Spain is world famous for its food and its influence can be found throughout the culinary world. Away from the mainland, Spain’s islands are just as gastronomically rich, with each serving their own delicious indigenous recipes or their own take on a traditional dish.
To celebrate the unique flavours of the Balearics and the Canary Islands, we asked some of our favourite food bloggers to share their own delectable recipes, all inspired by our Spanish island destinations.
Menorca’s food doesn’t stray too far from the Mediterranean staples of olive oil, wine and bread, which are a favourite throughout Spain. Its food also, naturally, has a lot in common with its neighbour Majorca and, being an island, fish is central to its dishes. Another key ingredient is chorizo, and Anyonita Nibbles uses the pork sausage to great effect with chicken, orange and potatoes in a hearty gluten-free concoction. To follow that, Rhyme and Ribbons shares her method for the traditional Spanish sponge cake coca de congret.
Coca de Congret
Gluten Free Chicken and Chorizo with Orange and Potato
Closer to the Spanish coast is Majorca, the jewel of the Balearic Islands. The island has been under both Spanish and Moorish rule throughout its history, and its hearty cuisine reflects a bit of both cultures. One of the most popular traditional Mallorcan delights is the spreadable spicy sausage sobrassada, which is combined with goat’s cheese in a tasty tart for one of our recipes. For dessert, Tea Time in Wonderland suggests a delicious gato d’ametlla (Mallorcan almond tart).
Sobrasada and goats cheese tart
Gato d’ametlla and fláo or ensaimada
The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife’s cuisine is based heavily on grilled meat and fish, which is most often served with vegetables or papas arrugadas (wrinkly potatoes). A regular condiment with most dishes is red or green mojo, a piquant sauce that is now popular around the world thanks to Canarian emigrants. The red mojo is typically eaten with meat, and the green with fish.
Our bloggers’ Tenerife-inspired recipes feature Spanish Carnaval pancakes, which are traditionally served at the island’s spectacular annual carnival, and a vegetarian potaje de berros (watercress soup).
Spanish Carnaval Pancakes
Potaje de Berros Watercress Soup
Given the Canary Islands’ location (just off the north west coast of Africa), it’s no surprise that African influences pop up throughout its cuisine. That said, Latin America is equally influential and thus gives Canarian food a very different slant to typical Spanish fare.
Bangers and Mash’s recipe for ropa vieja (shredded beef stew) is a case in point – it’s a traditional Cuban dish but has its origins in Spanish cooking dating back to the Middle Ages. Also on their menu is bienmesabe, a sweet almond dessert. Nutmegs suggests another traditional Canarian dessert, Vilana cake which, strangely enough, is predominantly made with potatoes.
Ropa Vieja and Bienmesabe
Fuertaventura is the second-largest island in the archipelago and the closest to the African coast. Goat is extremely popular here, a reflection of its African influences, but like the other Canaries, its cuisine is still laced with tastes of Spain. Be sure to try Daisies & Pie’s prawn skewers and piquant mojo sauce for a flavour of Fuerta.
Prawn skewers and mojo picon dressing
Tomte e Cebola
As we turn our attention to Lanzarote, the easternmost of the Canary Islands, Canarian favourite mojo verde (green mojo) makes another appearance, this time on Rachna’s Kitchen’s mojo pizza. Alongside that you’ll find a recipe for frangollo pudding, which translates into English as “a mess” but truly tastes anything but.
Arroz de Matanza
Mojo Verde Pizza
Arroz de Matanza