Puerto del Carmen’s variety of gastronomic options ranges from a broad array of international food to restaurants offering the best traditional Canarian cuisine. Avenida de Puerto del Carmen is the street with most restaurants, bars, international nightclubs, burger bars and amusements. But if you are hoping to try the Canary Island’s most traditional dishes, head towards the old quarter, near El Varadero Dock.
If we were to highlight a product that has played a significant role in the Canarian diet, it would be, without a doubt, gofio. This meal has been part of the local diet since before the islands were conquered. It is a kind of flour obtained by toasting and grinding several types of cereal (wheat, barley and so on), and pulses (beans, millet, chickpeas, peas and the like), which are added to the mixture to enrich it and produce different varieties of gofio. A good plate of Canarian sancocho (a dish consisting essentially of salty fish and potatoes), for instance, is never complete without a dumpling of gofio, nor is a fish soup the same without its corresponding ‘escaldón’.
Gofio dumplings are known as ‘pellas’ and are made by adding salt and water to the floury mixture. It is kneaded together inside a zurrón (a kind of leather pouch) or by hand using a traditional bowl known as an hondilla. Pieces of cheese, olive oil or any other ingredient of the eater’s fancy can also be added to the mixture. Sweet pellas are made with gofio, honey (to taste), almonds, seedless raisins and a pinch of sea salt.
The escaldón we mentioned earlier is a soft doughy mixture served as a side dish, which is made using fresh fish or meat stock. The gofio and stock are mixed together in a bowl to form a homogeneous dough. Gofio escaldado (poached gofio) is made by pouring milk or stock into the flour and stirring it together slowly on the hob. New culinary trends have meant that we can now find gofio as a sweet in the form of mousse, nougat, ice cream or liquor.
We also highly recommend you try the area’s delicious fish, a helping of papas con mojo (potatoes with pepper sauce), sancocho and caldo millo (a sort of millet soup). We’re confident they will tickle your taste buds.