Last couple of weeks were a bit slow on posts, but that was mainly due to holidays. We went to Fuertaventura; so 😎,🌴 and loads of ☀️ (and 🍷, 🍻 and 🍴of course).
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 Maria in Betancuria. An oven roasted leg of goat with loads of garlic and rosemary served with a thyme/red wine sauce, herby potato gratin and braised chicory with mushrooms, garlic and bacon. This specific one was very tasty, but for me it was okay to just give the goat a try a couple of times and then move on to other types of meat…
A local specialty is a very nice cheese from the indigenous Majorero goats, queso majorero, that has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. It is a firm, pale white cheese with a milky, nutty flavour. The matured cheese gets an olive oil coating with either added 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 de membrillo, a slab of quince jelly which combined really well with the nuttiness of the cheese. 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 mainland Spain (we may have been spoiled by Andalusia’s fantastic tapas twice last year 😇). 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 side Taverna Fogalera and L’Oca Blanca just off the main street. L’Oca Blanca was 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.
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 of 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 was to be expected). It seemed that we could not order tapas separately, so we ordered some à la carte pastas instead.
Before the food was served, they put an entire range of dried herbs on the table. That was a first… and not an very encouraging sign. In the end we didn’t need the herbs, but the pastas were nothing special. They did manage 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 worst restaurant experience was the garlic bread at La Factoria: it was made with a halved, undercooked bake-off bun from the supermarket and it had 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.