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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Spain > Canary Islands > Gran Canaria

the fp is food-and-drink

Gran Canaria Food and Drink

Although some way behind its larger neighbour, Tenerife, Gran Canaria has a burgeoning collection of high-end restaurants, most of which can be found in the capital and holiday resorts. Typically, though, island gastronomy is dominated by fish, seafood and meat dishes served with the ubiquitous papas arrugadas con salsa mojo (Canarian wrinkly potatoes with sauce). Recipes are not fancy, with the emphasis being on flavour and ability to fill stomachs, rather than presentation. Vegetables can be a bit of a rarity except in soups and stews, which is surprising given the range and quality of fresh produce available in farmers' markets.

Las Palmas has possibly the best selections of tapas bars on any of the islands and you can enjoy tapas nights every Thursday in the old quarter of Vegueta where participating restaurants offer deals on tapas and alcoholic drinks.

Gran Canaria is home to the only remaining coffee plantation in the Canarian archipelago, Los Berrazales, which is the most northerly plantation in the world and produces smooth, chocolaty beans. Finally, Gran Canaria's award-winning goat cheeses are worth looking out for, and its mole (egg yolk beaten with lemon curd) is a favourite with the sweet-toothed locals.

Specialities

Fish: Cherne (wreckfish), sama (Red sea bream), vieja (parrot fish), dorado (gilt-head sea bream), lubina (sea bass), calamari, sardines, choco (cuttlefish), pulpo (octopus) and lapas (limpets baked and then drizzled in garlic oil).
Carajacas: Liver marinated in a spicy sauce, fried and then boiled in a clay pot.
Sancocho: A dry, salty fish stew made with bass or bream and sweet potatoes.
Cabra con papas: Goat with potatoes or fries.
Mole: Egg yolk beaten with lemon curd.
Potaje: Watercress soup.
RopaVieja: A thick paste of shredded chicken or beef with chickpeas, potatoes and garlic.
Sweet potato truchas: Little almond and cinnamon flavoured pies.
Conejo al Salmorejo: Rabbit in sauce.
Puchero: Chorizo sausage, bean and potato stew.
Tinto del Monte: Meaning 'mountain red', this is the local speciality wine.
Tropical: Locally brewed beer.

Tipping

Few restaurants include a service charge in the bill. Tipping is discretionary and usually involves rounding up the charge to a maximum of around 10% in restaurants.

Drinking age

18.