Gran Canaria for Foodies

Just a four-hour flight from the UK and blessed with year-round sunshine, the third-largest of the ever-popular Canary Islands lures with its golden-sand beaches, dramatic mountain landscapes, and atmospheric cities, towns and villages including the capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It’s also a fabulous destination for foodies, with wonderful cuisine, wine and rum to sample.

Family-run fincas in Gran Canaria grow everything from tomatoes and potatoes to bananas and coffee. The cheese is great too, and Canarian honey (an ingredient in the famous rum) can be tasted at the farms themselves.

Sustainability is key to the island’s success, and in August there’s even the Km.0 Festival celebrating and promoting hyper-local ingredients from around 160 island producers making everything from Canarian bread to chorizo.

The Gran Canaria Wine Route

The only certified Spanish wine route outside mainland Spain, La Ruta del Vino de Gran Canaria is a stunning journey through the landscapes and ways of life of inland Gran Canaria, with just over 50 wineries, restaurants, wine cellars and estates, cheese factories and traditional family-run bochinches welcoming visitors with open arms. See as few or as many as you like by hiring a car and enjoying the freedom to discover them at whim.

Gran Canaria’s red and white wines are nuanced, with notes of wood and volcanic giving them a unique character. Gran Canaria is home to nearly 40 grape varieties, and some of the estates on the island hold more than eight types of grapes. These include centuries-old varieties that disappeared from mainland European soil after the phylloxera outbreak and adapted to the island territory, resulting in unique vines.

Food Highlights of Gran Canaria

The north is a prime spot for sampling authentic local cuisine and drink, including the island’s signature honey rum at the Arehuas rum factory – the oldest rum distillery in Europe. Coffee, banana and other tropical fruit plantations dot this gorgeous landscape, and there are lot of places to stop off for wine tastings or to see award-winning local cheese makers in action.

But food discoveries abound all over the island. Sample local tapas in Las Palmas’ Puerto Market for the ultimate authentic experience, and enjoy an almost bewildering choice of restaurants and bars with open-air terraces all around the city, including those lining gorgeous 4km Las Canteras Beach (named one of Spain’s Top 10 Beaches by TripAdvisor) and those of Vegueta (which has its own tapas route every Thursday).

Dotted all over Gran Canaria, unpretentious local tavernas are great places to sample homemade dishes based on seasonal local ingredients, many with garden terraces and some located in family farmhouses. On the coast, seafood is naturally prevalent, while inland the onus is on meat, including rabbit and goat. Don’t miss local recipes including papas arrugadas (wrinkled Canarian potatoes) with mojo sauce, gofio escaldado (a fine gofio-flour purée served with toppings and chopped onions) and potaje (chickpea) stew.

Catch by local fishermen includes sardines (sardinas), mackerel (caballa), whitebait (longorones) and horse mackerel (chicharros), which appear regularly on menu boards of the island’s many fish restaurants. These little fish in turn attract tuna: look for signs for fresh bonito or atun. Something else to keep an eye out for is pescado de barquillo, small fish such as striped or pink bream, combers, parrot fish and red mullet tossed in flour and grilled or deep-fried, often priced by weight. Squid and octopus are also sometimes caught locally.

To book your foodie break in Gran Canaria, get in touch today. You’ll benefit from full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your trip.

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