Divine Biscuits from the Cistercian Convent

The Cistercian convent at Buenavista in Breña Alta, La Palma 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 eleven years ago, in search…

March 3, 2010


Gofio made with chicken stock, and chicken stew. 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…

September 22, 2009

Wrinkly potatoes

Saturday was Canary Day. Like the national day in most places, it’s an excuse for lots of patriotism. I’m busy with a long, complicated translation which my customer wants by yesterday, so I managed to miss most of the celebrations. So here’s a picture of some traditional Canarian food – wrinkly potatoes. As you can see, they’re small potatoes, cooked in their skins. Actually they’re boiled in very salty water…

May 31, 2009

Canary Style Green Beans

When I annouce that we’re having green beans for dinner, our 11-year-old usually says, “Thank you, Mummy!” I don’t think I’d get that reaction with plain boiled beans. Of course, it helps of the beans are really fresh. These came from Puntagorda farmers’ market. Serves four polite people or three hungry ones as a main course. Ingredients:About 700 g of green beans150g bacon (in narrow strips)2-3 cloves garlic1 red pepper1…

June 18, 2008


Fish on La Palma is usually delicious because its very fresh. Well it should be, given the amount of ocean surrounding the island. I once went with friends to a shack on the beach at Punta Larga (since closed) where we had to wait, because the cook was having her own lunch. As we sipped our beer, a man came up out of the sea with two fish on a…

April 11, 2008