Tenerife gastronomy: Gofio

July 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Gofio is the food that is arguably the closest to the heart of the Canarian. This toasted and ground cereal is a direct inheritance from the Guanches, the ancient inhabitants of the Island. Although there are currently many varieties, the natives made it with barley and any dried fruits that they found. Making food with gofio is so easy and healthy that in the past, the Canarian used to carry it with him, along with water and other ingredients such as honey, milk and wine, so that he could easily make something without having to stop to make a fire.



Nowadays the most popular types of gofio are those made with wheat or maize. It is a synonym for health and for this reason the people of Tenerife eat it with almost everything and there isn’t a house on the Island that doesn’t have its little tin of gofio. It can be eaten mixed with milk for breakfast, together with the juice of fish or meat, with stews of any flavour or kneaded with honey and almonds.

It is one hundred per cent wholemeal, a natural food, in which the quantities of carbohydrate, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and fibre are in just the right proportions for the needs of the human being. The colour of gofio depends on the kind of cereal used: it is lighter in the case of wheat, and yellower in the case of maize, the two most popular cereals. The smell is dry and penetrating and extremely pleasant when the grain is toasted and immediately ground . The gofio mills of Tenerife, where the final treatment was traditionally given to the toasted grain, were recognisable from a distance due to the aroma they emitted.

The versatility of gofio means that nowadays, even desserts and ice creams bear its flavour. Two of the most popular are gofio mousse and gofio ice cream. They are exquisite.

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