Now is the Time

September is the finest month of year on Lanzarote, a time when you can live – and eat – in absolute joy.

Lanzarote is the meeting point for flavours from three continents”

Lanzarote veterans know the score when it comes to September. This is the month when everything comes into its own. The scorching heat of the summer is turned down a few notches, leaving a mellow, peaceful atmosphere; the sea is at its warmest and calmest, the frantic buzz of tourism becomes a lower key murmur, and the island’s fresh food is at its very best.

In the harbours, fishermen are still returning with the fruits of the summer seas – yellowfin and skipjack tunas whose stocks are now on the rise, as well as plenty of tasty sea bream, sardines and other species. In the fields, farmers are carefully harvesting fruits and salad greens that are at their peak of ripeness and crispness. And in the bodegas, this year’s wine harvest has been collected and the first young whites will hit the market later in the year.

There’s an almost blissful aspect about dining out at this time of year. You’re less likely to get sunburned or see your menu whipped away by strong winds, and even though kids are always welcome on Lanzarote, the fact that most of them are on their way back to school means that open air life in the resorts has a quieter more mature, atmosphere.

Restaurants aren’t so crowded, and their owners and chefs will have spent the entire summer – or perhaps much longer – perfecting their dishes. Waiters are less harried and more able to devote time to each diner, and the bounty of the season means that it’s always worth checking the specials board.

Eating at home is also at its very best- it’s a pleasure to shop regularly in the grocery stores and markets for perfectly ripened produce, forget the fridge – eat it as soon as you get it home. If you want to have a barbecue, there’s no better time to do it, but preparing any kind of meal will be an informal pleasure – do what you want to do is the only rule.

The other advantage of this time of year is that the harvest season often means that prices are lower. Keep an eye out for special offers and learn to choose the best and freshest produce.
The Season’s Best
Here’s what to look out for on Lanzarote in September:

Tomatoes:
Tangy, ripe and a million miles from the polytunnel toms you buy in the UK, Canarian tomatoes have always been in demand.

Melons:
Watermelons, toadskins (piel de sapo) and other varieties are juicier, cheaper and sweeter than ever right now. Make the most of them.

Tuna:
Forget the tinned stuff. Deep red tuna steaks are available in any supermarket and are an essential element in local cooking. Simply flash grilled, or as part of more elaborate recipes, tuna never disappoints.