Canary Islands typical food: How to delight your palate

canary islands typical food

This post is also available in: Español

You may already know some food to try if you travel to Spain but… Do you know the typical food of the Canary Islands? You’ll have to try them to get your strength back from surfing in Lanzarote or from climbing Teide peak.

We present to you what for us are the best dishes. Don’t forget to try them if you travel to the Canary Islands!

Mojo picón

If you go to visit La Palma you can’t miss this incredible sauce, although you’ll find it on any of the islands of the archipelago. It is prepared with garlic, cumin, breadcrumbs, oil, salt, and… Cayenne! This last ingredient gives it its spicy touch and its famous color 🔥.

mojo picon made in lanzarote
Photo by: Alex Cotón

However, there is a mild variant if you are not a fan of spicy flavors. Green mojo picón replaces cayenne with green bell pepper and cumin with coriander. It even has a little sugar in it.

Escaldón de Gofio

You will have to try this typical food of the Canary Islands if you plan to travel to Tenerife or to another of the islands. Gofio is a flour and cereal-based product that can be used both for sweet combinations (with yogurt for example) and for savory dishes.

The escaldón de gofio is prepared by combining red onion, coriander mojo, cheese and gofio. A vegetable, meat, or fish broth is added to this dish. If you are vegan you can take it with vegetable broth and without cheese. 🌱

Papas arrugás

A very simple recipe and suitable for all palates. This dish is prepared only with potatoes, water and salt. The island secret is in the potato (papa bonita or papa negra), which is native to the islands.

papas arrugas of canarias
Photo by: Jaume Escofet

The potatoes are simmered, with skin on and with a lot of salt. This is how they get that wrinkled appearance that makes them so characteristic. They are also usually accompanied with mojo picón sauce.


And to close with something sweet… barraquito coffee ☕️. This drink has condensed milk, liqueur, espresso coffee, and frothed milk (in order, from bottom to top). It can also be drunk without alcohol, although you will have to ask for it specifically.

barraquito typical of tenerife
Photo by: Jürgen Lindert

Depending on which island you order it from they may serve it with condensed milk or whole milk. And depending on the restaurant they will use Licor 43 (famous for its sweet flavor) or Licor Tia Maria (coffee liqueur with a hint of vanilla).

Now that you know the typical food of the Canary Islands… Do you feel like trying it? Do you know any dish that is not on this list? Tell us about it and we’ll write it down! 🤤

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