On our quick tour of the ever sunny Canary Islands, we look next at the fish landed here. They may not be among the most famous fish in Spain, or the most commonly served on the mainland; but that only means they are even more special. What fish can taste fresher than that pulled from the clean and warm waters off the Canary Islands?
The islands may today be very popular with holidaymakers but without the trade winds and current, they would more resemble the dustier parts of North Africa.
It is the cool ocean current, an offshoot of the gulf stream, that ensures that the islands have a climate that so many people enjoy, especially in the winter months.
The waters here provide the perfect conditions for fish. The variety is astonishing, They include blue merlin, see eel, alfonsino, moray, mackerel and sea perch. To name but a few.
Modern fishing techniques mean the quantity may be depleted these days, but the quality and variety is still the envy of many coastal areas of mainland Spain.
On local restaurant menus you’ll find meals of tuna, parrotfish, golden mackerel and the ubiquitous sardine. Grilling fish is the most popular technique of cooking here. Or the locally caught fish will turn up in a winter stew.
They grill fish with oil, garlic and parsley and it is often served with a piquant green sauce (mojo verde) and the popular papas arrugadas, or wrinkled potatoes, a recipe for which is on this site.
Salt cod (bacalao) is served with either boiled sweet chestnuts or locally grown bananas. That’s one ingredient the Canary Islands will never grow short of.
Fish served in the Canary Islands most often arrives at your table with the head intact. The fish is cut lengthways, including the head.
One sight you will see at certain times of the year is that of people looking for limpets. When the Atlantic waters have turned back, exposing the damp cliffs and rocks, you’ll find people using sharp knives to loosen the tasty limpets.
They are covered in green algae. Camouflage, if you like. So spotting a limpet is not easy. They cling tightly to the rocks and are protected by a limestone shell.
Looking for Limpets is a tasty hobby for some, and a provider of an income for others.
They are sold to local bars and restaurants who serve them as a tapas.
We shall be serving up a couple of Canary Island fish recipes on this site, under our recipes section, very shortly.