How to make Almogrote from La Gomera

Typical delicious paste from La Gomera in the Canary Island, Spain.

Ingredients to make Almogrote from La Gomera, in the Canary Islands
Ingredients to make Almogrote from La Gomera

Ingredients

This paste is made with;

  • hard and extra mature goats cheese,
  • olive oil,
  • garlic,
  • salt,
  • and dried spicy red peppers (without seeds).

Steps

Traditionally you would mix it all in a wooden mortar and pestle.

  • The garlic will be mashed with the salt,
  • then you add the chopped cheese into a very thick paste,
  • then you put the oil in and spicy pepper until it “Wows” your taste buds.

Nowadays everything goes into a modern blender. The quantities are pretty much left to each person’s taste however the cheese is the main ingredient.

Almogrote is eaten with bread or toasts and it goes very well with a glass of red wine.

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Figs Peaks of the Canary Islands

Figs green peaks of the Canary Islands
Figs green peaks of the Canary Islands

What are peak figs?

They are the sweet fruit of a type of cactus. You can find them in ravines and slopes, next to palm trees, and separated from them. You distinguish them because first an orange flower appears, then the dark green fruit, which softens, and finally the red fruit.

Canary Islands peak fig flower
Canary Islands peak fig flower

Other names for the peak fig

In the Canary Islands the fig peaks are also called; tun figs, or chumbo figs. But it must have countless other names in other countries, such as Nopal in Mexico, where they also eat cactus pulp (a typical dish there that I have eaten in Tenerife called Nopalada).

How it’s and how it’s eaten

Even if it is a fruit that abounds in the Canary Islands, and that there is even a song dedicated to the beak fig, it is not a fruit that eats too much, because you can bite when you catch them, and because it has many pipes inside its pulp.

Mature red-billed figs from the Canary Islands
Mature red-billed figs from the Canary Islands

It is eaten when the fruit is red, or yellow, but care must be taken when collecting it from the cactus. It is normal to take them with gloves, and once placed on the floor on a blanket, sweep them with a clean hatch, to remove the maximum number of their tiny skewers.

When they are clean of skewers;

Step 1; cut the tips of the beak fig

Step 1 Cut the tips of the peak fig of the Canary Islands
Step 1 Cut the tips of the peak fig of the Canary Islands

Step 2; hendir a little the knife into the elongated part, and separate the skin a little with the knife

Step 2 Cut the elongated part of the peak fig of the Canary Islands
Step 2 Cut the elongated part of the peak fig of the Canary Islands

Step 3; stick the fingers of one hand into the slit, while the fingers of the other grab the beak fig by the already cut tips, and gently separate the skin sideways, until it comes out whole

Step 3 separate the skin from the peak fig of the Canary Islands
Step 3 separate the skin from the peak fig of the Canary Islands

And to eat the beak fig, or the blender. enjoy your meal!.

Peeled Canary Islands peak fig
Peeled Canary Islands peak fig

I love to eat them as they are, without the skin, but another option is to put them in the blender to get rid of the pipes, and enjoy the liquid of their pulp.

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How the vineyard is pruned

Pruning Vineyard Tenerife by ShopCanarias.es
Pruning Vineyard in Tenerife by ShopCanarias.es

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to learn how to prune the vineyard, in dry vineyards in the north of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, with a winegrower as a teacher, who in turn learned not only from his grandfather, but also from his constant trainings regarding the world of Canarian wine and viticulture (1). Quite a luxury, if we take into account that some vines are around 100 years old, because the Canary Islands, because of its remoteness, was freed from the plague of the vine.

First I had a good time listening to the explanations, and watching how the vineyard is pruned. Then they left me, under the watchful eye of the winegrower, to start practicing what I learned in parras of grape types; black listan, white listan, and negramol.

Pruning is the most important part of the winemaking process 🍷 Depends on how it is made, it will affect not only the harvest, but also the production process. Hence this teacher spends several days pruning fondly.

Steps to prune the vineyard

The vineyard pruning could be summarized in the following steps;

  • Do it carefully and patiently, because once you cut, there is no turning back. So take a good look before you prune.
  • Pruning from back to front, to see better how the vine and its rods will develop
  • Look at the vine, in this case leaning on vegetable trellises, and see where their rods are headed
  • If you’re not sure, then you can redirect the rods to the back, and if necessary tangle them on the vegetable trellises before pruning
  • If you see a rod coming out of the ground, attached to the trunk of the parch, you can bury it (bury the first part of the rod), to remove the remaining part of the rod on the other hand, and thus cover a nearby space
  • Ideally there should be 2 rods in the shape of the letter “V”, with distance between them, so that they do not get hindered when growing, and oriented to grow vertically or close to the vegetable trellises
V-shaped rod during vineyard pruning for ShopCanarias.es
V-shaped rod during vineyard pruning for ShopCanarias.es
  • You can take a third or fourth rod, tangle it on the vegetable trellises, and then take it out to cover another space
  • Pruning over the node, and diagonally, so that the tear that comes off the rod goes in the opposite direction to the node
  • Pruning rods that come out towards the ground from the root, because diseases can not only come from the top, but also from the bottom of the vine
Vineyard pruning from the root by ShopCanarias.es
Vineyard pruning from the root by ShopCanarias.es
  • The part of the rod that you prune, you can cut it into smaller pieces and throw them to the ground, so that when it rains it retains the water, instead of running downhill
  • Completely prune, from the root, the rods that go in the opposite direction to the vegetable trellises, and you can take advantage of them to replant, once you have removed the heel (the thicker bottom part)
Rods pruned and replanted by ShopCanarias.es
Rods pruned and replanted by ShopCanarias.es
  • If it is a thin rod cut from the third node from the root of the rod, and if it is thick you can cut it from the second node
  • Prune the small rods you see dry, top to bottom, because you may encounter the green part of the rod
  • Pruning the rest of the rods to grow as close to the vegetable trellises as possible

Other tips

Here are some other tips I learned;

  • Pruning must be done between December and February
  • The vegetable trellises should be about 6 feet high, so that the sun reaches all the leaves, and grow as much as possible
  • The streets of the trellises must have a distance from each other of about 6 feet, for the same reason, and because it facilitates all the work of the vineyard, including pruning and harvesting
  • Putting rose bushes in the vineyards, because it would give the ⚠ warning that a disease is coming in, as they are so delicate that they would catch it first

If you want to know more, ask us the question in the comments, we will ask the winegrower, and we will answer you as soon as possible.

(1) Link to see the training offered by the Cabildo (Government) of Tenerife; https://formacionagraria.tenerife.es/

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Spelt Kneaded Gofio Recipe

Spelt Gofio, and Wheat plus Corn mixed Gofio
Spelt Gofio, and Wheat plus Corn mixed Gofio

Steps to make a Spelt kneaded Gofio ball

I share with you how to make kneaded Spelt Gofio, in this case from a Gofio´s mill in the north of Tenerife. This recipe is also called Gofio’s ball or Gofio’s lump. Below you can see the necessary ingredients, and the steps to follow.

It is already known that Spelt, in addition to being one of the oldest types of wheat, and apart from its nutritional and digestive benefits, it is more resistant to disease, and it provides a different texture, taste and smell.

In the end you can see a link to another post on the advantages of the Gofio of the Canary Islands. I also add a link at the end to watch a video of how a Gofio ball (from Wheat and Corn) is made. And moreover, I also add a link to know how to make the green mojo (sauce) of the Canary Islands, or Coriander sauce.

We need the following INGREDIENTS;

Ingredients for Spelt's Kneaded Gofio
Ingredients for Spelt’s Kneaded Gofio
  • 2 spoons of raisins,
  • Enough milk to cover the raisins, which we will soak until they swell (I leave them the night before soaking in the fridge),
  • 2 tablespoons of peeled and chopped almonds,
  • 3 bananas from the Canary Islands, which we’re going to skid,
  • 2 tablespoons of honey,
  • and Spelt’s gofio.

STEPS to follow;

1st- Mix everything but the gofio, and remove well.

When mixing ingredients WITHOUT Spelt Gofio
When mixing ingredients WITHOUT Spelt Gofio

And then we add the gofio while we stir.

When the ingredients are mixed with Spelt Gofio
When the ingredients are mixed with Spelt Gofio

2nd- When it thickens a lot, we start kneading with our hands. We will notice that kneading with Spelt Gofio is different, by the absorption of the liquid.

When the Spelt Kneaded Gofio is separated from the container
When the Spelt Kneaded Gofio is separated from the container

3rd- We continue to add gofio, and there will come a time when it will be so thick that we will have to knead with our fists, until the dough peels off the bowl, and we can shape the ball without it sticking in our hands.

Kneading with Spelt's Gofio Fists
Kneading with Spelt’s Gofio Fists

4th- We can shape it as a mold bread to make it easier to cut. And in the end, we can sprinkle gofio around it, so it doesn’t sweat when putting it in the fridge.

Spelt's Gofio Kneaded Ball
Spelt’s Gofio Kneaded Ball

And ready to eat at breakfast. And for lunch, if we have wine from the Canary Islands, then to suck your fingers!.

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How to make a handmade macrame bracelet

Macrame bracelet Shopcanarias.es with shell and colorful balls of the Canarian flag
Macrame bracelet Shopcanarias.es with shell and colorful balls of the Canarian flag

Below you will see the necessary materials, steps to thread the beads in the thread, two tutorial videos, and the final result of a macrame bracelet handmade by ShopCanarias.es.

Materials required;

  • Macrame yarn
  • Beads
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
  • Fishing thread
  • Tweezers to tighten the yarn
Materials needed to make a handmade macrame bracelet

Steps to thread a bead into the thread

We show you below some photos as an example, for when the bead does not enter the thread directly, because of the thickest of the thread;

  • Fold the fishing line in half
  • Tuck the bead through the two ends of the fishing line
  • Put the macrame thread with the bead inside, in the half that’s left over by bending the fishing thread
  • Pull the two ends of the fishing thread, and in this way the bead is inserted into the macrame thread

Tutorial videos on how to make a handmade macrame bracelet

Part One

The first video shows how to make the first half of the bracelet. The other half is done exactly like the first half.

First part of how to make a handmade macrame bracelet by ShopCanarias.es DIY

Part Two

The second video teaches you how to add the fastener threads with beads, to wrap the bracelet to the wrist of the hand. It also shows how to top off the stoppers of the threads that are loose with a lighter.

Part two of how to make a handmade macrame bracelet by ShopCanarias.es DIY

Final result

Now you can see the final result in the following photos. Change the beads, change the color of the thread, and try different combinations. Use the power of your Imagination! 🤭

And if you don’t dare to do it on your own, then look at the bracelets that we have at your disposal in the following link. You can also order them customized;

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Green “mojo” (sauce) from the Canary Islands or “Mojo de Cilantro”

Ingredients

How green sauce or coriander mojo is made from the Canary Islands

Just mix and crush all the ingredients, and test with different amounts of each of the ingredients until you find the taste you like the most.

You can put it on the table to accompany wrinkled potatoes (Canary Island´s potatoes stewed with salt), sweet potatoes, stewed bananas (green Canary Island´s bananas stewed with salt), salted fish, kneaded gofio (with water and salt), ribs, etc. At home we even use it to season other dishes such as brown rice with vegetables, or pout or “sancocho” (vegetable stew with legumes).

I like to make this green sauce with the leaves of a bunch of coriander, one part of wine vinegar for every ten parts of oil, one teaspoon of ground cumin, four garlic cloves, one pinch of sea salt, and another pinch of pepper. I also crush it well, until I see that the sauce has a fine texture.

I confess that sometime for lack of time to clear the bunch, I’ve crushed the coriander with stem included, then strained it, and at the end it is more or less the same.

The minimum ingredients needed are (if organic ones then better for your health);

  • coriander leaves
  • wine vinegar
  • ground cumin
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • garlic cloves
  • sea salt

Below you can see the result;

Green Mojo or Green Coriander sauce with Kneaded Gofio by ShopCanarias.es
Green Mojo or Green Coriander sauce with Sweet Kneaded Gofio by ShopCanarias.es

Enjoy it!. And don’t forget the wine.

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Chestnuts and wine by San Andrés

Chestnut hedgehog by ShopCanarias.es
Chestnut hedgehog by ShopCanarias.es

Early November

It all starts when we go looking for the first chestnuts. You start to imagine the roast chestnuts, the wine, and St. Andrew’s Day.

We went to havest chestnuts in October this year, but they were white.

So we had to wait until November, with the arrival of the rains, for them to mature.

Tradition of the Canary Islands on St Andrew’s Day

On St. Andrew’s Day, November 30th., or rather on the eve of that day, November 29th. at night, since I remember, the children ran the “cacharros” down the neighborhood street, and adults would drink new wine while cutting chestnuts (thus the chestnuts wouldn’t explode in the heat).

In some villages such as Icod, Tenerife, they have a habit of “running the boards” that night. Children and adults throw themselves on a wooden board, individually or several at once, going down ramps that end up with a wall of tires to finish braking 🤭

The Cacharros

The cacharros are containers, especially cans, which are tied to a rope or fixed to a wire, crawling on the floor to make as much noise as possible. When I was little I was told that the tradition comes from when the barrels were dragged down the street to the cellars and the Guachinches. Others say that they took them to the sea days earlier to wash the barrels. Anyway, it’s a lot of fun for kids, but also for older people. I’ve seen old washing machines crawl down the street by two adults 😊

Cacharros after being dragged the night before St. Andrew's Day by ShopCanarias.es
Cacharros after being dragged the night before St. Andrew’s Day by ShopCanarias.es

The new wine

New wine is the wine resulting from the last harvest. Which is the one that was deposited inside the barrels that supposedly rolled later down the streets.

Before the meal was prepared, the wine accompanied it with “chochos” (lupins), “manises” (peanuts), or the like. And for dinner; roasted chestnuts, sweet potatoes, mojos, and salted fish, among other delicacies. And with the whole family.

If you have the opportunity to come to the Canary Islands on those dates, we invite you to enjoy this custom. You will not forget the smell and taste of roasted chestnuts, nor the taste of new wine, nor the noise of the “cacharros” 😂

Thank you very much for the visit, and see you soon!