The Convent of the Holy Trinity in Breña Alta

cister2.jpg
March 9, 2017

The Cistercian convent of the Holy Trinity at Buenavista in Breña Alta is surprisingly new. It was founded in 1946, and it’s the only closed order on the island. I was surprised to find out that there are only ten nuns who live there. The convent has a small shop. I first went there about ten years ago, in search of a rosary made of dragon-tree seeds, for a Catholic…

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Gofio

gofio1b
September 12, 2016

Gofio is sort-of cooked flour (you toast the grains before you grind them) and it’s been a staple of the Canarian diet since pre-hispanic times. In principle, you can use just about any grain, although the commonest ones are wheat and maize. In times of famine, there’s even a fern root you can use, although I believe it’s very bitter, and not something you would chose to eat if there…

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Mulberries

mulberries
July 22, 2016

Mulberries were originally introduced to the greener parts of La Palma to feed silkworms for silk production. The fruit is a delicious side-effect. Sadly, you rarely see it on sale, because it’s fragile and doesn’t keep. It’s also a strong, natural dye (and is used as such). If you pick your own, expect stained fingers and watch your clothes. In fact, if you’re staying near a mulberry tree in fruit, don’t…

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Star Quality Malvasia Wine – heaven in a glass

Malvasia is a white dessert wine from the south of La Palma. The grapes are harvested late, when they’re half way to raisins, so the juice is very concentrated and very sweet, and the wine they produce is to strong and too sweet to drink with fish (or to drink like a fish). In fact it’s similar to Maderia or a sweet sherry – more something you’d have at the very end…

April 16, 2016
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Vegan and Allergen-free Food in Los Cancajos

Vega Art health food shop in Los Cancajos, Brena Baja
March 20, 2016

  A new health food shop’s opened in Los Cancajos, selling vegan, gluten free, lactose free and egg free food, including home made wholemeal bread, muffins and biscuits. They have a few tables and serve drinks and snacks too.   Veg Art is on Los Cancajos main street, towards the south end, near Las Olas hotel.

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Nacidas

Nacidas peeping out of the soil.
October 18, 2015

We’ve had quite a bit of autumn rain, particularly at the forest altitude. That means that the wild mushroom season is in full swing. There are people who know enough to collect all sorts of wild mushrooms safely, and they assure me that they’re delicious. I know it can be done. There are people who will never eat a mushroom unless it comes from the supermarket wrapped in plastic. I’m not…

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