Tapas! A taste of Spain when visiting Lanzarote
Posted on 18/06/2017 by Ian Sheldon
In Spain, tapas is traditionally a small snack served alongside drinks.
Dinner was typically eaten very late, so Spaniards would often stop by their local bars and snack on small servings of food in the early evening to keep themselves going until their night time meal.
Now, Tapas is most popular as part of a social event - families and friends meet in bars and enjoy a selection of dishes throughout the afternoon whilst drinking and chatting together. When the locals go for tapas, they tend to spend several hours socialising whilst enjoying different dishes of food sporadically.
Tapas is mostly made with Mediterranean style ingredients, such as garlic, olive oil, bread, olives, and seafood.
Pork (Jamon) is also very popular, along with caramelised steaks and Chorizo. A variety of local cheeses can often be found, and in the Canary Islands goats cheese is available as a dish in most tapas bars. There is not a huge selection of vegetarian options, however it is still possible to enjoy tapas if you do not eat meat. Spanish omlette (tortilla) is a delicious potato and onion dish, and fresh local peppers are also often available. Freshly baked bread is often brought to the table, and is very enjoyable with cheese and jam.
Most restaurants here in Lanzarote serve Tapas, but we certainly recommend getting off the beaten track and trying one of the more local bars. The eateries in very touristic areas tend to me a bit more expensive, and in the smaller more local areas the food tends to be fresher and of higher quality - not to mention the service is usually very friendly and welcoming.
Prices generally range from €2 to €7 a dish, depending on what it is and where you are. In the smaller more local towns the prices tend to be much lower, and on the seafronts of the main resorts it tends to be a little bit more expensive. For 2 people we usually recommend trying around 5 dishes, however you are welcome to try as few or as many as you like. Tapas bars are open usually for both lunch and evening dinner, but sometimes shut mid afternoon for a siesta.Here are some of our top dishes that we recommend trying during your visit here:
Canarian potatoes (Papas arrugadas) are the signature dish of the Canaries, and are available as a side plate in most of the restaurants here. Small new potatoes are boiled in salt water (traditionally seawater) until soft. Once they are cooked, the water is drained from the pan and the potatoes are left in so that the salt makes the skin go crispy. They are usually accompanied with Mojo sauce, a delicious salsa also typical of the Canaries.
Garlic prawns (Gambas al Ajillo) are usually caught fresh, and cooked in bubbling hot oil with corriander and garlic cloves until perfect.
Pimientos de padrón
Pimientos de padrón is a dish of green peppers fried in olive oil and rock salt. The dish originates from the Galician town of Padrón, but the peppers served here are grown locally giving them a very unique and fresh taste.
Croquettes come in many different varieties depending on which restaurant you are in. These fried breadcrumb snacks are most commonly filled with white fish and potato, however they can also be found with ham, tuna, and spinach.
Fried baby squid cooked in batter, and typically served with squeezed lemon.
Patatas Bravas are potatoes that are cut into small irregular shapes and boiled in salted water for several minutes. Once they are soft they are then deep fried in hot oil until they are crispy. These potatoes are often used as a side dish in restaurants to accompany steak and pork. In tapas, they are are usually served alone with hot salsa sauce, mojo sauce, or aioli (garlic sauce.)
Lanzarote goats cheese
The cheese here is produced locally on small goat farms. The farmers here produce and make the cheese before selling it to neighbouring restaurants and shops. The cheese differs slightly between the Canary Islands - the style of cheese produced here is called queso conejero, and is usually served with paprika, oil, or a small amount of fig jam. Assorted cheese boards are a great way to try several different styles of Spanish produce, and they go especially well served with olive oil and freshly baked local bread.
Chorizo and Egg
Chorizo is pork seasoned with smoked paprika. Served alone, or with a fried egg, it is a popular Tapas dish here in Lanzarote.
Whatever your preference for food, there is a Tapas dish for everyone to enjoy, and don't forget to compliment it with a tasty glass of Lanzarote wine!