Potatoes and Yams
These two products arrived at the Canary Islands from the American Continent, shortly after its Conquest, and have become an essential part of Canary Cuisine.
Potatoes, in any of their varieties, are present in practically all the dishes of our gastronomy, either as an ingredient or as a complement. One of the most tasty and famous dishes of the Canary cuisine is precisely prepared with potatoes, and is called “papas arrugadas” (small potatoes boiled in their jackets).
In Gran Canaria lots of varieties are grown, among which there are “Quinegua” (King Edward), one of the most consumed, “Cara” (White care), “Rambana” (Arran Baner) and “Artudate” (Up to day).
The yam (sweet potato) has a pleasant sweet taste that makes it a very appropriate ingredient for making pastries, as well as soups and other dishes like the popular Sancocho.
Vegetables are farmed in Gran Canaria mainly for local consumption, and their quality is widely regarded as exquisite. They are used to make the most delicious soups like the watercress -the most popular local soup- Swiss chard, hedge mustard and colinos (small cabbage) soups that are cooked together with potatoes and corncobs.
Also, these raw ingredients are the basis for original salads like the watercress salad. Other crops are courgettes, marrows and green beans (French beans) that complement main courses or make up many traditional dishes such as Canary Casserole.
The tomato is one of the most extensive crops in Gran Canaria, where it has been farmed for more than a century, being one the main products for export and highly appreciated for its nutritional properties.
With an average size that ranges from four to five centimetres, it is very sweet and juicy, and is considered to be one of the best quality tomato types.
Canary cuisine is characterized for using aromatic herbs and spices both in dishes and in sauces, marinades and mojos. They contribute not only by adding taste and aroma, but also many of them are healthy too. Among the most popular ones to be used are cumin, bay leaf, paprika, saffron, oregano, parsley, mint, aniseed and fennel.
Our good climate has led to widespread farming of all kinds of tropical fruits, so that we can enjoy exquisite mangoes, papayas, avocado pears, guavas, etc…
Undoubtedly the most extensive crop on our islands, and especially in Gran Canaria, is the banana, one of the main ingredients of our cuisine. The Canary Banana, of a golden colour with small brown dots on its skin, apart from being consumed simply as fruit, it is also used in numerous recipes: fried banana, banana with gofio, coated banana…
The meats most used in our cuisine are rabbit, goat and pork. They are used for preparing several traditional recipes of different casseroles and marinades that give them a very special taste. Any of these meat dishes can be accompanied by papas arrugadas (small potatoes boiled in their jackets) or sancochadas (boiled potatoes) and good wine from El Monte Lentiscal.
Of course, being an island, Gran Canaria has deep ties to the sea and therefore a great variety of fresh fish can be found in all local markets, such as the pink and common dentexs, cherne, or sea bass, (polyprion americanus), grouper or tuna. A stand out fish among these is the “sea bream”. It is an authoctonous Canary fish with an exquisite taste and texture.
On our island there are a lot of traditional dishes prepared with fish, like the “Canary Casserole”, “Tollos”(salted and dried dogfish), “Fish and Onions”, “Marinated Fresh Tuna”, “Chopped Seafood with Onion, Tomato and Peppers”, etc. Most of these dishes combine perfectly with green and red mojos, as well as with gofio.
On the cliffs and shores of our Island there are numerous types of seafood that are used in exquisite local dishes, among which lots of authoctonous species stand out. One of the highlights is the “burgaos” (a local species of crustaceans with black shell) and several varieties of crabs, and octopuses. A final special mention must go to the “Canary lobster”, a delicacy that is highly appreciated for its taste.
Would you like to book a day out to the farmers’ markets in the island’s interior?
Trips Gran Canaria offers you days out at the open air markets in Teror and San Mateo.
There is an island full of flavours being cooked up in Gran Canaria.
Click to discover what each area holds in store...
Agaete - Agüimes - Artenara - Arucas - Firgas - Gáldar - Ingenio - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria - Mogán - Moya - San Bartolomé de Tirajana - La Aldea de San Nicolás - Santa Brígida - Santa Lucía - Santa María de Guía - Vega de San Mateo - Tejeda - Telde - Teror - Valleseco - Valsequillo de Gran Canaria