Spanish Christmas dinners are different, The meal is eaten on Christmas Eve and, although seafood, lamb and Cava are common, there is no fixed tradition of what to eat. The only important thing is that it should be special.
Yeray Hernández at Tías Fruit is used to catering for all Christmas traditions. “We have plenty of British customers, and at Christmas they provide a big demand for two things: Brussels sprouts and parsnips”, says Yeray. Other Christmas ingredients such as cranberries are also now available on Lanzarote.
But the shop has much more to offer, and the local desire for fine foods is also well-served at Christmas- time. “We stock seasonal fruits and vegetables at this time of year, of course,”, says Yeray. “They include pomegranates, mandarins, guayabos (guavas), kakis (persimmons) and chirimoyas (custard apples).
There is also a wide range of mushrooms on sale. They include normal, white champiñones, but also Boletus, Portobello mushrooms, shiitake, deep gold Chanterelles, Spanish varieties called Gulas del Monte, Niscalos, Lengua de Vaca or even the delicious, black Trompetas de la Muerte (Death Trumpets). Any of these make a fantastic starter fried in butter or olive oil with a little garlic, or scrambled with fresh eggs.
Then there are local specialities, of which the papa bonita from Tenerife is one of the favourites. These small, dark spuds are expensive, but are worth the outlay for one of the most flavoursome, delicious potatoes you can find.
At Christmas you’ll also find the fish counters spilling with produce, with all varieties of prawns and seafood, heaps of mussels and plenty of fresh fish, of which the tasty Cherne is a local favourite. Smoked salmon is also an island speciality on Lanzarote.
Meatwise, roast lamb is a popular Christmas meal, while shops are full of hams and deli meats, with the expensive Ibéríco varieties a special favourite.
There’s no shame in having a traditional British or Irish festive feast on Lanzarote, but it’s a time when you should also take the opportunity to discover some of the fantastic ingredients that are widely available on the island.
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