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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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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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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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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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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 ?