You may think you’ve tasted a melon, a tomato, or a banana, but until you’ve sampled the flavours of Lanzarote’s high summer season, you haven’t lived.
In Lanzarote’s food calendar, August means intense, sun- strengthened flavours and perfect ripeness. This is the time when many fruits taste at their most perfect.
The month begins with the availability of sweet locally grown muscatel table grapes. These aren’t always easy to find – you’ll usually have more luck looking in smaller fruterías rather than the big supermarkets – but they’re so worth it– the sweetest, most fragrant grapes you’ll ever taste.
Melons are a Lanzarote speciality. The local sandias (watermelons) are in huge demand in August – their green dappled skin and coral-coloured flesh is a symbol of summertime, and they’re better now than at any other time of year. Be sure not to miss the local piel de sapo (toadskin) melons, though, which can also be absolutely spectacular.
Figs come in two waves – brevas are larger figs that started to grow last year and arrive in late spring or early summer. They’ve already gone, but the smaller, sweeter, velvety higos de leche should arrive in August and are spectacularly good.
Soft fruits such as peaches, nectarines and plums also reach an unparalleled level of ripeness and flavour in late summer.
Then, of course, there are tomatoes. Lanzarote and Fuerteventura produce incredible tomatoes with a tang and zest that is entirely absent from greenhouse-grown northern toms. They’re cheap enough to make plenty of healthy, cooling gazpacho, but they’re also perfect on their own, sliced and served with a little good oil and salt.
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