What are the best food experiences on the Canary Islands?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Cristina Slattery

Don’t leave the Canary Islands without having indulged our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the best and most authentic culinary experiences on the islands:

1. Fish. Freshly caught and grilled tuna and bonito fish are commonly served on the Canary Islands with a flavorful sauce made from red peppers and garlic. It’s served at restaurants throughout the islands, but if you’re feeling adventurous you can also rent a charter boat and hit the Atlantic with a guide to try and catch your meal yourself.

2. Papas arrugadas. Papas arrugadas, or “wrinkled potatoes,” are a Canary Islands specialty made with any of the more than 20 varieties of potatoes cultivated on the islands. It’s made by cooking the potatoes in heavily salted water and served with a red- or green-colored sauce made from peppers.

3. Farmers’ markets. The many farmers’ markets on the Canary Islands are a great place to pick up the islands’ delectable dates, figs, olives and fresh milk from goats and sheep. The Sunday market in the town of Mancha Blanca, on the island of Lanzarote, is a favorite, and while you’re there you’ll also get to experience an additional slice of local culture as the islanders flood into and out of the large church in the center of the village.

4. Cheese. Cheese is a real treat here, with each of the seven Canarian islands having at least one specific variety of cheese favored by the locals. There are 1,500 cheese shops throughout the islands, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that the residents of this island archipelago consume more cheese than in any other part of Spain. One cheese worth mentioning is called Flor de Guía, which is produced in Santa María de Guia on Gran Canaria. Presented in pie-like entities that can weigh up to about 12 pounds, Flor de Guía is made from milk curdled with a juice from a specific species of cardoon and globe artichoke.

5. Puchero canario. Finally, puchero canario, a highly palatable stew that includes chickpeas and usually meat, is one of the most popular meals in the islands. Recipes vary, but in addition to chickpeas and meats, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, cabbage and chorizo are also usually part of the mix. Have it with a glass or two of light, locally produced white wine.

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