Immerse In The Culture Of Lanzarote

August 5, 2012 | By | Reply More

Religion

Roman Catholicism gained an early foothold in the islands, and although many Canarians’ religious faith may be doubtful, the Church still plays an important role in people’s lives. Most Canarians are baptised and have church weddings and funerals, although less than 50% regularly turn up for Sunday service.

Music

Folklore Music is the traditional music of the Canary Islands. The main musical instrument in Folklore music is the timple, a ukelele-style instrument possibly introduced into the islands by Berber slaves shipped in for farm work by the European invaders early in the 15th century. The timple has travelled widely and been incorporated into the musical repertoire of Cuba and other Latin American countries. At traditional fiestas the instrument will accompany dances such as the isa and folía and, if you’re lucky, the tajaraste, the only dance said to have been passed down from the Guanches.

Lucha Canaria

Lucha Canaria is a form of wrestling unique to the Canary Islands where the contestants attempt to throw each other to the ground inside a 12 meter ring (somewhat similar to Sumo wrestling).

Language

Spanish, or more precisely, Castilian, is the official language of the Canaries, and only place names from Guanche (the original inhabitants of Lanzarote) survive. However the accent and dialect is similar to that of Latin America.

Food

The vital staple of any meal on Lanzarote are papas arrugadas – literally wrinkled potatoes – which are always served with mojo – a rich sauce of garlic, olive oil, vinegar, herbs, and a selection of spices. The potatoes, which have a very distinct almost nutty flavour, are grown in the neat fields of black gravel, the volcanic picón, which retains vital moisture in the semi desert climate.

A prized delicacy are tiny Papas Crías (wild potatoes) which grow on the rocky hillsides and which compensate in their lack of size for the richness of their flavour.

Gofio is another vital staple of the island’s cuisine. Made from toasted corn and maize flour, in the past it would have been ground in the many windmills which once dotted the landscape of the island. Until the end of the 19th century when bread was a luxury eaten only at special occasions, gofio would have been an important part of every meal. Today it is used to thicken and flavour soups, stocks and stews. A speciality here is Escaldon de Gofio de caldo de pescado – a rich fish stew made with gofio and vegetables.

Wine

Wines of Lanzarote

With more than 2,500 hours of strong sunlight per year, plus mineral rich layers of soil below the picón, the grapes produced were of excellent quality and flavour. This ability to transform a potential natural disaster into a triumph is typical of the determination of the islanders of Lanzarote and today the Malvasia wines grown here regularly win international prizes and are amongst the best in the world. The wines have a characteristic light fruity flavour and are very crisp and dry on the tongue, making a perfect complement to the many fish dishes of Lanzarote’s traditional cuisine.

The major wine producing area on the island is in La Geria above Puerto del Carmen in the municipalities of Tias and San Bartolomé. Here the entire landscape of more than 3,000 hectares is covered in vineyards, with each vine protected against the strong trade winds by crescent shaped walls made of volcanic rock.

Cesar Manrique

Taro Tahiche, Lanzarote

César Manrique, the island’s most famous son and internationally renowned artist, designer and architect, had a passionate vision for the island and its people. Part of this passion involved harmoniously blending the natural and manmade together. His extraordinary Centres of Art, Culture and Tourism around the island combine landscape and architecture in a unique way, with volcanic lava tubes transformed into performance spaces, or lookout points built into 500 metre high cliffs with astonishing views over the beautiful Chinijo archipelago.

Museums

The varied museums of the island cover many aspects of the island’s ancient and more recent past. These include: The Museo Agricola el Patio in Tiagua (farm museum), Casa – Museo Palacio Spinola (18th century manor house), Castillo Santa Bárbara – Museo del Emigrante Canario (museum depicting the emigration of islanders), The Fundación César Manrique in Tahiche (Manrique museum), Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo (exhibition of modern Spanish artists and Manrique), Museo del Vino El Grifo (winery and museum), Museo de Cetáceos de Canarias in Puerto Calero (whale museum).

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Category: MUSEUMS, ARTS, CULTURE

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