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El Balcón de Santa Ana

Playa de Santiago, La Gomera

Taste some of these Canarian specialities

Posted by Luci Ackers on Oct 04, 2017
Taste some of these Canarian specialities

Try some of the local specialities while you’re staying in the Canaries and really get a taste of the culture.

You’ll find that it is more common to use fresh, simple foods in cooking on the island of La Gomera, and this is likely a throwback to the island’s history of being isolated from the mainland and larger islands. Dishes were usually cooked with simple ingredients. But they are full of lovely rich flavours.


If you get served a dish with a red sauce, this is likely to be mojo (pronounced mo-ho). It’s made from oil, garlic and red pepper as well as a number of spices such as coriander and cumin.

If you have ever been to South America, or you’re a fan of South American cuisine, you might recognise this type of sauce. It’s really similar to a lot of the popular mojos from that part of the world. The high rate of Canarian emigration to that continent over the centuries accounts for how much the two cultures have influenced one another.


Papas arrugadas (literally wrinkly potatoes) is one of the Canary Islands’ signature dishes. Traditionally, small new potatoes were boiled in sea water but now it is more common to boil them in salted tap water. The little potatoes are cleaned and left with their skins on, boiled in the saltwater and then drained and left to dry until they are wrinkled with a slight salty crust. They are then served with the red mojo (as pictured above), often as as an accompaniment dish.

Using the environment

The islanders were used to living off the land and all that they could use around them. Corn was once a staple food of the Canaries and a product called gofio is flour that has been created by grinding roasted sweetcorn. The good thing about it is that it can be added to a lot of things; both sweet and savoury. It can be drunk, made into dough or used as a thickener. You’ll probably come across it in soups; potato-based soups are very popular on the island.

Being an island, it isn’t surprising that a lot of fresh fish is often used in main meals on La Gomera. But as well as fish, goats are prevalent across all the Canary Islands. They are hardy and have adapted to the islands’ varying terrain. Goats were present here before the islands became part of Spain back in the 13th century. Their meat has been eaten for as long as they’ve been on the island and is still used a lot in main dishes, while a lot of cheeses are produced from their milk.

The goats’ cheese produced in Fuerteventura, La Palma and Gran Canaria are protected by the Denominación de Origen, which is a classification system used in Spain to express quality. Almogrote is a paste that is made from hard cheese on La Gomera and it’s generally eaten across the Canaries – often spread on toast.

It’s always good to try new things! While you’re staying at Santa Ana, take the opportunity to try some of La Gomera’s best-known foods. We’d love to hear in the comment section below if you’ve tried any of these and what you thought of them! Find out how to stay by entering your details for a free brochure.

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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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