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Recipe: Vanilla Scallops with Cava Sauce

Valentine's recipe: Vanilla scallops with cava sauce

Valentine's recipe: Vanilla scallops with cava sauce

Are you looking for a simple yet delicious and impressive recipe for any special occasion? If the answer is yes, stop looking, we have you covered!

These vanilla scallops with cava sauce are so flavourful and easy to make they might as well become your go-to dish for Valentine’s and Christmas day alike 😊

Vanilla Scallops with Cava Sauce recipe

Preparation time: 5 min – Cooking time: 10 min

Ingredients for 2 servings (as a main dish)

– 10 large, cleaned scallops, around 350g-400g in total
– 5 vanilla pods
– 75 g of butter
– 1 tspn of olive oil
– 2 glasses of cava or champagne

Directions:

1. Cut the vanilla pods in half, and reserve.

2. Pierce each scallop all the way through with a piece of vanilla pod.

3. Melt 25 grams of butter and a little olive oil in a non-stick pan. Once butter is melted, turn the heat down to low and start cooking the scallops, do not hesitate to pour some of the melted butter on top of the scallops.

4. Once the scallops are done (2-3 minutes on each side), remove them from the pan. Raise the heat and deglaze* with the Cava. Once all the alcohol is evaporated, turn off the heat and add the rest of butter to the sauce.

5. Serve your scallops with the sauce, any vegetable side dish will match perfectly with it.

* Deglazing is a cookery technique that involves adding liquid to the tasty residue in a pan and stirring to create a rich sauce or gravy.

Did you like this vanilla scallops with cava sauce recipe ? If so, share it with your friends!

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9 reasons why you should participate in Wine & Run Lanzarote

Wine & Run Lanzarote

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Wine & Run Lanzarote

Wine & Run is a race taking place every year in June in the vineyards of La Geria in Lanzarote. The finish line is in Uga where a wine & traditional food festival is held.

This year, Lanzarote’s Wine & Run festival will take place on June 16th and 17th 2018.

So, why should you participate in Wine & Run?

1. If you’re going to run, better do it in an amazing landscape.

La Geria is a protected area. Men, with the help of camels, dug one by one the holes protecting each vine plant. As a result, we have a unique landscape where green vines contrast with the black lava covered land their grow in.

But remember: with great power comes great responsibility! It’s a protected area, so it’s important to watch your steps to avoid harming local eco-system 🙏

2. You’ll help protect La Geria

Part of your inscription fees will be used to finance “Save la Geria”, a project that help maintain parts of La Geria lands when their owners are not able to do it themselves. But it’s not all! Grevislan, the organisation Cook in Lanzarote works with for cleaning and garden maintenance, is the one in charge of doing it. It’s a company dedicated to train and give work to people with disabilities which is 100% owned by the association of disabled people of Lanzarote.

3. After the effort, you’ll be rewarded with the best food on the island.

After the arrival line in the centre of Uga, you’ll find a food festival with local restaurants, cheeseries etc. offering you 1€ and 2€ tapas of their best specialities.

And, of course, you’ll also find us and be able to try Canarian traditional dishes by Chef Antonio 😋

This year, we’ll be making garbanza (traditional chickpea stew), paella rice and Spanish croquettes.

4. After the effort, you’ll be rewarded with the best wine on the island.

Wine & Run, its title says it all! Every bodega on the island is in Uga on the day of the Wine & Run festival. It’s the perfect occasion to try all of Lanzarote wines in one place!

5. Great way to visit La Geria off tourist tracks.

Visitors usually discover la Geria by taking the main road and stopping in the bodegas to try their wine. Yet, during the Wine & Run, participants get a different point of view from the middle of the vineyards. Trust me, this is priceless!

6. Whatever your physical shape, there is an option for you.

You can run as fast as you can in the long trail (23 km) or the short one (12 km) but you can also participate walking the short trail.

7. Shoot a great picture and win a photography contest

Obviously, if you’re running you won’t be able to be taking pictures but if you go for the walk, you can also bring your camera and enter the photography contest with your best shot.

8. The perfect occasion to discover Uga

Uga is a charming little village at the end of La Geria. It’s definitely worth a visit, and not only to take a cooking class with us 😉

9. Have fun at a music concert

On both days, there will be musical actuation of local bands. A bit of music and dancing is always a plus, right?

Are you convinced yet? Click here to register.

See you at Wine & Run then 🙂

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Food: 5 Dishes You Have to Eat in Lanzarote

Lanzarote's famous potatoes with green and red sauces

Food lovers will find a lot more than 5 mouth-watering dishes in Lanzarote’s traditional gastronomy. Of course.

And we’ll talk to you about all the other ones right here, on this blog.

You’ll have to be patient, though, we’re just starting.

This article is for food amateurs coming for a few days to Lanzarote and want to have a sample of the local classics. Every food on this list is typically Canarian. It’s a totally subjective selection. Like all the contents of this blog by the way.

Here comes your check-list :

    • Canarian Potatoes with Red and Green Mojo

Papas Arrugadas con Mojo in the local menus

Lanzarote's food - potatoes with green and red sauces

You can’t possibly miss these during your stay in Lanzarote. If the place you’re going to serves food, you can be sure they serve “Papas arrugadas con mojo“. Literally, wrinkled potatoes with mojo.

Mojo is the sauce. I won’t translate it because – 1. it doesn’t have a translation – 2. I love its Austin Powers’ touch.

These “wrinkled” potatoes are small local potatoes cooked in a very salty water and, once cooked, dried out until their skin wrinkles. Now, you get it.

Although you’ll most probably try the Mojo Picon (spicy red mojo) and the Mojo Verde (green mojo made with parsley, coriander or a mix of both), there are plenty more. From almonds mojo to cheese mojo, don’t be afraid to get adventurous.

We like to eat them at: Hespérides Restaurant in Teguise. They use a local ancient variety called Papa Bonita de Lanzarote, a true delish. Papas con mojo are a great classic here so you’ll be able to find good ones with homemade mojo sauce in every restaurant mentioned in this post. Click here to see them all on a map.

    • Limpets

Lanzarote's food - Lapas with mojo verde
Lapas with green mojo

Lapas in the local menus

Did you know limpets always come back to the same rock – on the exact same spot – during high tide ? Indeed, their shell is shaped to fit the rock on that spot so they can stick in there until low tide.

Mother Nature rocks. Lanzarote is a standing proof.

In local restaurants, lapas are usually served grilled with green mojo. Yes, the same than the one served with the papas. We can’t get enough of it.

The most common varieties are the black and white limpets. You’ll probably be served a mix of both. Drop us a comment to tell us which ones you like more.

We like to eat limpets at: La Piscina in Punta Mujeres. It’s a bar with a few tables on the sidewalk next to the natural pools of Punta Mujeres. Don’t go there expecting a high level restaurant, it’s not. It’s a cheap place working fresh local products in a simple way. Definitely worth a visit if you’re ready to eat on a bar table without tablecloth.
We also like to eat them at Casa Rafa (Restaurante del Mar) in El Golfo and at El Risco in Famara.

 

    • Gofio

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Canarian Gofio is a toasted flour. It’s been the basis of the Canarian diet for a long time. Traditionally, Canarian babies were fed with gofio flavoured milk. And men had it for breakfast, mixed with a raw egg and a bit – or more – of  wine. Getting ready for the countryside work.

Canarian toast different types of flour. However, gofio de millo (toasted corn flour) is the most widely used kind. You’ll even get to choose if you want it slightly or more toasted. But you’ll find wheat and rye flour gofio as well.

It has a peculiar taste. If you like discovering new flavours, definitely go for gofio.

It is widely used to make desserts or drink with milk for breakfast. If you’re more into savoury food, don’t miss the mojo de gofio and gofio escaldado.

We like to eat gofio at: El Risco in Famara. This is one of the best restaurants in the island in our opinion. It’s located right on Famara beach and they have an amazing chef, Juan Perdomo, working only with local products. If you want to try all of the dishes in this list in one place, this is the one. This top level restaurant has a wall designed by Cesar Manrique himself, a must visit for foodies and art lovers in Lanzarote.

 

    • Grilled Octopus

      Pulpo de Lanzarote - Grilled Octopus
      Grilled Octopus

Pulpo a la Plancha in the local menus

This is my personal favourite. Here, you’ll find it everywhere. Tapas bars, cheap and not-so-cheap restaurants; they all serve it. Because fishermen from Lanzarote get octopus all year round.

Spanish Chefs “scare” the octopus. Asustar el pulpo – which means they throw the – poor – octopus in and out of boiling water twice, wait for it to boil again and finish the dirty job. This allows the skin to stick to the octopus meat.

Freshly cooked pulpo is grilled. As I’m writing this my taste buds are dancing in tribute to the last octopus that fell into my plate – the one you’re seeing on the right – it was something.

It’s a real experience: a tasty grilled taste and crispy tentacles ends. If you’re going to eat octopus only once in your life, this has to be it.

Pulpo a la plancha is served… guess what… with papas and mojo.

Don’t worry, you’ll get hooked like we did.

We like to eat octopus at: La Puntilla in el Charco de San Ginés. José Rodriguez, the Chef, is probably the most respected by his peers in Lanzarote. He works local fishes divinely, gourmets will enjoy every bit of his menu.
We also like to eat octopus at Casa Rafa, La Piscina, el Risco and Esencia restaurant.

 

    • Goatling and/or Goat meat (Yes. It is food.)

Cabrito and Cabra in the local menus
(I know, doesn’t sound THAT appealing… Keep reading.)

Goat casserole dish

I was very reluctant to eat goat. Always heard we didn’t eat it because its meat was chewy with a very strong taste. Not appealing at all.

I mean, have you ever been mouth-watering thinking how good a piece of goat would be? No, this happens with bizarre exotic fruits, weird fresh fishes, new spices discovered while travelling abroad… Definitely not with the goat, right?

In the end, I was wrong. Turns out people in Lanzarote have been cooking goat for generations and they nail it. Most of the time. If you order it in a place that does it well, it can be tender and doesn’t taste strong at all. It was totally worth the try.

That said, if not prepared well, I have to admit it tastes pretty wild.

I guess you need to be a bit of an adventurous foodie to go for that one. Who’s up for the challenge ?

We like to eat goat at: Esencia in Nazaret. David Pérez is a talented Chef from the Basque Country who makes a creative cuisine with Lanzarote’s local products. We love his goat dumplings, a nice way to try goat meat for the first time. We also love Chef Dailos Perdomo goat tacos at Hespérides Restaurant in Teguise which got him the first prize at a Canarian tapas contest in 2016. I’m sure both these dishes will make you fall for goat meat! And if you want to try it the traditional way, head to our neighbouring restaurant Casa Gregorio in Uga.

 

    • Local fish a la plancha

(Ok, that makes 6. I’m making up for the ones who wouldn’t consider for a second going the goatling way.)

We’re on an island. Obviously, there are plenty of great fishes to try here. From sardines to tuna fish (a few months a year) not to mention local hake. Many places will grill the whole fish and serve it with Canarian potatoes. If you want to try new flavours, we recommend the wreckfish (cherne), the Red Sea Bream (sama), the Blue Butterfish (Pampano) or the Barracuda, depending of the season.

We like to eat local fish a la plancha at: Casa Rafa (Restaurante del Mar) in El Golfo. We mentioned it earlier in this article, it’s, in our opinion, the best place to eat grilled local fish in Lanzarote. Portions are quite big, so if you’re planning on trying limpets and octopus as starters, you should ask the waiter to advise you on the quantity of grilled fish you’re going to need as a main dish. Let’s say if you’re 4 people, after the starters, you might only need grilled fish for 2 or 3.

 

To find all these restaurants on Google Maps, click here.

And if you want to learn how to cook Lanzarote’s local products, join us on a cookery course!

5 Foods You Have To Try in Lanzarote - Lapas

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How to order like locals in Spanish restaurants

Spanish Food

Spanish Food

¿Para comer ?  (will you be eating ? ) is the first thing most Spanish waiters ask people entering their restaurant.

Sounds like a silly question right ?

Of course, you want to eat. What else would you do in a restaurant ?

See, Spanish culture involves a lot of going out to eat and drink with friends.

It’s not unusual to have before-meal beers and tapas in a place and then go to another restaurant to share a real meal.

In that case, the waiter who welcomes you is trying to figure out if you will stand at the bar for drinks and tapas or if you’re willing to seat at a table and order a whole meal.

In many ways, restaurants codes are a bit different in Spain. Let’s detail some of the local habits.

 

1. Sharing is the key in popular Spanish restaurants

[clickToTweet tweet=”Spanish people like to share dishes at restaurants like they do at home. #foodtravel via @cookinlz” quote=”Spanish people like to share dishes at restaurants like they do at home.”]

Unless they’re eating in a Chef’s restaurant, the Spanish tend to share plates, as they would do at home.

They can share everything or decide to share the appetisers and then order a main dish for each one.

Of course, you can order your own dish and have it all by yourself too.

When placing your order, just inform the waiter you’ll be sharing (para compartir = to share) and he’ll bring you individual clean plates with your dishes.

 

2. Adjust dish size

[clickToTweet tweet=”In many Spanish restaurants, dishes come in 3 sizes: Tapa, half portion and whole portion #foodtravel via @cookinlz” quote=”In many Spanish restaurants, dishes come in 3 sizes: Tapa, half portion and whole portion”]

In traditional Spanish restaurants, you can see one dish with 3 different prices on the menu. They come in different sizes.

Tapa is the smallest serving size. Appetiser size. Perfect if you want to try a lot of different dishes or if you’re just looking for a snack to have with a drink.

Then media ración (half portion) would be starter size and ración (portion) would be main dish size.

If you are afraid to be short or order too much, feel free to ask for advice. Waiters are usually honest about it and will tell you if they think you’re ordering too much.

Be aware that in that kind of restaurants dishes are meant to be shared so they don’t always come with a side.

This means if you order a  whole ración of fried calamari for yourself, you’ll be eating A LOT of fried calamari. And nothing else.

It’s ok if you LOVE fried calamari.

Unless specified, consider food comes with no side.

In case you’re sharing, the waiter will bring you individual plates with the food. And if you’re eating a lot of different foods, he’ll likely bring you clean plates at one point in the middle of your meal. Don’t hesitate to ask (politely) for a plate change if needed.

 

3. Dealing with menus

 

[clickToTweet tweet=”Menú del día is a tradition in Spain – Cheap lunch, incl. in some Chef’s restaurants via @cookinlz” quote=”Menú del día is a tradition in Spain – Cheap lunch including in some Chef’s restaurants”]

It’s not as frequent in the Canary Islands but in peninsular Spain, there is a strong tradition of menú del día (=menu of the day). Many Spanish restaurants offer a menu for lunch including starter, main, dessert, bread and drink (including table wine) for between 8€ and 15€ per person.

Menus you don’t have to share. They’re designed for one.

In higher level restaurants, you’ll find menú degustación (=gastronomic menu) with or without maridaje (=pairing wines).

When you’re eating at a Chef’s restaurant, international codes apply.

 

4. You may be charged for the bread

[clickToTweet tweet=”Some Spanish restaurants charge for bread #foodtravel via @cookinlz” quote=”Some Spanish restaurants charge for bread”]

It’s not a majority, but you might encounter one or two during your trip in Spain and its islands. In this case, bread price should appear on the menu.
If the server asks you if you want bread – good chance they’re going to charge you for it.

But sometimes, the server puts it on the table and, unless you clearly specify you don’t want the bread, you get charged for it.

The law allows it. Basically, you just need to check out if bread price appears on the menu. If it doesn’t, it means it’s free.

Remember if you have a bad experience, you have the right to ask for an hoja de reclamación (= complaint form).

 

5. Be aware of the eating schedule

[clickToTweet tweet=”Did you know Spaniards tend to eat much later than most Europeans? via @cookinlz #foodtravel” quote=”Spaniards tend to eat later than most Europeans.”]

Restaurants are filled with locals between 2pm and 4pm for lunch and between 9pm and 11pm for dinner.

In big cities and very touristic places of Spain, you don’t need to adapt your eating schedule because restaurants will serve all day to have everyone covered.

But in smaller towns, you can have trouble getting a place to serve you lunch before 1pm and dinner before 8pm.

Quick guide to local habits

6. Tipping or not tipping

[clickToTweet tweet=”Service is included in Spanish restaurants. Tip only if you were happy with it. via @cookinlz #foodtravel” quote=”Service is included in Spanish restaurants. Tip only if you were happy with it”]

Service is included in Spanish restaurants. This means you leave a tip as a thank you to the server for attending you nicely.

We’re talking about a few euros. My feeling is that if you are leaving something, it can’t be less than one euro.

Tip what you feel is right, and you’ll be fine.

7. What’s with the end-of-meal chupito?

[clickToTweet tweet=”The end-of-meal chupito is always on-the-house at Spanish restaurants #foodtravel via @cookinlz” quote=”The end-of-meal chupito is always on-the-house at Spanish restaurants”]

It’s a classic in Lanzarote and the rest of the Canary Islands.

The famous Spanish chupito. While the rule with the bread may be a little unclear, end-of-meal chupitos are always on-the-house.

You’re even allowed to repeat. That’s why the bottle stayed on the table.

Cheers.

 

 

Are there other things that surprised you while eating at Spanish restaurants ? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

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5 things you should know about the Chinese fishing nets in Kochi, Kerala (India)

Chinese Fishing Nets in Cochin, Kerala, India

Chinese Fishing Nets

We had a lot of expectations for the Chinese fishing nets and Fort Cochin as a foodie destination and were totally disappointed.

The place is a very touristic spot where we rapidly felt like walking wallets.

And the fish we were so eager to eat is swimming in a filthy water between what looks like an open air litter and a refinery.

Too much for the food and nature lovers we are.

1. Chinese fishing nets : Ingenious shore operated lift nets system probably brought by Chinese explorers centuries ago

The visit to these shore operated lift nets was very promising, though. counterweights on Chinese fishing nets, Kochi

Reading about them on Wikipedia, we thought it would be one of the highlights of our trip to Kerala (India).

It’s an ingenious fishing technique that allows one single fisherman to operate a 20-metres-wide fishing net by himself. The different net structures are at least 10 metres high and each one gets its net to a different level of deep to allow fishing different kinds of fishes.

The system is a balance. On one side a wide open fishing net and on the other, big stones are hanging as counterweights. In order for the Chinese fishing net to sink into the water, the fisherman only needs to walk through the structure. His weight is enough to get the net submerged

In order for the Chinese fishing net to sink into the water, the fisherman only needs to walk through the structure. His weight is enough to get the net submerged

 

2. You can buy fresh fish and have someone cook it for you

 

Imagine a place where you can witness how fishes get caught, then choose one and have it cooked by one of the restaurants nearby.

Sounds amazing, right?

The fishermen get fishes in their nets and directly send them to the vendors on the sea walk. We saw fishes that looked like baby soles still moving on the fish stand.

But that’s where the magic ended.

All the acceptable-sized fishes were lacking both ice and freshness.

We understood why when we came closer to the Chinese fishing nets and saw what they were actually catching there.

 

3. Travel guides don’t tell you it’s a gigantic litter with a refinery on the background

Litter on the Chinese fishing nets area, Kochi

Water is full of litter.

The beach is full of litter. Crows are flying around trying to get whatever “food” they can.

On the other side, a huge refinery. Yes. That’s why all the pictures look the same. You only have one angle.

The only thing these nets catch these days are tiny fishes and litter. No wonder.

You can imagine our deception. All that delicious fresh fish we were going to eat: forgotten.

We’ve been eating a lot of weird things. Not always on remarkably hygienic conditions. But this was way too much for us.

We ended up pretexting we were vegetarian to the insistent fish vendors.

 

4. A highly touristic spot where you’re confronted with all kinds of tourist traps

If you’re following us on Instagram, you know we’ve spent the first two weeks of our trip to India in Pune living and working with locals.

The experience in Fort Cochin right after was a bit of a disappointment in our seek of authenticity. We have to admit we don’t like touristic places. We feel that encounters with local people are much more interesting in less crowded places.

Rickshaw drivers in the Fort Cochin area refuse to use their counter and try to charge you ridiculous amounts of money for a ride (5 to 10 times more than in other cities).

Like in many touristic places in Asia, rickshaw drivers get gas refill tickets from souvenir stores when bringing in people. Even if you don’t buy anything. It’s a classic in Bangkok (Thailand).

If you’re lucky to be riding with an honest driver, he’ll be clear about it and won’t charge you anything else. Just so you have an idea, every gas ticket of these was worth one week of gas supply for our tuk-tuk driver a few years ago in Bangkok. In a few days, we were able to help him get 2 months of free gas.

In Fort Cochin, we didn’t find out how much gas these tickets were worth but our driver clearly preferred to bring us to a couple of shops than charging for driving us all day.

It can be fun when you know what you’re into. But when you don’t and your rickshaw keeps bringing you to all kind of tourists stores instead of getting you to where you wanted to go in the first place; it’s a real nightmare. Now you know, if it happens to you, just refuse to get in the store.

Let’s get back to the Chinese fishing nets.

Right before getting to the fish stands, we were already being offered all kinds of things to buy. From the classic bags and accessories to plastic spaghetti makers… Don’t look for local crafts there, you won’t find any.

I don’t know if you have ever been in a souk in Marrocco. If you have, you’ll remember the feeling of not being able to look at any of the offered products without being harassed by the vendor. The area surrounding the Chinese fishing nets seemed to us to be like a light version of it.

5. Even the fishermen are doing the show for tourists

When we came closer to the Chinese fishing nets, as I was taking pictures,  a fisherman nicely offered us to come closer and see how they lifted the net up. Fishermen operating a Chinese fishing net in Kochi, Kerala, India

He explained they submerge the net for 5 minutes, raise it and repeat.

As we were witnessing how bad the catch was, he explained that they weren’t catching much these days and this wasn’t enough to feed the families of the 5 fishermen who were there at the time.

We gave the fisherman 40 rupees but he told us it wasn’t enough for all of them. So we gave him 10 more.

When we shared experiences with other travellers we realised whatever you give them, they’ll tell you it’s not enough.

Some had given 200 rupees and got the exact same reaction.

Cleary, these fishermen are not fishing much anymore and are making a living from the show “offered” to the tourists.

Looks like pollution ended up with this fishing zone. And fishermen need to keep faking it so the tourists keep coming. It’s very sad for everyone involved.

And it feels like a tourist trap.

 

In conclusion, our advice for you is : if you’re a food and nature lover, don’t bother. Prefer the close-by Munnar heights where you can find spice farms and tea plantations. And if you want to see the Chines fishing nets anyways, prefer sunset time. You’ll get nicer pictures and won’t be as distracted by the litter everywhere.

The fishermen told us the area was filthy because we visited it right after the monsoon.Have you seen the Chinese fishing nets in Kochi at another time (we were there in September)? Was it clean?

Please share your experience in the comment section so we can enrich this post.

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Should I hire a car in Lanzarote? (YES, unless you’re only planning to drink margaritas at the hotel’s pool)

Should I hire a car during my holidays in Lanzarote

Should I hire a car in Lanzarote ?

Lanzarote is one of these places where you need to hire a car if you’re willing to visit a little.

It all depends on the type of holidays you want. If you only wish to lie down on the beach/pool and get tanned, you’ll probably be ok with your hotel’s transfer service.

On the other hand, if you’re letting a villa or apartment and are planning on discovering what Lanzarote has to offer, you’ll need to hire a car.

Public transportation is slow and riding more than one line is complicated

Locals call the bus “gua-gua” (pronounce wua-wua). They can get you to most of the island’s spots but:

  • There are few of them. If you are staying in a village, you can be waiting for a loooong time at the bus stop before catching one.
  • Once you’re in, you’ll be stopping everywhere. Great to discover all the small villages. Not so great if you’re on your way to the beach.
  • Most bus lines come off Arrecife (Lanzarote’s capital, south of the island). Which means if you’re going somewhere that’s not right on the line you’ll be riding; you’ll have to go all the way to Arrecife to get the right line. Next thing you know, it took you 5h to go 20km up North.

In short, using public transport in Lanzarote is ok if you don’t need to change lines and if you plan a little in advance to make sure there is a bus coming around the time you’re willing to get moving. Otherwise, it can be a real hassle.

Taxis can be expensive compared to car renting prices

You’ll be able to find taxis upon your arrival at Lanzarote’s airport. Or to get one booked by your hostel’s reception if needed. They can be very handy, not saying you shouldn’t use them 😉

Our point is: hiring a car is so cheap in Lanzarote that riding a cab can easily cost you more than a full day of a hired car. To give you an idea, you can find cars to hire for as low as 20€/day in Lanzarote.

Comparatively, if you have a driver’s license, hiring a car is often the best deal.

Beware of scams

Some low-cost companies attract you with very low prices only to rip you off later on with hidden costs.

We had a bad experience with Goldcar.

And we weren’t the only ones. Angry customers testimonials flourish on the Internet.

They’re very cheap.

So cheap you might be waiting in line to get your rental car with half the people in your plane once you get to Lanzarote.

The wise ones who booked with another company will probably already be sipping a cocktail on the pool once you’ll eventually get your car.

That one time we rented a car with them, we queued for almost 2 hours. Only to get to the counter and be told they were applying a “full-empty” policy regarding oil tank.

They give you the rental car with a full tank. Ask you to return it empty. And charge you an outrageous amount for gasoline.

We had to pay 80€ for a tank fill that would have cost us 40€ in any of the island’s gas station.

The most important thing to look for when booking a rental car in Lanzarote is a “full-full” gas tank policy.

You get the car with a full tank. You bring it back with a full tank.

Simple as that.

Some local companies as Pluscar won’t fill the tank before giving you your car and ask you to bring it back with roughly the same amount of gasoline.

But don’t worry about the lack of precision. This one is not a scam. We even heard Autoreisen reimbursed people who gave back a much fuller tank.

Local companies tend to be cheaper and offer higher value

Rental cars companies in Lanzarote are working in a highly competitive environment. There are a LOT of them.

Therefore, local companies are unknown to the Canary Islands first timers and need to stand out.

So they tend to be cheaper. And to offer more services as full coverage insurance, second driver and baby-seats for free.

Check out Cicar and its low-cost brand Payless, Autoreisen and Pluscar to name a few. (Note: we are not affiliated to any of these companies)

 

Have you ever hired a car in Lanzarote? Would you recommend a car rental company we didn’t mention?

Share your experience in the comment section so we can update this article with your recommendations.

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Ready for some fun cooking time in Lanzarote?

Private cooking classes in Lanzarote

Private cooking classes in Lanzarote

 

We’ve taken a big step. We’re now offering private cooking lessons in Lanzarote.

Remodelling our future premises is taking much more time than what we thought. We can’t wait to get cooking with you.

And we have to say it is all thanks to Jørgen. A cool guy from Norway we met a few weeks ago. He wanted to give his mum a nice birthday present during their family holidays in Lanzarote and got us to set up a hands-on cooking class in their villa’s kitchen for a party of 6.

It went great. Everyone had fun. Food was excellent. We’re definitely repeating.

Thanks Jørgen & Family 😀

Private cooking lessons in Lanzarote

So, here is the deal: you need a group of 4 or more people and a big kitchen. Our private cooking classes are suitable for all cooking levels and can be taught in English, French or Spanish.

Our chef will come to your villa to teach you and your group scrumptious Spanish recipes.

You’ll have fun. You’ll learn recipes and cooking techniques. You’ll eat amazing food. Local and organic, as much as possible.

We’ll plan. We’ll get the ingredients. We’ll bring kitchenware. We’ll teach. We’ll clean. And in case you’re worrying, we’ll have fun too.

Before the private cooking course, we’ll agree on a menu. You’ll get to tell us more about what you like so we find the perfect recipes to teach you.

As an example, our last menu was :

    • Iberic ham and tomato bread tapa
    • Salmorejo Cordobés
    • Lobster and calamari rice
    • Caramelized bananas with mandarins and strawberry chantilly –  served with a mandarin and cava sorbet*.

*Special Chef’s creation for this course. Must say it came out pretty good…

If you have allergies or special diet, we find substitutes and take care of every detail so you can eat safely. No need to worry about cross-contamination, we have sets of utensils that have never been in contact with gluten/ lactose and other common allergens.

We take your health seriously.

Our first group counted a pregnant woman, a lactose allergic, a gluten intolerant and one allergic to peppers…

Spanish food lovers know that most traditional dishes get their flavours from the pimentón. A spice powder made of dried and smoked red peppers.

It’s been a great challenge. We passed it. We’re ready for anything now 😉

 

 

A fun friends and family moment

 

 

Private Cooking Lessons in Lanzarote - Review

 

Peeling vegetables is anything but fun. We all agree on that, right?

How many of you took a cooking class to end up spending half the time peeling veggies and the other half figuring out how to get 15 people to participate in the cooking process?

We did. And it’s exactly what we don’t want for our cooking lessons.

We want to help you build great holiday memories with your close ones. A fun moment shared in the kitchen, you’ll love to remember together years from now.

Cooking is fun. Preparing and cleaning aren’t.

You’ll spend time learning cooking techniques or competing to find out who is faster at whipping cream. More fun.

Ok. Not for everyone.

We also thought about the ones in your group for whom there is no way whipping cream can ever be fun. And have a special price for them so they can eat with the cooks even if they spent the whole cooking lesson lying in the sun.

How cool is that?

 

Private cooking lessons only available for a limited time

 

If you want to be one of the lucky ones who’ll get to have our chef coming to their holiday (or permanent) home in Lanzarote; you have until July 1st 2016.

Hopefully after that date we’ll be able to receive you in our premises for even more cooking fun.

And because we know you might get frustrated if you’re in time for booking but you’re coming later on to Lanzarote, we’ll let you pick a course date until December 31st, 2016.

Update January 2017 : This offer is no longer available, click here to book a cooking course in Cook in Lanzarote

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Marmitako Recipe: A Fishermen’s Dish

Spanish Marmitako Recipe

 

Marmitako recipe is traditional in the Basque country and really common in the North of Spain. It’s also called Marmita or Sorropotun in Cantabria. It’s a delicious fish and potato stew.

If you don’t know Marmitako yet, you have to try this recipe. And if you have, well, you know what I’m talking about.

The original recipe is made with fresh albacore tuna but you can replace it by (fresh) sardines or salmon. It will be as good.

The word Marmitako means literally in Basque “from the stock pot”. The cooks from the fishing boats needed to prepare a consistent meal for the fishermen so they used the cheaper and most common fish, the albacore tuna. They used to prepare their Marmitako recipe with onions, potatoes, red pepper and tomato. Before potatoes’ introduction in Spanish cuisine – on the XIX century – Marmitako recipe was made with chestnuts or turnips.

 

Marmitako recipe

 

Preparation time:20 min – Cooking time:40 min

 

Ingredients for 4 servings

12.25 oz (350 g) of fresh albacore tuna fish
4 potatoes (1.1lb /500 g)
1 Spanish sun-dried choricero red pepper (To be re-hydrated in a bowl of water for 24h before cooking)
2 fresh peppers (red or green ore one of each)
1 big onion
1 tomato
1 chilli pepper
2 garlic cloves
2 1/2 cups (60 cl) of water or even better, homemade fish stock
1 wine glass (20 cl) of dry white wine
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 branch of thyme
1 laurel leave
2 teaspoons of sweet pimentón (smoked paprika)
a pinch of salt and pepper

 


Directions:

1. The day before, you should re-hydrate the dried red pepper by submerging it into a bowl of water. If you forgot this first step, don’t worry about it, you can always rehydrate it by cooking it for 1 hour in boiling water.

2. Peel garlic cloves and onion.

3. Rinse the peppers and dry them with a clean cloth. Cut them open and discard seeds and hard top. Chop peppers and onion into small cubes.

4. If you have a grater with large holes, use it to grate tomato and discard peel. If you don’t: get water to a boil, put tomato in it for 10 seconds (13 seconds if it’s under ripe). Get it out, leave it chill for a bit and peel it. Then cut tomato pulp into small pieces. Set aside.

5. Cut albacore tuna fish into 1.5 inches cubes. Cover and refrigerate.

6. Heat olive oil in a stew pot over medium heat. Fry garlic cloves with laurel leaves and a branch of thyme.

7. Once garlic is slightly brown, add pepper and onion.

8. After a couple of minutes, when onion is translucent, add wine and turn up the heat so the alcohol evaporates.

9. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes, wash them and dry them with a clean cloth.

10. Potatoes have to be cut in cachelos. This means you need to start cutting a piece of potato by introducing the knife as usual. But instead of cutting all the way through, you tear out the potato piece. You’ll hear a crack sound. Those cachelos should be around 1 or 2 inches wide. The most important is that all potato pieces should be around the same size. So cooking time is the same for all.

11. Once the alcohol has evaporated – means if you put your nose over the stew pot, the smell isn’t burning your lungs anymore – add the sweet pimentón and the mashed tomato. Cook it for a couple of minutes.

12. Add potatoes and try to combine all ingredients without breaking the potato’s cachelos. The best way is to move the whole stew pot.

13. Add water or fish stock so it covers the whole mixture. Add chilli pepper and get it to boil.

14. Cut the rehydrated choricero pepper lengthwise. Add it on top – Do not soak it!

15. Reduce heat leaving a gentle boil and leave it for 25 minutes.

16. Take both rehydrated pepper pieces. Get the inside part with a spoon and combine it to your dish. Discard peel. Cook for 5 more minutes or until potatoes are ready – Try one to be sure

17. Turn off heat, add tuna fish and cover stew pot for 5 minutes.

That’s it! Ready to serve. Take out laurel leaf and thyme branch and enjoy.

Don’t forget to cut some bread. You’ll definitely want to dip in Marmitako sauce.

 

Cooking Technique Tip

Chascar potatoes

Chascar literally means “to crack”. When using this cooking technique you should start cutting a piece of potato by introducing your knife and tear off the potato piece so you hear a “crack” sound from the potato. It helps liberate the potato starch, so the dish sauce gets more consistent.

Did you cook this Marmitako recipe ? If so, let us know how you liked it in the comment section. And if not, you can still join the conversation. We’d love to have your impressions.

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Uga Rocks!

Cooking School in Uga Lanzarote

Cooking School in Uga Lanzarote

Uga is an incredibly beautiful village in Lanzarote that will be the home of Cook In Lanzarote from now on.

Some of you have been asking us to give you more news on Cook In Lanzarote’s project, so here we go!

As I was saying, we’ve finally found the right place in the charming village of Uga. It’s been a long journey to get to that point. Trust me on that!

[clickToTweet tweet=”Lanzarote’s first cooking school for amateurs will open in the charming village of Uga” quote=”Lanzarote’s first cooking school for amateurs will open in the charming village of Uga” theme=”style1″]

Goodbye Lanzarote Farm Cooking

In an ideal world, Cook In Lanzarote was meant to be Lanzarote Farm Cooking. An isolated farm rounded with plenty of land where we could have grown all sorts of organic fruits and vegetables to cook with. We even wanted to have some chickens and Canarian black pigs.

Sounded great, right?

After a fair share of enthusiasm and deception phases, we had to accept the fact that this can’t be done in Lanzarote at the moment due to very restrictive business license rules in rural areas.

So we got back to step one after spending months looking for the perfect place, finding it, negotiating prices… Only to find out we would never get a business license for giving cooking courses in this location. Again and again.

But we haven’t left our old life and jobs to abandon just like that 😉

Say hello to Cook In Lanzarote

It’s been a difficult decision to take because we really wanted a farm but we couldn’t waste more time trying to change things we didn’t have any power over.

So our farm cooking project became Cook In Lanzarote and we were suddenly able to look at locations we wouldn’t have considered before.

Discover the exotic charm of Uga

Camels in Uga, Lanzarote
The small village of Uga is located South of the beautiful vineyards of La Geria. On the edge of Timanfaya National Park.

It is surrounded by impressive landscapes. Getting there from La Geria always gives me the impression of seeing an oasis in the middle of the desert.

Uga is also the hometown of the camels that give tourists a ride between the volcanoes of Timanfaya.

Every 3 hours or so, you can witness how a bunch of camels get back Uga to get some well earned rest while other ones are leaving in order to start their work shift.

How is that for an exotic place?!

Our cooking school still needs remodelling

Cook In Lanzarote before remodelling

At last we found the perfect place in Uga. Not a farm, but we’ll still have enough space to grow our organic veggies 😀

I won’t go on with all the boring details about how administration is giving us headaches. Let’s just say if an entrepreneur’s life is full of surprises in general; trying to get running a new type of business here is a never ending candid camera.

We had to adapt to the way things are done around here. Time perception is definitely different. And pressure, even on business matters is not well accepted in general… In short, forget meeting deadlines!

But that relaxed attitude is one of the reasons we love Lanzarote too… So, we’re trying to find the right balance in order to get things done.

We’re very excited about the remodelling project we’re working on with our architect and are crossing our fingers for it to be made a reality very soon.

In the meantime, we decided to start giving private cooking lessons to groups staying in rented villas. We’ll tell you all about it in a new post next week. Stay tuned!

And if you’re interested in getting your own private cooking class with your friends and/or familiars, contact us today.

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All you need to know about Janubio Salt Flats

Janubio salt flats Lanzarote

Janubio salt flats Lanzarote

Janubio salt flats are the biggest salt flats still producing in the Canary Islands. Their amazing colours are a must-see for tourists in Lanzarote.

The salt industry used to be very important in the Canary Islands. The island of Lanzarote counted with 26 salt production sites back in the 1940’s. We can still see remains of Lanzarote’s salt flats golden age in the capital Arrecife or in the northern town of Orzola. But sadly most of the old salt pans have been destroyed and constructed over. Actually, the now tourist town of Costa Teguise used to be filled with giant salt flats.

 

Salinas de Janubio - Janubio's salt flats LanzaroteLanzarote’s salt industry started to disappear with the emergence of modern conservation techniques.

Once the fishermen got the possibility to freeze the fish they caught directly on the boat, they had no need to keep using the tonnes of salt they used to preserve the fish for several weeks before getting back on land.

The once flourishing salt industry drastically reduced its production and the island’s economy had to adapt rapidly. Nowadays, the island only counts with 3 functioning salt flats producing one-third of what they used to.
Salinas de Janubio - Janubio's salt Lanzarote

But let’s get back to Janubio salt flats’ history…

According to some sources, before Timanfaya’s devastating eruptions that took place between 1730 and 1736, Janubio’s area used to be a cultivated land linked to a port.

Timanfaya’s consecutive eruptions closed the ancient gulf creating the lagoon that permitted Janubio salt flats’ creation in 1895. Since then, the same family has been operating Janubio salt flats’ production.

The salt collection takes place between May and September/October when the hot and dry climate permits salt’s concentration and crystallisation. Wind and sun are the essential elements of the salt production cycle. The wind allows salted water to move between salt pans while sun’s heat increases salt concentration and water’s evaporation.

Janubio Salt Flats Useful Information

Janubio Salt Flats’ warehouse opens from 7:00 am to 2:30 pm every day. You’ll be able to buy coarse salt (€3.5 for 500g) or gourmet “Fleur de Sel” (€7 for 200g).

If you’re visiting outside opening time, don’t worry, you can still buy Janubio’s salt from the “Mirador de las Salinas” restaurant (Closed on Thursdays) which offers a panoramic view of the Janubio’s salt flats and where we had one of the best black rice (arroz negro) on the island so far…

Photographers will find several spots on the road around Janubio salt flats to capture panoramic views of this breathtaking landscape.

Here comes the Google Maps link. It can be useful.

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Los Hervideros: Massive Nature Art Work

Los Hervideros grottoes - Lanzarote

Los Hervideros grottoes - Lanzarote

 

Los Hervideros (the English translation would be The Bubbling Sources) were formed by a lava flow meeting the Atlantic ocean back in the 18th century. The result is a peculiar landscape formed by amazing shades of black, red and blue… Definitely to be seen on a sunny day.

Lanzarote was struck by a series of volcanic eruptions between 1730 and 1736. Lava covered one fourth of its territory, creating El Mar de Lava (The Lava Sea) on the south-west of the island. The coast at Los Hervideros is made by rough cliffs and grottoes, both results of lava’s solidification and erosion. The waves create a terrific show by forcing huge amounts of water into the lava labyrinth offering, as a result, a bubbling ocean to the visitor’s sight.

Los Hervideros - Lanzarote
Los Hervideros wave show is really impressive on stormy sea days. A narrow path brings you to a small balcony carved in the lava from where you can admire bubbling water on calm days and huge waves on rougher days. These conditions make the visit more dangerous so be careful especially if you’re visiting with young children.

The visit is pretty short (around 15 to 20 min), so if you get there with or right after a tour bus, it’s worth waiting a bit to enjoy a less crowded visit. Los Hervideros is the kind of place where nature makes you feel tiny and powerless; it’s definitely better to enjoy with only a few people!

If you’re visiting Lanzarote during the crowded period (July-Sept), Los Hervideros could be a perfect spot to admire an amazing sunset. At that time, you can be sure no tour bus will interfere…

Los Hervideros Useful Information

Free and open 24/7

Visit Time : 20 min approx.

Situated right next to Janubio Salt Flats, they’re a perfect spot to stop on your way to the emerald lake of El Golfo when visiting the south-western side of Lanzarote from Playa Blanca.

For more visitors’ tips, check Los Hervideros’ page on TripAdvisor.

Here comes the Google Maps link. It can be useful.

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Torrijas Recipe: Spanish Easter Classic

Torrijas recipe

Spanish Torrijas recipe

 

Torrijas recipe is traditionally cooked during Easter time (Semana Santa) in Spain. This typical bread pudding is delicious and really easy to prepare. Only in Madrid, 8 millions torrijas are eaten during the week before Easter. Every Spanish household has its own recipe. Historically, depending on each family’s wealth, the Torrijas were made with different ingredients. The poorest would use water instead of milk and sugar instead of honey. That’s the version we’re sharing with you today.

A scrumptious dessert recipe based on Spanish chef Mario Sandoval‘s mum’s recipe. Enjoy!

Torrijas recipe

 

Preparation time:10 min – Cooking time:20 min

 

Ingredients for about 10 torrijas

1 bread from the day before (approx. 300 g)
100g sugar
300 ml water
1 cinnamon stick
1 lemon (you’ll use a large piece of rind)
2 eggs
425 ml olive oil

 


Directions:

1. Slice bread into one inch thick slices.

2. In a small pan, heat sugar with 3.5 oz of water over high heat. Add cinnamon stick and a large piece of lemon rind. If you have a thermometer, you should rise temperature until 220 °F / 105 °C. At this stage, the mixture should become thicker. If you pour some of this caramel from a spoon, you should see thicker drops than water.

3. Add the rest of the water (7.1 oz of water) and mix it up. Wait a few minutes so your light caramel cools a bit before using it.

3. Soak the bread slices into the light caramel, so they can absorb it. Just soak each side for no more than 3 or 4 seconds, if you leave it longer the bread could get ruined.

4. Beat the eggs and immerse the bread into it (both sides again).

5. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and fry the bread slices. You should fry them until they turn gold, approximately for 2 min per side. A good trick is to put a kitchen roll on the plate so you can place the torrijas on top of it, it will suck the extra not-needed oil.

6. To finish, pour the rest of the caramel on top of the torrijas. If you have finished all the caramel from the step 2, do not worry, you can always remake some more caramel to add it on. Your torrijas will look shinier!

 

Did you like this torrijas recipe ? If so, share it with your friends!

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The day we fell in love with Lanzarote

Famara - Lanzarote

Famara - Lanzarote

Moving to Lanzarote was just a crazy dream a few months ago… The day we took this picture of the amazing Famara beach, we knew we wanted a radical change in our lives and that change would happen here, in Lanzarote. We had no idea how or when we would make it but we knew we wanted to call this peculiar island “Home”.

The volcanic landscape is breath-taking from the white sanded beach of Papagayo to the beautiful sandy coves of Orzola. La Geria’s vineyards, the first European grapevines to be harvested every year, produce a unique volcanic Malmsey white wine. The Fire Mountains of Timanfaya National Park are like a piece of Mars on Earth.

And, as if nature hadn’t given his island enough beauty, artist Cesar Manrique left it a huge cultural legacy. Lanzarote is full of surprises whether you’re on land or under water visiting one of the island’s numerous diving spots.

Lanzarote’s special beauty got us hooked while its rich agricultural landscape that produces mini veggies full of flavour gave us the inspiration for a culinary-oriented professional project…

Here we are. We left Paris and our old professional lives behind and we now call ourselves “Conejeros”. What started as a crazy dream now feels pretty realistic. We’re having such a good time working on the recipes we’ll share with other food passionate like us… No doubt, we just took the best decision of our lives 🙂
Now, we still have a lot of work ahead until Cook In Lanzarote starts offering a (great) food experience to the island’s visitors but we’re on it and will keep you updated.

In the meantime, we’ll be sharing with you on this blog our adventure and tell you about the people, foods and things that make Lanzarote such a special island.

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All you need to know about Lanzarote’s underwater museum

Lanzarote's Underwater Museum by Jason DeCaires Taylor

Lanzarote's Underwater Museum by Jason DeCaires Taylor

British artist Jason DeCaires Taylor chose Lanzarote to install an underwater museum. The first of its kind in the Atlantic Ocean.

DeCaires already worked on a similar project in Cancun (Mexico) in 2009. More than 500 sculptures became an artificial reef known as the MUSA museum (Museo Subacuático de Arte).

The first sculptures of the Atlantic Underwater Museum were installed between Lanzarote’s famous Papagayo beach and Las Coloradas castle last February.

Atlantic Underwater Museum: Act 1

300 underwater sculptures will be settled before the Atlantic Underwater Museum is fully installed at the beginning of 2017. Visitors are already able to watch the museum’s art work either from a boat with a clear glass bottom, snorkelling or diving.

The art pieces were transported by boat. And installed underwater so subaquatic life can start to take over the artist’s work. They’re eco-friendly. Designed with materials that help create artificial reefs.

Jason DeCaires Taylor used Lanzarote residents as models. They are represented on everyday life postures. Some are talking on the phone. Others are taking selfies. A cactus took over this one.

Eco-art movement

As a matter of fact, Lanzarote is keeping alive Cesar Manrique‘s heritage. The local artist shaped this island with art, respecting the gifts of nature. He always stood against the ones ignoring environmental matters to make more money.

Like him, Jason DeCaires Taylor is strongly opinionated about the capitalist system and the lack of nature preservation. Should I say: the destruction of what’s more valuable to humanity. Let’s call things by their real name.

DeCaires is working alongside with marine biologists. He chooses eco-friendly materials to encourage marine life to shape his artwork. But that’s not it. He carefully chooses where to place them. Away from strong currents and tidal patterns so living organisms can settle there for a long time.

The artist also contributes to attracting tourists towards artificial reefs. Letting natural reefs recover from the damages they’re suffering. That’s very ingenious.

However, DeCaires is pretty pessimistic on the future of oceanic ecosystems. He says the following generation will be witnessing the death of marine life… Ouch.

A recent study is stating that oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050. This is not looking too good. I’m starting to think he might be right.

Could it be? Then why are we still overfishing? Why do we still allow bottom trawling fishing if we know it destroys fragile ecosystems?

And most of all, why are we still given plastic bags everywhere including Lanzarote? I mean. This is an island. Where are they supposed to end up?

 

Back to our brushes. Both artists are part of the eco-art movement. Manrique was defending his island. DeCaires is defending aquatic life. But not only.

He found a way to get us to step aside from our frenetic lives. Take time to have a look at ourselves. Together with seeing what we usually don’t want to watch. Like The Raft of Lampedusa… A reminder of what’s happening right off our costs.

This project is much more than an innovative new attraction to offer the islands’ visitors.

That’s what I like about it.

The underwater museum is meant to get us thinking

The artist wants us to stop running for a minute to take a little perspective on how humanity is dealing with the challenges we’re facing.

While underwater, you’re like in a bubble. Only able to share your impressions with your friends once the journey is over. Until then, nature’s impressive show is focusing all your attention.

It’s very smart to take visitors to that kind of environment. The artist’s message gets to be heard much more clearly. Don’t you think?

What can I say? Respect. Jason DeCaires’ work is smart, innovative and sustainable. Really inspiring.

In fact, I can’t wait to get underwater to watch nature’s artwork.

What about you? Is it the kind of museum you would like to visit ?

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Romantic Things to Do in Lanzarote

Famara Beach - Lanzarote

Are you visiting Lanzarote with your loved one? This article is for you. Whether you’re here for Valentine’s day or not, check out these romantic things to do in Lanzarote.

Let me be honest: I’m not a Valentine’s Day enthusiast. I’d rather be classified in the group that prefers to find romantic things to do including a good dinner – of course – on any other day of the year. You know, these days you’re not seeing little cupids and red hearts everywhere.

Lanzarote can be a very romantic destination: deserted beaches where you feel you’re the last humans on earth, breathtaking sunsets and great food. Yes, good food IS romantic. Try to have a romantic dinner in an “all-you-can-eat buffet” if you don’t agree with that.

That’s why I took amazing food and romantic scenery as main criteria when choosing these romantic things to do in Lanzarote.

You’ll need a car. But unless you’re planning to only be moving between a pool and a beach (which is fine too), you’ll need one to move around Lanzarote anyway. Good news is car rental offer is pretty abundant and cheap here.

Bear in mind that these are not only valid for Valentine’s day. They are as romantic the rest of the year. Only, they might get a little more crowded during seasonal peaks.

Romantic Lanzarote: White Sanded Beaches and Dinner in a Cave

Jameos del Agua by Cesar Manrique
Dream pool in Jameos del Agua by Cesar Manrique

Grab beach towels, a swimsuit and warm clothes (if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day). You’re heading North.

Right before getting to Orzola from Punta Mujeres, you’ll find a series of stunning beaches and sandy coves. Thin white sand. Turquoise water. Black lava stones. Truly amazing place.
You can spend a while exploring Los Caletones. Make sure you check the last beach before getting to Orzola: La Charca de La Larca. It’s a lava-formed lagoon where water is always warm compared to the chilly Atlantic Ocean we’re used to.

Then you can have a look at the charming village of Orzola. It’s the departure point to the island of La Graciosa – That’s another amazing Valentine’s Day destination by the way. And head back to have dinner at Los Jameos del Agua. If you’re going on a Sunday, you’ll have to make it lunch.

Los Jameos are huge air bubbles that formed caves into the lava. Local artist Cesar Manrique made a beautiful art piece of this one.
The restaurant is on one side of the cave and serves good food. They usually serve a special Valentine’s menu featuring local products. After dinner, you can have a drink next to the Jameos legendary pool.

Romantic things to do in Lanzarote for Modern Art Lovers

Romantic things to do in Lanzarote : Restaurant of the Modern Art Museum Castillo de San Jose

Start your afternoon by visiting Cesar Manrique’s foundation in Tahiche. You’ll discover his work as well as some Picasso, Miró and Tapiés art pieces.
After your visit, head to El Charco de San Ginés in Arrecife to have a drink outside in the most postal type landscape of Lanzarote’s capital.

Then, go to the neighbouring Castillo de San Jose. The Modern Art museum. You’ll be able to see the regular collection and a temporary exhibition. As an illustration, Brit artist Jason DeCaires Taylor exposed the clay moulds he used to prepare the underwater museum‘s sculptures for a while.

Before going, be sure to make a reservation for the museum’s restaurant. The place was also designed by Manrique and serves gastronomic food.

 

Romantic things to do in Lanzarote for Sport Lovers

Famara Beach - Lanzarote
Amazing Famara Beach

If your perfect romantic date features a little more action, head to Famara beach for a surf lesson. Most surf schools in Famara let you keep the surfboard for the rest of the day after a morning class. You can keep surfing waves if you didn’t get enough.

Some offer kite surfing classes as well if you prefer.

Once you’re done, and hungry, head to El Risco. It’s best to make a reservation if you want to be outside, right on the beach.

This restaurant serves amazing rice and seafood dishes. In my opinion, one of the best restaurants of Lanzarote. Choose whatever on the menu, you simply can’t go wrong there.

One of the walls has been decorated by Manrique himself in honour to the fishermen of Famara. A must-see if you like the artist’s work.

There are many more romantic things to do in Lanzarote. Your favourite romantic spot is missing here? Please tell us about it in the comment section.

What’s your ideal date like ? Is food important to you as part of a romantic evening ?

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Sardines in vinegar banderillas recipe

Sardine in vinegar and tomato stuffed olive skewers recipe

 

We were so excited to discover there was a World Tapas Day, our chef created a recipe for the occasion.

If you’re a Spanish cuisine newbie, tapas are a special way of eating in bars whilst having a drink. In Spanish tapas bars, you’re served small portions of bigger dishes, skewers called banderillas, bread slices with all kinds of toppings… all of them are tapas.

Should we write more about tapas ? Tips on how to order them ? If you would like us too, drop us a comment at the end of the recipe.

And if the answer is no, please tell us what you’re willing to read on this blog. We’re trying to be useful here 😉

As a tribute to the Spanish classic anchovies in vinegar, let us introduce you to…

Drums…

Sardines in vinegar with tomato stuffed olive banderillas recipe

Important note: You need a little preparation for this one. We’re not going to lie to you.

If you’re going to serve these banderillas on Saturday night, you’ll need to buy and prepare the sardines on Wednesday.

We’re not even joking. But the result is totally worth it.

You’ll be marinating sardines in vinegar for 12h to 24h. Then you’ll have to freeze them for 24h.

It’s always safer to freeze fish before eating it raw.

The good news is you can prepare it up to 6 months in advance.

 

Ingredients for 40 skewers

250 grammes of medium-sized sardines (or 20 pieces)
400 grammes of green olives without bone (or 80 pieces)
0.5 litre of vinegar from white wine
0.5 litre of olive oil

Tomato stuffing

4 tomatoes
2 jelly leaves
2 garlic clove
1 branch of thyme
2 soup spoons of olive oil
Salt

Method:

Sardines cleaning and marinating in vinegar (at least 3 days before serving your tapas)

1. Rinse sardines and dry them with a clean cloth.

2. Open the sardines belly with scissors starting where the tail meets the body. Scrape out the entrails and discard them.

3. Take their heads off with your hands and discard.

4. Rinse sardines carefully to wash off what might be left from the entrails.Then place in a bowl filled with water for a few minutes so all the remaining blood gets out of the fish. Repeat until water is crystal clear.

5. Gently flatten the sardine. Grasp the backbone on the head side and carefully lift it away. Discard the backbone and separate the fillets.

6. Place in a flat recipient, cover the sardine fillets with vinegar. Cover with plastic foil. Refrigerate for 12 to 24h. The more time you leave sardines marinating, the more vinegar taste you’ll get.

 

Sardines freezing (at least 36h before serving)

1. Discard vinegar and pat the sardines dry with paper towels.

2. Cover with olive oil and freeze for at least 24h. You can keep them in your freezer up to 6 months.

 

Sardines de-freezing (at least 12h before serving)

De-freeze the sardines in your fridge leaving them into the olive oil. They’ll stay perfect for an extra month if you leave them in their olive oil.

Tomato stuffing and banderillas preparation (D-day!)

1. Grate tomatoes and discard the skin. Reserve

2. Peel garlic clove.

3. Heat a pan over medium heat with olive oil. Once the oil is hot, throw in garlic and thyme.

4. Once garlic is getting a bit brown, add the tomato puree and fry everything for a couple of minutes.

5. Add the jelly leaves and stir well so they completely dissolve into the tomato sauce.

6. Put tomato mixture it into a pastry bag, and let it cool a little in the fridge.

7. Rinse and dry olives.

8. Stuff olives with tomato sauce using the pastry bag and reserve.

9. Prepare your skewers, sardines and olives. Start threading the sardine by the end of the fillet. Then thread an olive and the fillet again. Repeat with a second olive.

10. Repeat step 9 until you’re out of sardines.

You’re all set! Enjoy!