Delicacies of the Spanish Islands
We are really excited by the launch of four new walks on the Islands of Spain. We have researched to find the best walking on La Gomera, Tenerife, Mallorca and Minorca and cant wait to get people out walking on these trips. The primary reasons for doing these trips, as any long distance walk, is the scenery, the feeling of freedom and discovery and the wonderful hospitality you encounter. However, if I am honest, just after lunchtime my thoughts tend to turn to, 'what can I have to eat tonight,' and 'I can't wait for a drink at the end of the day.'
For this very reason I have decided to give you a little insight into what the local specialities on each of our new walks might be. It is always a great thing to sink your teeth into something particular to the place you are visiting so here is the wonderful Macs Adventure guide to the local specialities of the Spanish Islands.
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The Markets of La Gomera[/caption]
Being such a green and botanical island, it comes as no surprise that the food on La Gomera focuses on the fresh and natural side. They like their food simple and hearty, but the flavours that you will encounter are a taste explosion compared to what we are used to in the UK. The climate on the island is massively conducive to growing fruit and veg and you will be amazed at the giant avocados and how juicy and rich the tomatoes taste. La Gomera also produces an abundance of beautifully sweet palm honey which forms the base of a multitude of wonderful deserts. The two main regional specialities to look out for are -
Potage de Berros
- A delicious watercress based soupy stew that is peppery and fresh and packed full of nutritious fresh ingredients. Great starter but usually eaten at lunch with a little cheese and Gofio on the side.
- Is basically a goats cheese paste, but combined with paprika , chilli and tomato to make an exceptional snack.
For such a small island there are surprisingly 13 vineyards, so you will not be in short supply of some local wine. Their speciality is really white wine which make perfect accompaniment to the bountiful seafood on the island. 2004 was a particularly good vintage on the island, though the wines you still find from this vintage will be more on the sweet side.
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Papas Arrugadas covered in delicious Mojo[/caption]
Tenerife is home of the Mojo. Not the act of casting spells, but a range of sauces which are the staple for many a meal on the island. Every restaurant has its own version, its own secret recipe and you will find it served over everything from fish to Papas arrugadas,
the famous Canarian wrinkled potatoes. A couple of things to look out for on the menu are -
Golfio - A paste made from crushed wheat and barley that resembles mashed potato in look and texture. It is a taste sensation and a definite one to try.
Stews - Tenerife is famed for its stews and the most popular you will find are - Cazuela de Pescado
(fish) Puchero Canario
(various meats and veg) Potage de Verudas
( a rich vegetable stew) Potage de Berros
Tenerife again has its share of vineyards with 5 designated wine growing regions on the island. They are famed for their sweet red wines made with Malvasra. Another great local treat is the honey rum. Rum produced from the abundant sugar cane on the island mixed with sweet palm honey. The cautious among you may be tempted to add a little lemonade, but the way to drink it is definitely straight.
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The Famous Mallorcan Olives[/caption]
Mallorca is all about olives. Olives are everywhere and you will see them served with most meals and drinks. They bottle the oil, make soap from them and carvings and firewood from the vines. If you are not a fan, Mallorca is definitely the place to cultivate an obsession for these delightful little snacks. Two great specialities to look out for are -
Llom amb Col
- A Pork dish made from the local black Mallorcan pig (the Spanish really know how to do pork!) wrapped in cabbage with pine nuts and raisins.
- A Mallorcan take on Ratatouille and something you will find on almost every menu on the island. Sliced potatoes, aubergines and red peppers, lovingly cooked in local olive oil. Heavenly.
Strangely for an island, a lot of the seafood is imported due to heavy overfishing, however, they do a magic Sea Bass in rock salt, which is well worth trying, as well as Greixonera de peix
- A hearty traditional fish stew.
Drink wise, Herbas Secos
is drunk everywhere on the island which is an aniseed liqueur and you simply must try Palo - a deliciously caramelly aperitif.
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Calderata de Langosta - Fit for a King![/caption]
Two of the Menorcan people's favourites are deserts and gin, which instantly sounds like a winner to me. The sweet-toothed locals are very fond of Carquinyols
(almond macaroons) and La Menorquina
ice cream, which has grown in popularity to the point that it is available all over the Spanish mainland. For local dishes to try, I would go for -
Caldereta de Llagosta
- A traditional lobster stew, based upon the simple recipe that fishermen would make while out on their boats for days on end. King Juan Carlos flies over to Menorca especially to tuck into this dish, so it comes highly recommended.
Mahon Cheese - The most famous product of the island is by far Mahon cheese. Its distinctive square shape boasts a certain sharpness, and its lemony, salty flavours evince the rural Mediterranean seascape. Ideal with Tempranillo.
Gin is king on Menorca. The British brought it over in the 18th Century and the Menorcan's took it to their hearts (and heads!) It has however been altered by the local tastes and made with a variety of herbs and mixtures. During the festival seasons, it is mixed with lemonade to make Pomada
, a beautiful, refreshing drink, but one to be wary of!
Sampling these delicacies after a beautiful days walking sounds like my idea of heaven and should you wish to partake, then simply have a look at Macs Adventure's Walking in Spain
site or get in touch at with one of our specialists on 0141 530 8886. Hasta Pronto!