Around the World – Fuertaventura, Spain

Last couple of weeks were a bit slow on posts, but that was mainly due to holidays. We went to Fuertaventura; so šŸ˜Ž,šŸŒ“ and loads of ā˜€ļø (and šŸ·, šŸ» and šŸ“of course).

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Fuertaventura is one of the Spanish Canary Islands; an archipelago approx. 100km off the Atlantic coast of Morocco. With a goat population that exceed humans (apparently also in the tourist season), Fuertaventura’s local cuisine is heavily based on goat products.

Mostly roasts and stews, like this “cabrita al forno” I had at Restaurante Casa Santa MariaĀ in Betancuria. An oven roasted leg of goat with loads of garlic and rosemary served with aĀ thyme/red wine sauce, herby potato gratin and braised chicory with mushrooms, garlic and bacon.Ā This specific one was very tasty, but for me it was okay to justĀ give theĀ goat a try a couple of times and then move on to other types of meat…

cabrito al forno

A local specialty is a very nice cheeseĀ from the indigenous Majorero goats, queso majorero,Ā that has a Protected Designation of OriginĀ (PDO) status. It is a firm,Ā pale white cheese with a milky,Ā nuttyĀ flavour. The maturedĀ cheese gets an olive oil coating with either addedĀ gofio (a local flour made from roasted grains) or pimento (smoked paprika) for added flavouring. It was served to us as an amuse with some olives or with dulce deĀ membrillo, a slab of quince jelly which combined really well with the nuttiness of the cheese.Ā There is a small local museum, Museo del Queso Majorero, dedicated to these cheeses near Antigua.

In Fuertaventura there obviously are loads of fresh fish around, but the range of the Canarian tapas was not so appealing compared to Ā mainland Spain (we may have been spoiled by Andalusia’s fantastic tapas twice last year šŸ˜‡). Besides cooking at home a couple of times, we tried some other more contemporary Spanish food in Corralejo (we liked El Olivo Gastrobar), but also found some great Italian restaurants, like the harbour sideĀ Taverna FogaleraĀ andĀ L’Oca BlancaĀ just off the main street. L’Oca BlancaĀ wasĀ the highlight: amazing freshly made Italian food cooked to perfection, good wines and very friendly service. Arguably, the best Italian food we had in quite a while.

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@ L’Oca Blanca |Interesting “high-rise” presentation of a Caprese Salad
@ L'Oca Blanca | Gnocchi alla sorrentina is an oven baked gnocchi with a tomato/basil sauce and topped off with loads of mozzarella. Our youngest choose the non-oven version with the traditional tomato sauce (which was delicious), but the one on the photo turned out even better as I opted for bolognese sauceĀ when given the choice.
@ L’Oca Blanca | Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is an oven baked gnocchi with a tomato/basil sauce and topped off with loads of mozzarella. Our youngest choose the non-oven version with the traditional tomato sauce (which was delicious), but the one on the photo turned out even better as I opted for bolognese sauceĀ when given the choice.
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@ L’Oca Blanca | Ricotta and spinach filled raviolini with sage and butter sauce, pine nuts and parmesanĀ shavings
@Ā La Fogalera
@ La Fogalera | Spaghetti with creamy bacon / minced beef sauce
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@La Fogalera | Gnocchi with a herby mushroom sauce
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@ El Olivo | Tuna Tataki with wasabi dip, Croquetas de Jamon and Asparagus tempura with romanesco sauce. All washed down with G&Ts (Gin Mare, olive and rosemary)
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@ El Oilvo | A 300gr. beef burger with bacon and caramelised red onion rings. The twice cooked chips were amazing. The kids had ordered some pasta from the kid’s menu and as that were ratherĀ small portions I had to fight them off to preserve a few chips for myself. Holding that huge burger I failed miserably, so I ordered a separate portion to indulge later on.

We had a somewhat disappointing dinner at Land of Freedom, despite very good reviews on TripAdvisor. The main concept seemed good: EUR 15 for 5 tapas and 5 wine pairings. However, the tapas “themes” were set and all had a couple ofĀ tapas that we didn’t want. Some of the wine pairings you could get for EUR 4-5 a bottle in the local supermarkets (although at that price level it wasĀ to be expected). It seemed that we could not order tapas separately, so we ordered some Ć  la carte pastas instead.

IMG_2168Before the food was served, they put an entire range of dried herbs on the table. That was a first… and not anĀ very encouraging sign.Ā In the end weĀ didn’t need the herbs, but the pastas were nothingĀ special.Ā They did manageĀ to get my spaghetti carbonara’s consistency closely resemble scrambled eggs. Luckily, we returned to L’Oca Blanca the next evening to experience how it is supposed to be made…

The worstĀ restaurant experience was the garlic breadĀ at La Factoria: it was made with a halved, undercooked bake-off bun from the supermarket and it hadĀ a spread that seemed to have been made with margarine rather than butter… I must admit though that they served very good thin crust pizzas.

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