Much like the island's native language, the cuisine in Fuerteventura is thoroughly Spanish.As such, expect lots of tapas-style dishes when dining out on the island, as well as plenty of seafood – there is a readily available source of it close by, after all.
As well as a healthy helping of fish, the islanders are also partial to goat, be it their meat or milk for cheese. Braised beef, pork and rabbit are also very popular, and are often served with wrinkled potatoes and mojo, a hot, peppery sauce that's a firm favourite with locals.
You will find that many of the restaurants on the island have a worldwide influence though, with Italian, Chinese and English cuisine all well-represented in the main resorts along with more local offerings. If you fancy trying something a little different, be sure to check out Fuerteventura's many markets.
There is a big emphasis in Fuerteventura on art-based markets, with many African artworks on display alongside the food. If you'd really like to rub shoulders with the locals and sample some incredibly fresh produce, then be sure to visit the market in Puerto Del Rosario, situated above the bus station. It only runs on Saturdays though, and shuts up shop just after lunch so be sure to head down there early to catch the goods!
You'll find a few foodie delights at other markets too, but they will be featured alongside other African arts-based goods. Rather than fresh produce, here you’re likely to be able to buy bottled mojo or alioi sauce. The Baku Water Park in Corralejo is an example of this, running from 9-2pm on Mondays and Fridays. You'll also find markets in Costa Calma on Sunday, and in Morro Jable at the Cosmo Shopping Centre on Thursdays.
There are a few dishes that Fuerteventura can call their own, but as the climate is typically very dry and warm, it can be difficult to grow a mass array of food items on the island. It's because of this that the Fuerteventura palate is a simple one, but that doesn't mean that the locals are happy to compromise on taste.
Whilst fish is always on the menu here, you'll find that the locals enjoy sitting down to a hearty dinner of goat. Traditionally, Fuerteventuran fish is served salted (called pejines) or in a stew, called sancocho, and is usually made from the grouper fish along with sama fish and corvina fish. This stew can be served with a Canarian favourite of papas arrugadas which are salted, wrinkled potatoes with spicy mojo sauce, or with gofio, a type of grain that can be added to thicken the stew, and to add vitamins, fibre and protein.
In terms of meat, grilled or braised beef is popular, as is pork, which can often be taken from piglets too. Similarly, islanders enjoy goat meat, both from the adult goats and the kids, and make good use of their milk too. The majorero and palmero cheeses are delicious, and have protected designation of origin status. As well as all of the above, Fuerteventura is a good place to visit for authentic tapas, and you can find out more about typical tapas dishes here on the Villa Plus guide to Fuerteventura.
If being on holiday means that you have to experience different tastes as well as cultures, then it's always a good idea to have a little try of the offerings before you depart.
Whilst Spanish food is readily available in Fuerteventura, traditional island food can be quite unique. From roasted piglet to the salted potatoes, Fuerteventura has its own flavour and it's not hard to recreate this at home. We're going to take a look at how to make Lentejas, which is a popular lentil and pork soup and those infamous salted potatoes, otherwise known as papas arrugadas – though the usually accompanying mojo might not suit the soup in a meal!
For the Lentejas, you'll need:
- 450g of dry lentils
- 5 medium-sized potatoes
- 2 carrots
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 celery stalks
- 4 boneless pork chop loins
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil, preferably Spanish
- Quarter of a teaspoon of ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to season to taste
Firstly, you need to rinse the lentils and soak them for one hour in a pan. Whilst the lentils are soaking, peel and chop the potatoes into one inch cubes, and the same with the carrots – though these are best chopped into half inch cubes! Cut up the celery stalks and slice the garlic cloves also. Then, chop up the pork into reasonably sized chunks before sautéing the veg and pork in oil for around five minutes.
Next, add enough water to the pot so that the veg and pork are covered, and bring that to the boil. Then, be sure to add your soaked lentils to the pot and regularly check it, being sure to add more water when necessary. It will take an hour to cook, but once you're happy add the cumin, salt and pepper to taste and serve up with the potatoes, the easy recipe of which is below.
For the Papas Arrugadas, you'll need:
- Small new potatoes
- Sea salt if possible, though regular salt is fine too.
Firstly, add the potatoes to a pot of water, and add enough salt to make them float. This may take a good few spoonfuls! Boil the water and allow the potatoes to simmer for 20 minutes. After this time, pour away the majority of the water and cover the potatoes with a layer of salt. Turn the heat down, and gently jostle the pot so that the salt covers all the potatoes and almost crystallises on the skins. After this, cover with a tea towel, remove from the heat and leave for five minutes to allow the potatoes to form their traditional wrinkle. Served with the hot lentil soup, it's a hearty meal that's perfect for enjoying both at home and on the island.