The gastronomy of the first settlers (“aborigines”) on the Canary Islands has changed through time with the successive cultural encounters in the archipelago. Our cuisine today combines European (mainly Spanish and Portuguese) flavours with Latin American and African influences and has its own unique identity.
The mild temperate climate of the Islands endows the local cuisine with abundant fresh and healthy produce from both land and sea and the warm temperatures are reflected in the flavours of the succulent and well-seasoned dishes.
Highlights of our Canary Islands food and wine include our cheeses and wines with Protected Denomination of Origin.
You can try our traditional cuisine at recommended establishments.
Vegetable stews are basic appetizers, with cress stew being the best known, although "squash" and "maize" stew is just as tasty. Thick soups include "puchero" and "rancho".
Traditional on all the islands is the tasty "caldo de papas", an aromatic potato soup with coriander. Legume dishes include the very popular "ropa vieja", a dish of chickpeas and meat known as garbanzas compuestas and lentils.
Papas are an essential part of Canary Islands cuisine. "Papas arrugadas" (literally, wrinkled potatoes) are eaten with their skin, with typical island sauces known as "mojos".
It is common to eat corn on the cob with stews and meat dishes and corn flour is used to make gofio. "Gofio escaldado" is made with fish stock. "Pella de gofio", however, is thicker and can be sweet.
The waters around the Canary Islands are a good pantry for fresh fish and there are a large number of local species. The most common include parrot fish, bass, bream, tuna or different species of snapper.
As appetisers, the most common seafood served in the Canary Islands includes molluscs, sea snails, octopus, together with sardines, which are consumed both fried and dry.
There are numerous recipes in the Canary Island, from cured meat to traditional stews, all with a characteristic strong flavour.
Pork, goat and baby goat, are typical ingredients together with other meat such as rabbit, chicken or veal.
For dessert, we can choose from traditional sweet recipes based on almonds, honey (bees or palm), gofio, milk, eggs, cheese or figs or recent desserts created since the introduction of tropical fruit crops.
Canary Island bananas are sweet and aromatic; other crops include tropical fruit such as mangos, pineapples, guavas, etc
The addition of aromatic herbs and spices to recipes is one of the characteristics of Canarian gastronomy. The most commonly used herbs and spices include cumin, thyme, mint, anise, bay leaf, paprika, saffron, coriander, oregano, parsley and fennel.