Although Canarian cuisine is derived from Spanish cuisine, it has typical elements that distinguish it from its origins. The main ingredients are potatoes, fish, bananas, legumes, cheese, sauces and spices.
The most excellent staple food is the gofio a mixture of flour from toasted wheat or corn that can be consumed both as a starter or as a dessert. Gofio escaldado is based on fish stock and can be served with fried garlic and onion. The gofio escaldon is semi-liquid, while pella de gofio is a kind of bread made from gofio, water, oil, salt and sugar. Pella dulce is a dessert with honey, almonds and figs.
The papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes), the side dish for excellence, are potatoes that are boiled and pan-fried with a lot of salt, so as to leave a crust on the peel. They are usually served with the mojo, a sauce made of garlic, olive oil, salt and vinegar. The mojo can be green, mojo verde, made with coriander or parsley or red, mojo rojo or mojo picón, made with chili peppers.
Fish is, indeed, widely used in Canarian cuisine. The most widely used fish is Vieja, which has soft and very tasty white flesh. Among the most popular fish dishes are sancocho (prepared with boiled grouper and accompanied by potatoes, gofio and mojo), pescado encebollado (an oven based fish), embarrado de atún (marinated fresh tuna), and burgaos (Atlantic crustaceans with an extraordinary flavour).
The dish conejo en salmorejo is one of the most common, and it is prepared with pieces of rabbit that are marinated and then fried. Other very popular and appreciated meat dishes are made with meat and vegetables, such as rancho canario or puchero, and dishes with goat (cabra) or suckling goat (cabrito). Chorizo is a cured sausage made from pork and peppers. The most typical desserts are bienmesable (a cream made with honey and almond), flan (caramel pudding), and miel de palma (palm molasses).
The local fruit is that one typical of the Tropics: bananas, papayas, melons, mangoes, avocados and pineapples.
Cocina de Autor
One of the trends that has seen the greatest growth over the last few years has been the diversification of traditional cuisine. This has given rise to the new and more creative Cocina de Autor, which conserves the use of traditional products, while innovates through the introduction of new and exotic ingredients, many of which come from overseas. While this mixing of flavours contributes originality to the recipes, there is also emphasis on the presentation of the dishes, which have become artistic creations of expert chefs.