Canary Islands Restaurants

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Canary Islands Restaurant Reviews

Canarian cuisine is based on the delicious rockfish that abound near the coast, and its specialties are worth searching out. A typical meal begins with a hearty stew, such as potaje canario (a stew of vegetables, potatoes, and garbanzo beans), rancho canario (vegetables and meat), and potaje de berros (watercress soup). Canarians eat gofio (similar to mashed potatoes but made by toasting wheat, corn, or barley flour and then adding milk or broth) with their first course, though it's hard to find in restaurants. The next course is fresh native fish, the best of which are vieja, cherne, and sama, all firm-flesh white rockfish. Accompanying the fish are papas arrugadas (literally, "wrinkled potatoes"), tiny new potatoes boiled in seawater so that salt crystals form on them as they dry. Other specialties include cabrito (roast baby goat) and conejo (rabbit), both served in salmorejo, a slightly spicy paprika sauce. Finally, no Canarian meal is complete without a dab of mojo picón, a spicy sauce made with pimientos (red chili peppers), garlic, and tomatoes. Most restaurants serve mojo with each main course, and Canarians heap it liberally on dishes as varied as fish and papas arrugadas. The tamer version is mojo verde, made with cilantro and parsley. Another island specialty is goat cheese, made best in La Palma. Canarian malmsey wines from Lanzarote, a favorite with Falstaff in Shakespeare's Henry IV, are still produced today.

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