Sunday, 28 April 2013

Trip report: Fuerteventura food

Betancuria Fuerteventura
We have been desperate for some sun during a disappointingly damp spring, and so we headed south in search of warmth and good food in Fuerteventura. 

What we found was a surprisingly gorgeous island, with small heavily developed pockets of tourist areas punctuating a striking, wild landscape. With a car it was easily possible to leave the British pubs and greasy spoons behind and discover some stunning and largely deserted beaches and harbours villages.
El Cotillo Fuerteventura
El Cotillo, very quiet, wild and remote
The best food on the island is as unsophisticated as the environment. Every meal in Fuerteventura starts with bread and bowls of alioli and mojo sauce. This sauce, ubiquitous in the Canaries, is made with garlic, salt and oil and then chillies and paprika for the red variety or coriander and cumin for the green.

Most meals are served with papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) boiled in their skins, in heavily salted water and then finished off in the oven until the skin wrinkles. These are eaten drizzled with mojo sauce.
Bread, alioli and mojo sauce
Bread, alioli and mojo sauce. A great way to start
The best eating on the island, as you might expect, is simple, grilled seafood, eaten as close to the ocean as possible.

South of Calete de Fuste is Los Caracolitos, a beautiful fish restaurant in the tiny harbour village of Salinas del Carmen, special mentions go to the garlic mussels, billed as a starter but made for a good lunch, and a simply fried dover sole.

In Calete de Fuste itself is the no frills restaurant La Frasquita. There are no menus. Here the waiter brings out a plate displaying the catch for the day and on Wednesday there is all you can eat Paella for €10.

In the North is the harbour town of El Cotillo, which, despite being a short 15 minute drive from the tourist area of Corallejo, feels wild and remote but also has a great selection of restaurants. We ate at La Vaca Azul (The Blue Cow) and tried the local parrot fish, tasty but full of tiny bones.

Garlic mussels at Los Caracolitos Salinas del Carmen
Garlic mussels at Los Caracolitos  - the best fish restaurant in the area
dover sole with papas arrugadas Los Carracolitos Salinas
The dover sole with inevitable papas arrugadas
Parrot fish at La Vaca Azul El Cotillo
Parrot fish at La Vaca Azul - a challenge to pick all the bones out
Spanish tapas is also easily found. In Calete de Fuste, far away from the beach is Bar Tapas, a simple bar, busy with local workers during the day who come for the menu del dia (starter, main, desert, drink and coffee for €8) and visitors who come for the tapas.
Menu del dia rice chicken and rabbit Bar Tapas Caleta de Fuste
Rice, chicken and rabbit. A starter at Bar Tapas menu del dia and one of the
best things I ate all week.
The tapas combinados at Bar Tapas Caleta de Fuste
The tapas combinados at Bar Tapas. Potato and chickpea stew, chicken wings,
sausage and peppered steak
Taps selection at Bar Tapas Calete de Fuste
A tapas selection of Argentinian criollo sausage,
papas arrugadas and chicken croquettas
Desserts not hugely inspiring, even in the best restaurants!
Ron miel Fuerteventura
Ron Meil or honey rum, a pleasant liquer

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