Many holidaymakers head to the Canary Islands to spend the end-of-year festivities being attracted by warm weather, beautiful scenary and unbeatable variety of leisure activisties that the islands offer for any taste. Naturally, a gastronomic offer is an important part of celebrating the Christmas and in the archipelago there are numerous traditional meals and dishes that are prepared specifically on the ocasion. One should keep in mind that they vary depending on the island. So, today we would like to share some of these typical Christmas meals that one can try in the Canary Islands.
“Puchero”, the Canarian stew
The puchero canario is a dish prepared with a variety of vegetables and meats cooked slowly in a pot. The vegetables usually include potatoes, onions, peppers, tomatoes, beans and peas, while the meats can be chicken, pork or lamb. Sometimes fish or seafood is also added to the stew. The dish is cooked slowly for several hours so that all the ingredients are mixed and cooked to perfection. It is a very tasty and nutritious dish, and is commonly served as the main course at family meals.
Papas arrugadas (literally, wrinkled potatos)
In the Islands, papas arrugadas, which are potatoes cooked in salted water with their skins on, are well known. These potatoes are usually accompanied by the most famous sauce of our islands, the mojos, which are used to accompany different dishes. There are several types of mojos, each with its own specific flavour and use. Some of the most popular mojos in the Canary Islands are: red mojo, green mojo or coriander mojo.
During Christmas in the Canary Islands, it is common to enjoy carne mechada, a traditional dish of Canarian cuisine prepared with beef or pork meat slowly cooked in a broth of wine and spices. The meat is sliced thinly and cooked for several hours along with vegetables such as onion, pepper, garlic and tomato. Once cooked, it is removed from the broth and allowed to cool before being cut into thin strips. It is a very tasty and nutritious dish, usually served as a main course at family meals and accompanied with fried potatoes or white rice.
At Christmas celebrations in the Canary Islands, it is common to enjoy Canarian sancocho, a traditional Canarian dish prepared with fish or seafood cooked in a broth of vegetables and spices. This dish is prepared with vegetables such as onion, tomato, garlic and pepper, and spices such as paprika, cumin and garlic are added.
It is cooked slowly for several hours so that all the ingredients are mixed and cooked to perfection, resulting in a very tasty and nutritious dish that is usually served as the main course at family meals.
Meat pie is a traditional dish of Canarian cuisine, consisting of a puff pastry dough filled with minced meat and vegetables. The meat is usually beef or pork, and is mixed with vegetables such as onion, pepper, garlic and tomato. The puff pastry is folded over to form a pie and baked until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Pastel de carne is a very tasty and nutritious dish, and is commonly served as the main course at family meals. In some areas of the Canary Islands, meatloaf is known as “empanada” or “empanadilla”.
This is a preparation made with rice cooked in milk and sugar, to which spices such as cinnamon, vanilla or lemon may be added, and fruits such as sultanas or pineapple chunks. It is sometimes served cold, but can also be eaten hot. It is a very tasty and comforting dessert, and is commonly served on special occasions or as a breakfast or afternoon snack. This dessert is perfect to add to your Christmas table in the Canary Islands.
Sweet potato trout-shaped pastry
This is a typical sweet from the Canary Islands, which is made mainly at Christmas time and usually filled with sweet potato. The original name is “trucha” which literally translates as trout and it refers to the shape of the delicacy. The “truchas” are prepared with sweet potato and almonds and might also have matalauva, cinnamon, lemon zest and anis liqueur in the filling. The dough is made with flour, water, butter, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Once the dough has been rolled out into different pieces, it is filled with the mixture and folded over by crimping the edges together with a fork. As the final step, they are fried and left to cool and then sprinkled with a little sugar.