The discovery of the Colorado potato beetle in certain UK potato shipments presents the risk of potato shortages in Canary Islands supermarkets, potentially lasting “four to five months.” This scarcity could drive up the prices of some of the Canary Islands’ most cherished recipes.
These dishes, fundamentally centred around potatoes—a longstanding and economical dietary staple in the Canary Islands—could see a significant price surge. Juan Luis Pulido, spokesperson for the Association of Distributors of Seed and Cultivated Potatoes of Las Palmas (Adipa), has even suggested that a potato shortage may be on the horizon.
Impact of rising potato prices on Canary Islands cuisine:
Wrinkled potatoes with mojo sauce
A classic staple of Canary Islands cuisine, this dish is as straightforward as it is delicious. Due to its simplicity, it’s a local favourite. Here is how to make it, courtesy of Abama Hotel:
For the potatoes:
- 1 kg of small potatoes
- 2 handfuls of salt
- 1 lemon wedge
- Water for boiling
For the mojo sauce:
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 hot peppers
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 4 tablespoons of vinegar
- 15 tablespoons of olive oil
- Coarse salt to taste
- Wash the Canary Island potatoes, keeping the skin on. Place them in a pot, adding salt and a lemon wedge. Add enough water to partially cover the potatoes.
- Boil until cooked, then drain the water. Return the potatoes to the pot and cook over low heat, shaking them gently until dry (about two minutes). Remove from heat and let them sit covered with a cloth for a few minutes.
- For the mojo sauce, use a mortar and pestle to crush the peeled and chopped garlic, cumin seeds, seeded hot peppers, and coarse salt. Add the paprika, olive oil, and vinegar, mixing until you reach the desired consistency. If needed, you can thin the sauce with a small cup of water.
Tip: The mojo sauce can be stored in the fridge for several months without losing its initial flavour.
Ribs with potatoes and corn on the cob
A local favourite due to its simplicity, this dish has seen a price surge recently due to increasing costs of both corn on the cob and potatoes.
- 4 corns on the cob
- 2 large ribs
- 8 medium-sized potatoes
- Coriander mojo
- Soak the ribs in water a day prior. Place them in a pot and cover with water (double the volume of the ribs).
- Simmer over medium heat for at least 30 minutes, or until the meat begins to turn a bit redder. Add the chopped corn on the cob.
- Add halved potatoes after 15 more minutes. Cover and cook until tender. Drain the water, sprinkle with chopped coriander, and serve.
An iconic dish in Canary Islands cuisine, Ropa Vieja is usually concocted from leftover stew ingredients. Many families consider it a weekend or festive treat.
- 500g chickpeas
- 500g beef
- 500g chicken
- 1 kg potatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 pepper
- 1 onion
- 1 tomato
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup water or stock
- Paprika, pepper, thyme, bay leaf, cloves, salt, and oil
- Soak chickpeas for a day, then boil with meat and salt. Drain and shred the meat.
- Sauté chopped onion, pepper, tomato, and garlic. Add pepper and cloves.
- Add paprika, wine, thyme, and bay leaf. Pour in the water or stock.
- Add meat and chickpeas, simmering for a few minutes. Finally, fry diced potatoes and combine.
Papas locas or “Crazy” Potatoes
Originating as a side dish in bars and cafés, this dish has gained national attention since its arrival from South America.
- 4 potatoes
- Frying oil
- Choice of sauces (mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup)
- Optional: sausages, ham, or cheese
- Slice the potatoes—many prefer using frozen potatoes for this dish—and deep-fry until golden.
- While still hot, remove from heat and add optional ingredients like yellow cheese, ham, or sausages. Drizzle with your choice of sauces and serve.