lager lover into a oenophile, vino blanco afrutado is a white wine with a wonderful sweet and fruity flavour. Somewhere between a medium wine and a dessert wine, vino blanco afrutado is becoming so popular amongst locals throughout the Canaries that you can pick up a glass of it at almost any Canarian bar for just a couple of euros.
Vino del Plátano
Thought wine was only made from grapes? Think again! Bananas are one of the biggest exports in the Canaries. And when locals aren’t shipping them halfway around the world, they’re using them to make wine. Even sweeter and fruitier than vino blanco afrutado, vino del plátano is bright yellow in colour. And it has a deep, bold flavour with a wonderful hint of banana.
Starbucks hasn’t got anything on the Canary Islands’ coffee culture! As delicious as it is beautiful, a barraquito is a multi-layered coffee filled with all the good things in the world. It’s served in a small cylindrical glass so you can admire it in all its glory. First is condensed milk, followed by a generous pour of Liquor 43, an amazing spirit made of 43 different ingredients.Then it’s a shot of espresso, topped with a spoonful of foamy milk and a sprinkling of cinnamon.