As mentioned previously in my articles, Gran Canaria, the island of the eternal sunshine that I had the chance to visit almost a month ago, gets an average of 320 sunny days every year while the average temperature even in winter reaches the 24-25 degrees. The island is located about 200 kilometers from the coasts of Africa at the border between Morocco and Western Sahara, so yes, it is fairly called the island of the eternal summer and yes the temperatures are normally that high! With a dramatic variation of terrain, ranging from the green and leafy north to the mountainous interior and desert south, Gran Canaria is a place definitely worth-visiting.
Besides its eternal summer and of course its appealing weather Gran Canaria is a place where, as everywhere in Spain, delicious food can be found. Local dishes & traditional cuisine are awaiting to steal your heart and please your appetite. To get to the point, when I arrived in Canarias, everyone has been talking and suggesting trying the famous traditional “sauce” of the island, that accompanies probably the majority of the dishes served in the local restaurants, the mojo picon. But what is the mojo picon in fact?
One of the star products of our Islands and attracts the attention of all visitors, are certainly without doubt the Mojos. The name “Mojo” is what we use to describe the typical oil-based sauces, vinegar and garlic, nowadays converted into a signal of fundamental identity in the Canarian cuisine. The origin of the mojos is lost in the memory of the islanders but the variety of recipes and ingredients used in its preparation are the result of the creativity of the island, linked to the fortunate geographical situation of the islands turned into meeting point of various cultures.
In a few words, a mojo, basically, is any sauce that has oil, cumin, vinegar, garlic and salt. Many variations of mojos can be found; however, in general, the locals are faithful to the simplest ones, the green mojo used in fish, and the red mojo normally used in meat and potatoes. A huge range of recipes that could include cheese, almonds, fruits, hot peppers, all kinds of herbs and spices and even fruits can be found. The great thing is that all retain the essence, but each person elaborates it their own way.
The most famous and most common mojo of the islands, is the red one, also known as mojo picon; the ingredients used for it are garlic, cayenne peppers, cumin, paprika, vinegar, salt and of course olive oil! If you don’t like the spicy cuisine make sure you advise the waiter before ordering it! If you do though, you can ask for dishes accompanied by the most spicy sauces of the island and you will be definitely delighted!
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