There’s no need to catch a ferry from Tenerife to one of the other islands to get a taster of what each has to offer, you can do that with a wander around any decent sized supermarket of craft shop. Many stock Canary Islands specialities, some of which are unique to different islands.
Here’s what to look out for if you want to stock up on goodies from the other six islands.
Rum from Gran Canaria
Although rum is produced on other islands (Tenerife and La Palma) the Arehucas factory on Gran Canaria has been producing rum for the islanders and fans further afield for 130 years. At carnival time on Tenerife supermarkets set up big displays of Arehucas as it’s one of THE street party essentials. Arehucas claim to be the biggest rum factory in Europe, producing gold rum, white rum, rum with honey and caramel flavours, 7 and 12 year old rums and the pirates’ favourite Capitan Kidd which has been matured in oak barrels for 30 years.
Aloe Vera from Fuerteventura
Whilst you can find aloe vera from Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, it is the striking fields of this ‘Desert Lily’ framed against tangerine hills on Fuerteventura which are most famous for the plant the Ancient Egyptians called the plant of immortality. Its a super product whose extracts used in all sorts of ways for health and beauty purposes. Mostly these involve rubbing it on the skin, but drinking aloe vera has become increasingly popular. You can find aloe vera products all across Tenerife in both resort areas and traditional towns.
Cigars from La Palma
In the hills at Breña Baja on La Palma, Cuban maidens hand roll puros (cigars) from locally grown tobacco leaf, on scarred ancient wooden tables and not on their thighs in case anyone was wondering. The best La Palma puros can give their Cuban counterparts a run for their money and don’t cost anything like as much. La Palma cigars are easily available on Tenerife.
Malvasia from Lanzarote
Shakespeare was a fan of sweet Malvasia wine from the Canary Islands and it’s still seducing palates four and a half centuries further down the line. The most renowned is Malvasia from Geria on Lanzarote where the vineyards are quite unlike any you’ve seen anywhere. If they ever find wine-guzzling life on another planet their vineyards will probably look like Geria’s.
Palm Honey from La Gomera
Every decent supermarket stocks miel de palma, a delicious, sweet ‘fake’ honey from La Gomera. Fake because it’s made from palm sap so not a proper honey, but who cares about technicalities when it tastes this good.
Pineapples from El Hierro
When you taste a pineapple from most westerly Canary Island, El Hierro, it will make you realise the ones in your local supermarket back in Britain are poor copies. However, this juicy fruit and airline baggage allowances aren’t compatible bedmates. If you want a taste of El Hierro to take home it will have to be a quesadilla, a little sponge cake which is a speciality of the smallest Canary Island.
Category : food and drink
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