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Canary Islands: Gastronomy

Canary Islands' cuisine combines traditional Spanish recipes with african and latin-american influences. We find here an incredible variety of recipes, not at least for the great offer of nature, with excellent fish, fruits and vegetables.

A very simple and well-known recipe is Papas Arrugadas, potatoes boilt in salt-water without peeling them and served with Mojo picon, a hot sauce of oil, garlic, chili-peppers and paprika. Each chef de cuisine keeps in secret jalously the detailed recipe of his Mojo. Those sauces are indispensable components of many other typical dishes as well, for instance of the famous Mojo Cochino, a ragout of pork.

One of the most traditional and also one of the oldest recipes of Canarian food is gofio. It was invented by the Guanches, the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands, as the main staple of their diet. It is a stoneground flour made from roasted cereals: wheat, barley, maiz, ... Gofio is used by Canarians in many recipes: it can be added to soups, stews, desserts, sauces, and even ice cream. It is, to give an example, typically served with Morcillas Dulces, sweet blood sausages which are made of pork blood, sugar, almonds and raisins.

If you like fish, you will feel in paradise on those islands. Among the most typical regional recipes are Caldereta and Sancocho Canario, salted fish in a Mojo sauce. You will find a wide variety of international recipes of fish and sea-food, too.

Among vegetarian dishes Potaje de Berros, a hot-pot of chick-peas, is perhaps the best known. Several of the islands have a typical cheese-speciality of their own, best known are the smoked cheese of La Palma and Flor de Guía in Gran Canaria.

Exotic fruits are the base of several excellent desserts and sweets. Platanos Fritos, fried bananas, are in great demand.

Among the islands' wines you should try the Malvasía from Lanzarote and the red-wines of El Hierro, La Palma and Taraconte in Tenerife. Another of the islands' alcoholic specialities is Honey-Rum.

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