Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post and I was rewarded for publishing it here.
Katie is a travel and food blogger at www.delightso.me and she wrote a great post about Canarian child-friendly food, which you can read now. There is even a recipe included!
Child-Friendly Canarian Food
Eating local food is one of the best parts of being on holiday. Whilst I love trying new foods, my kids don’t share my enthusiasm and aren’t keen on trying unfamiliar dishes when we’re abroad.
The Canary Islands are the perfect location for a family-friendly holiday. With fantastic deals on flights and package holidays from Jet2holidays in the UK and Air Berlin in Germany, a fortnight away with the kids doesn’t have to be expensive either.
If you’re planning on visiting the Canary Islands and want your kids to enjoy the local cuisine, take a look at my list of child-friendly Canarian dishes which your little ones are sure to love.
Papas arrugadas con mojo
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/delightsome/10377740395/
A vegetable dish that your children will love? That’s right! Papas arrugadas con mojo is a popular dish found in almost all restaurants throughout the Canary Islands and is always sure to please. To make this dish, bite-sized potatoes are cleaned and then boiled in salt water before being left to dry until their skins have shrivelled up.
My kids love the salty tough texture of the skins which give way to a fluffy, almost sweet interior when they bite. The potatoes are served with two mojo sauces – a spicy red one and a mild green one. The bright colours always appeal to kids although you might want to avoid the red mojo if your little one doesn’t like spicy food.
Calamari a la romana
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jtoledo/17246660/
This popular dish might seem a bit adventurous to offer children, but you don’t have to tell them that calamari is squid! Calamari a la romana comes in the form of small rings which are battered, deep-fried and usually served up alongside a salad and lemon wedges. They look very similar to onion rings, so getting kids to try them is never usually a problem.
My kids hate seafood and fortunately, calamari a la romana has a very subtle flavour and smell, unlike a lot of other fish and seafood dishes. After they’d gotten into the habit of eating it regularly, I told them that calamari is squid and they didn’t mind one bit!
This is a really simple dish that my kids fell in love with the first time they tried it. Pata asada translates into ‘roast pork’ and that’s all it is. Usually served on a small plate as part of a tapas selection or stuffed into a baguette, pata asada is a part of a huge leg of pork which has been slow roasted and sliced. It’s usually served cold and sprinkled with salt.
If you find a restaurant that does it well, you’ll be treated to a dish which is moist and remarkably addictive, but if you find an eatery that does it badly, you’ll be faced with something similar to shoe leather.
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/5040743676/
This is one of my and my kids’ most favourite Canarian dishes. Just like pata asada, carne mechada is also served in a small dish forming part of a tapas selection, stuffed into a baguette, usually alongside a slice of cheese, or sometimes served as the meat of a main meal. This delicious speciality is made from beef which is slow-cooked with a selection of herbs and spices for hours until juicy and tender. The meat is then shredded and left to cook for a little bit in a sauce before being served.
Although it takes a long time to make, it’s more than worth it for the chance to enjoy this delectable dish at home. If you’d like to have a go at child-friendly carne mechada, follow the recipe below:
For the meat:
¼ cup red wine
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
For the sauce:
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
340g tomato sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Over a low-medium heat in a saucepan, simmer the beef with the red wine, onion, garlic and bay leaves until very tender – about three hours. Feel free to add more red wine if the beef looks too dry.
2. Remove the saucepan from heat and leave the beef to cool slightly before shredding with two forks. Remove the beef from the saucepan and leave to one side.
3. To make the sauce, sauté the onion and red pepper in the olive oil in a saucepan until the vegetables are soft.
4. Add in the meat and stir in the remaining ingredients.
5. Cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes before serving in a baguette with cheese, as part of a tapas selection or as part of a main meal.
When you’re unfamiliar with the food yourself, encouraging kids to eat locally can be a really difficult task. This list of child-friendly Canarian recipes has been tried and tested by my kids who loved each dish so much that some of them feature regularly in our meals at home.
Katie is a travel-loving foodie who writes over at delightso.me. Since returning from the Canary Islands she’s enjoyed recreating some of the dishes she tried during her travels and is always on the lookout for authentic Spanish and Canarian cookbooks.