From Spicy Potatoes to Sublime Wines
Although the Lanzarote cuisine does not vary dramatically from that of its neighbours, there are some culinary stars. The addictive papas arrugadas (wrinkly potatoes) are generally accompanied by a choice of three mojo sauces (not always the Canarian case), including mojo verde (with parsley), mojo de cilantro (with fresh coriander) and the classic mojo picón (with a spicy chilli kick).
Latin American influences are reflected in several dishes and, for red-blooded appetites, the steaks are typically prime-cut Argentinian beef. Other popular meaty choices for Lanzaroteños include goat, baby kid and rabbit – exactly the same choices favoured by their Guanche ancestors who, by all accounts, were not the greatest fishermen. If you fancy a heart-warming homey stew, look for the classic puchero, traditionally made with various cuts of meat, fresh root vegetables and chickpeas.
Seafood lovers should look for the indigenous lapa, which is a species of limpet, traditionally grilled (which releases the flesh from the shell) and accompanied by a green mojo. Note that although they do not look as appealing, the black-fleshed lapas are tastier than the orange variety.
Do try the local wines while you are here, particularly the prize-worthy dry white malvasía (Malmsey wine). The vines flourish in the black volcanic soil and are planted in small craters to protect them from the wind. The grapes are planted and harvested manually, resulting in high labour costs. When you buy a bottle of local wine you actively contribute to the preservation of a traditional method of viniculture in danger of dying out.