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Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is famous for its ability to synthesize, better than any other city in the Canary Island archipelago, the different cultures that have come to form its very particular character. The city's gastronomy is also soaked in this same character, meaning that this most cosmopolitan of cities is also a city with the most international and mixed flavours.

But foreign influences have not led to the disappearance of traditional Canarian cuisine. A kind of collective recipe book, belonging to all the people of Las Palmas, has been drawn up over the years, marking the beat of the changing times: times of need, with their stews of vegetables and jaramago, pejines (sardines) with gofio (cereal flour), sancocho (salted fish dish) or stocks with corn or potatoes; and those of plenty, represented by, among other dishes, the puchero casseroles, of which that of "the seven meats" is without a doubt the most impressive.

An important part of the history of the city lies in the wine industry that made the islands famous in the 16th and 17th centuries. The success enjoyed by Gran Canaria - together with Tenerife and La Palma - was largely centred around the crops of the area of Monte Lentiscal and the side of the Caldera de Bandama crater. Today, following many years of neglect, major efforts are underway to recover the vines and quality wine. An important step in this process was the approval, in 1999, of the El Monte appellation of origin.

To enjoy the delicacies that the city has to offer, the visitor can choose between going for tapas in the historical centre, and eating in one of the many restaurants, where the dishes are every bit as important as the surroundings in which they are served. If you like the idea of pampering your palate will curious stocks accompanied by hot meaty dishes, the best place to start is Tafira, El Monte and the neighbouring areas. if you prefer fish - fresh, aromatic and juicy - your best bet is to head for the neighbourhoods of San Cristóbal and La Isleta.

»More information at: www.laspalmasgc.es

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