If you’re going to make one New Year’s resolution that you won’t break or regret in March, then why not decide to make an effort to discover the full range of food and drink on Lanzarote.
Look out of the window of your plane as you fly into Lanzarote and you’ll see a stark volcanic island, dominated by black rock and dusty dry wasteland. At first sight, you might think it doesn’t look like the sort of place that would produce a decent meal.
You’d be dead wrong. All over the island there are oases of freshly-watered fruits and vegetables, thriving and thrusting out flavour and fragrance that is intensified by the smiling sun. In recent years, producers have worked hard to bring even more variety to the island, and it’s now possible to buy a dizzying array of locally-produced and organic ingredients.
Goats graze on the sparse greenery of the wild uplands, turning tough leaves into sweet, fresh milk, while the seas surrounding the island teem with sardines, tuna, sea bream and many other types of fish and seafood.
All these products, as well as the delicious local wines, are rushed to local shops and markets or directly to restaurant kitchens, while many more fresh ingredients arrive from the neighbouring Canary Islands, Spain or even further afield.
Expert, experienced chefs who know exactly what their customers want, await to bring the full potential out of these ingredients and all over the island, hundreds of restaurant kitchens move into higher gear at lunchtime and in the evenings, seating, serving and satisfying hundreds of thousands of diners a year. And this tradition is also celebrated at food fairs throughout the year, where local chefs and producers showcase their wares.
Lanzarote is rapidly gaining a widespread reputation as a terrific tourist destination for food lovers, and while food has always been an essential part of the Lanzarote holiday experience, it is now taking centre-stage and becoming the main attraction.Read more...
TRADITIONS OLD & NEW
Lanzarote is full of different dining traditions. There’s the classic seafood lunch on a sun-dappled terrace with a sea view; long convivial Sunday meals with family and friends; open-air barbecues where the fragrance of roasting meat sets the taste buds going; light tapas snacks in bars and restaurants all around the island and the classic three course menú del día.
But many other traditions have arrived too. It’s easy to find an Argentinian or Uruguayan grill, a Colombian or Venezuelan arepera serving crisp filled maize cakes; a classic Chinese dim sum dinner or an Indian thali, and of course, fish and chips and a classic British Sunday dinner are also on offer throughout the resorts. All of these experiences take place on an island where only the best survive in a competitive and demanding restaurant culture. For five decades, Lanzarote has been perfecting its dishes and service, and you get to reap the benefits.
5 CANARIAN INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The island has successfully managed dwindling tuna stocks and this delicious, meaty fish is now widely available again, especially throughout the summer months.
The Canaries were the first islands in Europe to grow potatoes, and local spuds are as good as they get – papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) with spicy mojo sauce is perhaps the island’s signature dish.
Goat’s milk cheese
Produced from wild-roaming goats, the sweet, fresh milk is turned into mild, delicious queso fresco, or matured to give sharp, piquant semi-curado cheeses.
A sweet, fortified local wine that’s perfect for sipping with cakes, but can also be used in trifles and sweets or reduced to create delicious meat glazes.
Cilantro, or coriander, is a widely available fresh herb and a vital ingredient in the green mojos that accompany seafood dishes.