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Isla de La Palma
Puntagorda, La Palma
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Isla de La Palma
A visit to La Palma would not be complete without sampling some of the food available on the island
|Local fruit and vegetables|
| ||The fruit and vegetables found in most shops, cafes and restaurants are grown locally using 'normal' cultivation methods which often means that they have more flavour than visitors from Northern Europe would normally expect.|
When buying fruit and veg in the supermarket it is usually easy to tell the difference between the local and imported produce.
The imported stuff looks 'perfect' - identical shape, identical colour, no marks or blemishes, and is often labelled 'import'.
The local produce comes in cardboard or wooden boxes, is delivered directly to the shops and markets by local farmers. The fruit is often mis-shapen. It usually tastes wonderful so don't turn your nose up, try it!
| ||Bananas (Platanos)||The main local variety of banana is shorter and straighter than 'the usual' banana, and are delicious.|
| ||Oranges (Naranga)||Choose the loose oranges which are not perfectly shaped. Ideal for making juice.|
| ||Avocados (Aguacates)||The avocados sold in Northern Europe are kept in cold storage for travelling and are ripened artificially.|
The local avocados here come straght from the trees .. and you can really taste the difference.
| ||Cactus fruit||The fruit of the local cactus is eaten in large quantities here, it is very juicy and contains many edible seeds. When you buy it in the shops the spines have usually been removed, otherwise lay them on the (sand)floor en brush them off with a stiff broom or hard brush. Keep it in the fridge for a few hours, then cut the ends off, slice the skin lengthways, peel the skin back and eat the center.|
| ||Figs (Higos)||In the summer months fresh figs can be plucked form the trees - or bought in the shops. Don't eat the figs which hang in the sun, it may well give you 'tummy-trouble'. In the rest of the year dried figs can be bought either loose or plastic-wrapped.|
| ||Almonds (Almendras)||In the autumn, the almonds are harvested from the trees and kept in storage to be eaten throughout the year. They are often sold in small plastic bags in shops, or along the roadside. They are sometimes roasted, sometimes covered in salt or sugar.|
Palmeroos make use of almonds in many things, desserts, biscuits, cakes, spreads, liquers etc. etc.
| ||Tomatoes (Tomates)||When you taste the local tomatoes you will realise how much flavour is lost in the commercialisation of the growing process. If you grow your own tomatoes at home you will know what we mean.|
| ||Sweet Chestnuts (Castañe)||In season there is a good supply of sweet chestnuts which can be eaten fresh, or barbequed.|
| ||Meat is for the Palmeroos an important part of the daily menu. They eat mainly pork, and also lamb, goat, rabbit and chicken. You will also find it on the menus of restaurants serving local food.|
| ||Goat (Cabrito)||Young goat is often served deep fried (cabrito frito) or in a stew (cabrito en salsa).|
Goat meat has a strong flavour, similar to lamb. It is usually eaten off-the-bone and the Palmeroos find it normal that you use your fingers.
| ||Rabbit (Conejo)||Rabbit is often served in a stew/sause, or in paella or fried.|
| ||Spreading sausage ||You may see this soft spicy sausage in the meat display counters in long strings which are an almost orange colour. The spicy meat inside is squeezed out of its skin and spread on bread.|
| ||Sausage(Salchichó/Chorizo)||There is a wide variety of spanish sausage available. Smaller quantities are available pre-packed in plastic, or from the meat counter, or you can buy a whole sausage and slice it yourself. It is mostly fairly hard and with a high fat content, and lots and lots of flavour.|
| ||Ham (Jamon)||There is the usual assortment of sliced ham, but you can get that at home so why not try the smoked ham ......|
The serrano is an spanish speciality. It is often hung in meat shops and restaurants and sliced very very thinly. It can be a bit chewy but has an excellent taste.
| ||La Palma is surrounded by the Atlantic ocean which provides a good variety of fish. Strangely the price is a bit high. Lots of different fish is available in tins.|
Well-known and delicious to eat are the paella and the zarzuela.
Some main fish are tuna, swordfish, vieja, sardines and octopus.
| ||On La Palma the cheese is made from goats milk. There are very few cows on the island, largely due to the lack of pasture for grazing, so dairy products have to be imported.|
You can find all kinds of goat cheese in the shops.
|Potatoes, sauces and Gofio|
| ||Potatoes grow well in the rich red soil of La Palma. Potatoes and yams, or sweet potatoes, are part of the staple diet. Farmers get 3 to 4 crops per year of the small potatoe varieties. They are often eaten with one or more sauses.|
Potatoes are also used in the tortilla, the Spanish omelet.
Another traditional 'filler' is Gofio, a flour used in many ways.
| ||Papas arugadas||Small, locally grown, potatoes cooked in their skins in water rich in sea salt (from the salt works in Fuencaliente). The salt residue can be seen on the crinkled skins. Usually eaten with mojo sauce.|
| ||Mojo verde||A sauce made of, among other things, green peppers, garlic and spices|
| ||Mojo rojo||A sauce made of, among other things, red peppers, garlic and spices. There are soft and spicy versions.|
You will notice differences in the taste of the mojos .... because each family has its own recipe.
| ||Alioli||Garlic mayonaise, also the taste of the alioli is different in every restaurant.|
| ||Gofio||A kind of flour made from toasted and milled cereals. Used with milk for breakfast, in drinks, in meat dishes etc. Palmeroos say it is very healthy and many eat it every day!|
| ||Many local desserts are based on two products of La Palma ... almonds and honey.|
| ||Bienmesabe||A mixture of sponge, eggs, almonds, sugar and lemon|
| ||Pricipe Alberto||a mixture of sponge, chocolate and almonds|
| ||Flans or quesillos||Crème caramel|
| ||Lemon tart|