San Cristóbal de La Laguna: Gastronomy and the Festivity
Traditional gastronomy in La Laguna is not that different from the traditional dishes of the island, as it offers a wide range of fish and seafood fished with artisan techniques, for instance the local porgy (sama roquera), cabrilla, sargo, abade (a kind of sea perch), chicharro (atlantic horse mackerel), limpets and of course the exquisite “vieja” (atlantic parrotfish). All those dishes would most probably be served with the “papas arrugadas” (the typical Canarian potato stew, as a literal translation we can offer the term “wrinkled potatoes”) and several types of “mojo canario” (Canary Islands sauce).
On rural areas, the “gofio” is the main protagonist. “Gofio” is the aboriginal name of the Canary Islands given to the flour made from roasted grains (wheat or maize). “Gofio” is thought to have been the main staple of the diet of the prehispanic aborigens of the islands, the “Guanches”. It is used to serve pork, rabbit meat, goat’s meat or kid’s meat. For those visitors interested in a very local flavor, the typical “puchero lagunero” (La Laguna style stew) is highly recommended. It is a stew with several types of meat and a great variety of the meadow of La Laguna, but this type of stew has pears on it. In addition, and linked to the religious celebrations during the Easter week are the “tollos” (school shark) or “arvejas” (peas) whit boiled egg.
Traditional pastries and desserts will add “the icing of the cake” to the culinary experience of the visitors of La laguna. The most known pastries of the city are the “roscos laguneros” (brad rolls of La Laguna) stuffed with “cabello de ángel” (threaded jam made of pumpkin) or custard cream, but “truchas” (small sweet pasty) stuffed with sweet potato and almonds are very well known as well. The “frangollo”, is a typical dessert of the Canary Islands that will delight its eater with its home-cooked flavour.
Although the Canarian cousine is inspired in tradition and local products, new culinary artists of the island fuse tradition and modern techniques to create plates and desserts that the visitor should experience, for instance a “gofio’s mousse”.
Among the most representative festivities of La Laguna, the most important are listed below:
- Easter is very important in La Laguna because of the religious importance of the city. Solemnity, processions and religious offerings flood the city. Even when the visitor is a strict non-religious person, The Silence Procession (La Procesión del Silencio) will move its spectator for sure.
- Corpus Christi is a colourful and cheerful religious festivity that will amaze the visitors of La Laguna with its traditional carpets made of flowers.
- The “Romería de San Benito Abad” (the Saint Benito Abad Pilgrimage) is carried out the second Sunday of July to honour and tank the saint for the harvest. It is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy traditional music and culinary products and to see the variety of regional costumes of the island.
- The “Fiestas del Santísimo Cristo” will bring a lot of extra musical, cultural and sport events to La Laguna that will be take place during the whole month.
- In the outskirts of the city there are some other important parties like “La fiesta de los corazones” in Tejina or “La fiesta de la librea” in Valle Guerra, inspired on the sea battle of Lepanto.