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Category Archives for Food and Drink

Saborea Lanzarote Celebrates Cochino Negro

Tourists visiting Lanzarote this week are in for a real culinary treat as the islands latest Gastronomy Week gets underway from November 9th to 16th. These regular events are organized by a local called Saborea Lanzarote – or Taste Lanzarote in English – and they are designed to showcase both the quality and variety of local produce, encompassing both wine and foodstuffs.

Poster, Saborea Lanzarote

Celebrate Gastronomy Week...

Each Gastronomy Week focuses on a different type of produce and this time around it is the turn of the Cochino Negro, or black Canarian pig, which is the start of the show. The Cochino Negro is bred exclusively in the Canaries and a number of restaurants in Lanzarote will be creating their own special recipes using this base ingredient to mark the event.

These participating restaurants include the Monumento al Campesino, La Canada in Puerto del Carmen, Isla de Lobos in Yaiza, Getaria in Costa Teguise, Casa Roja branches in Puerto del Carmen and the Marina Rubicon in Playa Blanca, Taberna de Nino in Puerto del Carmen, Isla Bonita and Marea in Costa Teguise, La Cantina in Teguise and La Puntilla in El Charco, Arrecife.

Despite being an island race many locals prefer meat to seafood and demand for traditional specialties such as kid, rabbit and goat is reflected in the fact that these items often crop up on menus in restaurants serving Comida Tipica – local Canarian food. Despite its aridity Lanzarote still produces plenty of vegetable crops and farming remains a way of life for many, especially in the north of the island, where locations such as the Valley of Temisa are home to numerous working fincas. Where local farmers grow a variety of crops such as maize, potatoes, tomatoes and onions as well as papaya, banana, mango and much more besides.

Saborea Lanzarote was formed a couple of years ago to help boost demand for and appreciation of local produce and to date the organization has staged a number of very successful tasting weeks that have encompassed foodstuffs from tuna through to island grown beans. They hope that the latest celebration of Cochino Negro will help to raise awareness of this delicacy and provide a shot in the arm for local producers.

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Catch A Taste of Tuna At Lanzarote Gastronomy Week

Foodies visiting Lanzarote over the next week will be able to enjoy a taste of locally caught tuna at a fish themed festival organized by Saborea Lanzarote (Taste Lanzarote), which gets underway this Friday the 21st September and runs through until the 30th of the month.

Gastronomy Week Poster

Enjoy A Taste of Tuna...

Saborea Lanzarote is an organization that is dedicated to promoting the best of island food and drink and over the last few years they have organized numerous events which showcase particular products, ranging from locally grown vegetables through to delicacies such as black pig.  In addition they also seek to introduce tourists and locals alike to the wide variety of excellent wines grown here on Lanzarote, which as any regular visitor already knows are produced using unique methods of cultivation.

Their latest themed gastronomy week pays homage to the tuna, or atun in Spanish – a local seafood specialty which is currently in season and caught in the waters surrounding Lanzarote.  For anyone who is used to just tucking into the tinned variety it will probably come as a surprise to learn that these fish are seriously sizeable creatures when fully grown and can weigh in at many hundreds of kilos.

As in previous gastronomy weeks some of the best restaurants in Lanzarote will be supporting the event by dreaming up and serving their own special preparations, including some of the islands best known eateries such as the Castillo de San Jose in Arrecife, which is also home to the Museum of International and Contemporary Art.  As well as the up market restaurant at Lagomar, the former home of the famous film star Omar Sharif and the La Graciosa restaurant at the five star Hotel Gran Melia Salinas in Costa Teguise.

So if you fancy sampling a taste of tuna just head for any of the establishments listed below.

Puerto del Carmen

El Toro

Calle Reina Sofía 70
Puerto del Carmen
Tel: 0034 669 388 407

Taberna de Nino

Calle Tanausú 2
Puerto del Carmen
Tel: 0034 928 515 783

Cofradía de Pescadores La Tiñosa

Old Town Harbour
Puerto del Carmen
Tel: 0034 660 433 578

La Cascada del Puerto

Calle Roque Nublo 3
Puerto del Carmen
Tel: 0034 928 512 953

Costa Teguise

La Graciosa Restaurant

Hotel Gran Meliá Salinas
Avenida Islas Canarias 16
Costa Teguise
Tel: 0034 928 590 040

Isla Bonita

Avenida del Mar
Costa Teguise
Tel: 0034 928 591 526

Playa Blanca

Aromas de Yaiza

Calle La Laja
Playa Blanca
Tel: 0034 928 349 691

Arrecife

Restaurante Lilium

Calle José Antonio 103
Arrecife
Tel: 0034 928 524 978

Castillo de San José

Puerto Naos
Arrecife
Tel: 0034 928 812 321

La Puntilla

Avenida César Manrique
Charco de San Gines
Arrecife
Tel: 0034 928 816 042

Arrieta

El Marinero

Calle La Garita
Arrieta
Tel: 0034 928 848 382

Teguise

La Cantina

Calle León y Castillo 8
Teguise
Tel: 0034 928 845 536

Nazaret

LagOmar

Calle Los Loros
Nazaret
Tel: 0034 928 845 665

Playa Honda

Aguaviva

Calle Mástil 31
Playa Honda
Tel : 0034 928 821 505

Yaiza

Bodega Rubicón

Crtra Gral de la Geria
Yaiza
Tel: 0034 928 173 708

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What´s On the Menu In Lanzarote?

If you have booked one of our apartments or villas in Lanzarote and are visiting the island for the first time then you´re probably keen to find out more about what the island offers in terms of food and drink. As meals out form an important part of the holiday experience for many tourists.

 

Gambas al ajillo, typical Canarian cuisine

Gambas al ajillo...a typical starter

 

Typical Canarian Cuisine

There are literally thousands of restaurants in Lanzarote, the bulk of which are obviously based in the main resorts of Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise. And unsurpisingly the majority of these serve Comida Tipica – traditional Canarian cuisine. But what exactly does that comprise?

Most of these restaurants will have pretty similar menus, with starters usually encompassing dishes such as gambas al ajillo – prawns in hot olive oil, garlic and chilli, which is also a staple on the mainland where it is more usually referred to as gambas pil pil. The idea here is to use wads of bread to soak up the oil and pinch a prawn, just watch out for those chillies though!

Other typical starters include croquettes, which can be made with both fish and meat. Shellfish such as mussels and limpets are also common, as is local goats cheese which can be served as is or often comes deep fried with a jam or fig compote as an accompaniment.

The Main Event

The emphasis in local cooking is on simple, fresh ingredients that are cooked simply with little fanfare or flourishes. So forget all about the sort of sauces, reductions and decorations that accompany more modern international dishes. Instead you can expect to choose from a selection of locally caught fresh white fish, such as sama, dorada and cherne. These are usually served with the obligatory papas arrugadas or wrinkled potatoes (cooked in salt in their skins) and a selection of sauces and mojos. Meat dishes, especially the beef option which usually comes in from South America, also get similar simple treatment.

And to Drink?

Lanzarote has a proud pedigree and long standing tradition of producing wine. The quality can vary widely though between year and bodega, so it pays to ask the advice of your waiter when selecting your bottle. Alternatively most restaurants also offer a range of wines from the Spanish mainland, including more familiar choices such as Riojas and Ribero del Duero´s.

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Vines, Wines and Shakespeare’s Times

 

Vineyard, La Geria, Lanzarote

Vines in Lanzarote's volcanic region

As any thirsty visitors to the island will soon attest Lanzarote is home to a truly unique form of viniculture that is light years removed from the production process in other European wine growing regions.  Reflecting the testing weather conditions prevalent on Lanzarote  – with wind, scorching heat and a near total absence of rainfall all conspiring against the farmers and bodegas who seek to work the alchemy of transforming grapes into a drinkable glass of wine.

Canary Wine In Shakespeare´s Time

The Canary Islands have quite a history when it comes to viniculture – as for a while during the 16th and 17th centuries wines from the islands were amongst the most sought after in the world, gracing the top tables of European royalty and enjoying name checks in many of William Shakespeare’s best known works, such as Twelfth Night and The Merry Wives of Windsor.  Whilst also popping up hundreds of years later in the work of other leading literary lights such as Keats, who also referred to wines from the island as Canary.

The sheer expense of wine (it was something in the region of twelve times the price of ale during Shakespeare´s time) and England´s growing rivalry with Spain meant that Canary never really caught on with the masses though – and imports dipped markedly as a result during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Vines and Volcanoes

Lanzarote´s wine growers were also hit by the enormous eruptions of the 1730´s which decimated numerous vineyards and villages in the region that is now known as Timanfaya.  But over time local farmers and producers learned to adapt, finding that they could use volcanic chippings, called picon, as a type of mulch for their vines, so overcoming the lack of water on Lanzarote.  The corrosive effects of the Trade Winds were also negated by growing the vines within protective stone semi circles, a zocos, which are evident everywhere in the island´s wine growing region, creating attractive uniform patterns in the black picon fields.

El Grifo – Lanzarote´s Best Known Winery

Lanzarote´s oldest bodega is the El Grifo winery, which dates back to 1775 and which is also one of the longest established producers in the Canaries.  These days El Grifo is probably best known for creating an award winning range of boutique wines using the Malvasia grape, which is the most predominant variety on the island and just ideal for sweet and dry white wine production.

20 Plus Island Bodegas

There are also over 20 other bodegas of varying scale, such as Bodega Stratvs, Los Bermejos and Bodega Rubicon, most of which can be found in the main wine growing region of La Geria, which is located close to the Timanfaya National Park.  Indeed wine lovers can enjoy quite a tipsy tasting trail by following the wine route from El Grifo in Masdache down to Uga whilst enjoying small samples of each specialty on route.  Some of the bodegas, such as Stratvs, are also home to good quality restaurants too. 

Eagle eyed wine lovers will also notice vines being cultivated in many other areas of the island too (albeit in much smaller quantities) and leading local wines are available in most supermarkets on Lanzarote.  Although some of the small production bodegas supply local restaurants only.

To find out more about wine production on the island you can visit the official site of the Denominacion de Origen for Lanzarote wines which includes lots of useful information such as a map of the local bodegas.

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