🥔 Papas arrugadas: A treasure of the Canary Islands 🌴

papas arrugadas
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Hello, dear gastronomy lovers 🍽️! In this tasty trip to the magnificent Canary Islands, we are going to dive into one of its most emblematic and traditional dishes of these islands: papas arrugadas (wrinkly potatoes). Come with us!!

The origin of papas arrugadas 🌍

Every great dish has a history, and papas arrugadas are no exception. The Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean, have a rich gastronomic history influenced by their colonisers, trade routes and, of course, the aboriginal peoples. Among this amalgam of influences, is where wrinkly potatoes were born.

This dish is believed to have originated with the ancient inhabitants of the islands. The potato (papa), originally from South America, arrived in the Canary Islands with the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century. The islanders adopted this tuber for their own gastronomy, and transformed it into what we know today as papas arrugadas, taking advantage of the salinity of the seawater and traditional cooking techniques.

How to prepare wrinkly potatoes 🍳

The preparation of wrinkly potatoes is simple, but like all traditional recipes, it has its own special touch.

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  • Small potatoes (preferably the local variety known as “papa bonita”).
  • Coarse salt (or sea water if you can get it).
  • Water.


  • Washing: wash the potatoes in their skins to remove all traces of soil – don’t peel them! The skin is essential to get that characteristic wrinkled look.
  • Cooking: Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add a good amount of coarse salt (or seawater). The saltiness is key to getting that unique flavour.
  • Boiling: Boil the potatoes until they are tender. This can take 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.
  • Evaporation: Once cooked, drain off excess water and return the potatoes to the pot. Allow the potatoes to dry on high heat until the skin shrivels and a thin layer of salt remains on the surface.

And that’s it! It’s so easy! You have now authentic papas arrugadas ready to be enjoyed.

What are they used for? 🍽️ 

Papas arrugadas are more than just a side dish. In the Canary Islands, they are the soul of the table. They are usually served with mojo picón, a spicy sauce made of peppers, garlic, vinegar and other ingredients that give them a powerful and delicious flavour. This duo is simply unbeatable.

These potatoes are also the perfect accompaniment to meat, fish and other typical Canary Island dishes. But honestly, they are so delicious that you can eat them on their own, and you’ll still be delighted.

wrinkly potatoes

Dishes where it is used 🥘

Besides the classic dish of papas arrugadas con mojo picón, you can also find them at:

  • Puchero canario: a stew made with meat, corn and vegetables, accompanied by the indispensable papas arrugadas.
  • Sancocho canario: a traditional dish based on salted fish, accompanied by gofio (a toasted cereal flour) and, of course, our beloved wrinkled potatoes.

Papas arrugadas are more than just a dish: they are history, culture and tradition encapsulated in a small, delicious morsel. If you visit the Canary Islands, you must try this culinary gem. And if you don’t have plans to travel, try making them at home! Your palate will thank you 🤤.

So, lovers of good food, next time you think of the Canary Islands, beyond its beautiful beaches and landscapes, remember also the culinary treasure they offer us: the incomparable papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes). Bon appetit! 🍴🥔🌴

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Discovering Canarias

| Discovering the Canary Islands

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