If you are reading these lines it is because you are interested in finding out more about typical Canarian food. We can affirm that practically in all the islands we have similar typical dishes, although each island can give it a different touch. At the same time, there are certain products that are exclusive of each island or municipality, such as the famous and award-winning Canarian cheeses. In any case, we are going to tell you everything below, with special details about the gastronomy of Gran Canaria.
Typical Canarian food
Wrinkled potatoes or papas con mojo
Within the Canarian cuisine the best known are its wrinkled potatoes with mojo that we show you in the previous photo. The mojo sauce can be red, with red pepper as the main ingredient. There is also green, with coriander as the protagonist. The mojos always accompany wrinkled or stewed potatoes. Likewise, they are usually served in restaurants with bread as an appetizer and to accompany fish (especially green mojo).
Another typical Canarian dish is the gofio, which are ground cereals. We eat it in the Canary Islands either escaldado (scalded), that is with meat or fish broth. Also in pella or mashed (with water and oil), although you can add honey, nuts, cheese, etc. Moreover, you can eat this cereal is sprinkled with the vegetable soups or with milk for breakfast. You can also have a delicious gofio mousse for dessert. Below we show you a photo of how it is usually served in Gran Canaria. In other islands they put bits of cheese, pepper, meat, etc.
Fruit and vegetables from the Canary Islands
Canarian bananas and much more
On the other hand, in the Canary Islands the fruit is usually abundant and tasty thanks to the subtropical climate. The most recognized fruit of the islands is the Canary banana. It is very likely that wherever you go through Gran Canaria you will meet banana trees. However, papaya is also cultivated in many areas. At the same time, it highlights the mango and avocado from Mogán, the strawberries from Valsequillo, the apples from Valleseco, the almonds from Tejeda, the apricots from Tunte and Fataga, the oranges from Telde, the olives from Agüimes and Santa Lucía de Tirajana, the coffee from Agaete and the prickly pear in the drier areas. The Firgas potatoes, the Gáldar onions and the tomatoes from La Aldea de San Nicolás cannot be missing either. All grown in the Canary Islands!
We can’t avoid writing about the internationally awarded Canarian cheeses. Testing them is mandatory, trust us. In Gran Canaria, cheeses are produced in most municipalities: Guía, Moya, Gáldar, Valsequillo, San Mateo … cured and semi-cured cheese, goat cheese, goat’s milk with sheep and goat, cow and sheep (mix). Also highlight the soft cheese or white cheese and even the flower cheese (with vegetable rennet). If you are a cheese lover, it is a must to order an assortment of Canarian cheeses in any restaurant. Make sure before they are from Gran Canaria or the Canary Islands.
Also, being an island, fish and seafood cannot be missing. For example, the octopus, the squid, the pink dentex, the red porgy, the famous ‘vieja’ … The vieja is a parrot fish with a peculiar flavor very common in the waters of the islands. The white grouper is also very common, although it comes from the neighboring waters of West Africa. On the other hand, a fairly typical but scarce dish is grilled limpets.
Regarding meats, we cannot forget the pork ribs with corn, goat meat, pig meat, rabbit, etc. In the Canary Islands there is an exclusive variety of pork: the black pig. A place where you can try various dishes with black pig is in La Vaquería Las Salinas, in the town of Arinaga.
Other dishes or products of animal origin are the Chorizo de Teror, which is a kind of Canarian sobrassada (Majorcan sausage). Here we usually eat it in sandwiches, although restaurants introduce it more and more in their dishes. For example, huevos rotos (broken eggs) with Chorizo de Teror.
Finally, regarding meats, you should try the roasted pork leg, either in a sandwich with cheese or as a starter with its crackling.
Soups and stews
One of the most common Canarian foods is the stew. There are many types, but perhaps the most typical is the watercress stew with corn, vegetables and beans. Add some gofio or accompany it with a good Canarian cheese!
Other typical Canarian food are the ropa vieja, the puchero and the chick peas. The ropa vieja is the dish that we show you below made mainly with potatoes, chickpeas and meat or octopus. The puchero (a kind of stew) is more difficult to get in restaurants, rather we cook it at home. What a pity!
If you have a sweet tooth, you will be interested in this part. One of the desserts that has become famous in Gran Canaria is the polvito uruguayo. Normally it has dulce de leche, biscuit, cream and above meringue of Moya, a delight.
You should also try the gofio mousse and all the local fruit that we mentioned before. As for coffee, if you want a coffee with condensed milk, in the Canary Islands we call it “leche y leche“.
Finally, you should know that exclusive wines are also grown in Gran Canaria. The most cultivated black grape variety is Listán Negro, practically exclusive to the Canary Islands. Sometimes cultivated even on volcanic gravel as is the case of the entire Bandama area. On the other hand, we have the Agala wine, cultivated at 1212 meters of altitude in the municipality of Tejeda. Regarding white wine, we also enjoy good wines such as the award-winning one from the winery Bodega de Los Berrazales in Agaete. You can’t miss the wines of the Canary Islands!
Enjoy typical Canarian food with our restaurant guide
Finally, if you want to know all the places where you can try the best Canarian food in Gran Canaria, as well as different restaurants of other types of cuisine that the locals frequent, you will love our Restaurants Guide. It is divided by type of cuisine and by area of the island, so that depending on what you want to eat, you can choose or plan your route. Likewise, you should know that many restaurants that we mention in our guide also worry about sourcing of local raw materials. That is, although they do not cook typical Canarian dishes, they do introduce the local genre into their dishes.
The Canarian food is to lick your fingers and we do not want you to miss it!