Origin of Canarian gofio
One of the symbols of Canarian culture and gastronomy, Canarian gofio is something that you must try on your visit to Lanzarote.
Originally, this food was a staple in the diet of the Canarian natives due to its high nutritional value, especially in times of famine. In fact, it was the local population’s main source of sustenance during the Spanish Civil War and, when ships of clandestine emigrants departed for America from the archipelago, it was an indispensable provision thanks to the fact that it could be kept in good condition for a long time.
It is a pre-Hispanic food – prior to the arrival of the colonisers – of Berber origin that could be prepared in different ways. Over a period of time, ingredients were added to its elaboration process.
You may be wondering what Canarian gofio actually is. Basically, it is a flour made from toasted and ground cereals. Originally barley, wheat, lentils and fern rhizomes were used. And in the sixteenth century, new ingredients were added such as rye or millet from America, which is nothing more than corn.
Canarian gofio ingredients
The Canarian gofio is the best known food on the archipelago, together with bananas. And it can be prepared by yourself in different ways. For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- 200 grammes of wheat and corn (gofio).
- A tablespoon of sugar.
- A tablespoon of salt.
- A glass of water.
- Olive oil.
- Optional: walnuts, almonds, banana and honey.
The Canarian gofio is similar in appearance to white flour but with a more yellowish tone.
Preparation of Canarian gofio
The preparation of the Canarian gofio is not complicated and in a few steps the dish will be made. What do you have to do?
- Mix the salt and sugar in a glass of water.
- Toast the wheat and corn and put it in a large bowl.
- Add oil and stir the gofio little by little while adding the water.
- When the mixture becomes smooth, knead it with your hands.
- When everything is mixed together, make a cylinder with the dough and roll it out.
- Cover the cylinder with plastic film and put it in the refrigerator.
- After 30 minutes, remove the gofio from the fridge and cut it into thick slices.
- When serving, you can add walnuts, almonds, banana or honey.
The Canarian gofio is usually served as an accompaniment or appetizer. But in other recipes it can be served with broth, milk, water, wine or honey.
Another of the most popular ways of making it is by boiling a homemade fish broth and mixing the gofio flour until you have a paste without lumps. In this instance, it is known as gofio escaldado and, curiously, it can be eaten as if it were a humus, whilst using pieces of onion as a ‘spoon’.
In any case, the Canarian gofio is considered to be a superfood for its high energy value, since it is made with different kinds of cereals and, sometimes, also with legumes such as chickpeas. The amount that the cereal used to make it has been toasted, all depends on personal taste, as it is not only the colour but also the flavour that changes: the darker, the more intense. The choice is yours!