The cuisine of the Canary Islands still holds undiscovered gastronomic treasures that the most exquisite chefs are trying to rediscover and disseminate, reinventing traditional recipes. And Canarian goat meat is no exception. Very popular on all the islands, especially in Fuerteventura, Tenerife and La Palma, it stands out for its authenticity, making it an essential element in their gastronomic scene, where the flavour and freshness of the ingredients are paramount.
Canarian goatmeat, a traditional Canarian product that is being modernised
Canarian goat meat is present in practically all the kitchens of the islands of the archipelago, being a product very present in their meat recipes but, curiously, it is one of the gastronomic jewels unknown to all visitors. From Marca Canaria we would like to encourage everyone to try this exquisite product which is prepared on the islands like nowhere else.
Of all the islands, it is on Tenerife where goat meat enjoys the greatest gastronomic tradition. As well as having a long fishing tradition, the island has top quality meats (which are generally eaten roasted or in stews) such as veal, rabbit or local pork, and of course, goat meat.
The origin of the Canarian goat
The origin of the Canarian goat goes back to the first settlers of the islands, who introduced livestock farming with sheep and goats from North Africa, specifically from the Sahel area, in the absence of mammals at the origin. In fact, today goats are the dominant farm animal on Tenerife, especially in the Güimar region, and even enjoy freedom of movement across the island's pastures, especially in the north. Traditionally, it is the most popular meat on the island and is used in the best-known Canarian dishes.
The Canary Islands are home to three native species of goats, free of brucellosis: majorera, tinerfeña and palmera, and the quality of the meat is mainly due to the experience, care and pampering that has gone into rearing the animals since ancient times.
Meat with all the flavour
Goat meat is a dish that is prepared in a very traditional way in the homes and restaurants of the region, following ancestral techniques and formulas, ensuring that both the flavour and the texture are always the same.
What is Canarian goat meat like? For those of you who haven't tried it, it is a very tasty lean meat, with a flavour similar to beef, but with considerably less fat and a very high nutritional value. All experts agree in defining its flavour as intense and earthy. Those in the know say that Canary Island goat meat is produced as soon as the animal is slaughtered, cleaning the meat properly. In any case, the trick to obtaining perfectly prepared goat meat is to cook it over a low heat. Canary Island goat meat is perfect for combining with strong spices.
Various ways of processing the meat
-Goatmeat stew: Not a sophisticated or elaborate dish, but charming in its simplicity. Usually goat meat is seasoned with herbs and spices; fried with onions and chilies; and then stewed.
-Baifo: That's the name a young goat gets. It is usually prepared a lot at Christmas based on marinated goat meat impregnated with aromatic herbs and garlic.
-Baked kid: A traditional dish from the island of Tenerife, it is considered the star dish by locals and tourists alike.
Goat soup: the special feature of this soup is that the meat, already cleaned and cooked, is added to the soup, which is basically a classic soup, and noodles and vegetables are added.
Compound goat's meat: this is more common in island homes: the meat is cooked or fried (if it is marinated), mashed with aromatic herbs and then cooked with potatoes and vegetables in a cauldron with plenty of water and white wine.
Photos: Cabildo de Gran Canaria, enfuerteventura.es, Wikipedia, Asociación de criadores de cabra majorera, 657mas.com.