772. Canary Islands Part 12 | Exotic Fruits + Upcoming Travel Plans

Las Canteras Beach
It has been quite a long time since I last updated, mainly because we haven't done anything much these weeks (just fell into a normal daily routine) and I've been busy with work and trying to plan our next travels.

Our daily routine has gotten pretty comfortable. Wake up, eat breakfast, go to a cafe to work on our laptops, lunch, beach (if it's beach weather), go for a walk along the beach, dinner, etc. I will try to do a post on the daily routine before we leave here..even if it is mundane, as I would like to have these memories to look back on in the future lol.

So as a Canadian, I am only allowed to be in the Schengen area for 90 days out of every 180 day period. My time here is up since its been 3 months now (between Azores, Porto and 2 months here in Canary Islands). That means our next destination has to be a non-Schengen country which limits our options as most European countries are part of Schengen. In addition to that, the COVID situation is still really bad in Europe right now. This limited the options way more as many countries are closed to foreigners and/or have way too many cases. As you can imagine, it was really stressful not knowing where to go..however I'm aware this is also a good problem to have (trying to decide where to travel next lol). Travelling during COVID requires a lot more planning and trying to figure out restrictions for each country..most countries don't have it laid out clearly. I'm not complaining though as I am grateful to be in this position and it is definitely an experience.

Now, at the time of writing this, we have a pretty good idea of where we will go and I'm reallyyyy excited about it. It is somewhere I've wanted to go for a long time, and we managed to find a really good place to stay (which was a deciding factor in going to that city). Since we still haven't booked anything I do not want to reveal it yet but I will next week once we have it all confirmed. We will need to do yet another PCR test to go there (it's going to be our 4th one within these months..ahhh)

Roka Cafe

We go to this cafe pretty every day to work for a few hours. We only recently discovered it and it's located super close to us. We are regulars now - they bring us our drinks even without having to ask for them.

Roka Cafe Las Palmas Las Canteras beach Packing for Mars book
The current book I'm reading now - Packing for Mars by Mary Roach. Super interesting so far (as all her books are)

las palmas christmas

Besides this tree, it doesn't feel like close to the Christmas season at all here in Las Palmas. I imagine the next place we go will be even less Christmas-y. Coming from Canada, it would only feel like Christmas if it's cold and snowy though.

Mandu Las Palmas
Finally had good quality/authentic Asian cuisine after 3 months!! In Toronto we are lucky to be very multi-cultural meaning we can have a craving for any type of ethnic cuisine and be able to find a good, authentic restaurant for it. The past few months have not been like that for me (especially in Azores). There are Chinese restaurants in Canary Islands here but they don't look/are not rated good at all. Many of them also have tacky Chinese decor like red lanterns. But whenever I travel, I prefer eating local food anyways. Just after travelling 3 months in fairly similar countries, I found myself missing Asian noodles (my favourite) lol. Last week we went to this Korean restaurant and it was really good. It's run by an actual Korean family so it tasted pretty authentic too (well I am not Korean so I cannot fully confirm, but it does taste like other Asian noodles I've had). We will go back again tonight.

Las Canteras Beach Las Palmas El Confital beach Las Palmas Gran Canaria Las Palmas Gran Canaria las canteras beach Vegueta Market Vegueta Market

Now onto the fruits part of this blog post! If you've followed my previous posts, you will know I recently became obsessed with fruits and trying all these new exotic ones. I was so excited to visit Vegueta Market again hahah. They are full of fruit and vegetable stalls. I think we got ripped off though. Many people on the Google reviews say this too so if you go, I'd recommend being careful and only buying fruits you cannot find in other fruit markets here and make sure you check the prices first.

apple bananas

The fruit vendor recommended these "apple bananas" to us. They are miniature in size. These four cost 11 euros ($17 CAD)! Comparing to the cost of regular bananas, this is pretty crazy. They do taste like apples but have a banana texture. I didn't really like them that much actually. I prefer regular bananas. So definitely not worth the price lol. The skin is really really thin.

apple banana cranberries lingonberries
Also got cranberries (or lingonberries)

exotic fruits
This one I don't know what it is called..the texture is like a paste and it's reallyyyyy sweet. Like too sweet to eat. I didn't like it.

Lilly Pilly berries
These are called Lilly Pilly berries. I liked them. They are very crisp and the skin tastes like apple skin. The seed is also easy to get out (since it's not attached to the sides). I would like to find good quality fresh ones as the ones we got were too ripe I think. I still enjoyed them but I think they would taste amazing when fresh.

This one I was most excited to try. My book (The Fruit Hunters) talked about it and I was excited to see it available here.

kiwano fruit

To eat it, you cut it in half, squeeze out the insides into a bowl and eat with a spoon. The seeds are edible (it'd be impossible to pick them all out anyway). The texture is like a jelly. It was pretty sour and acidic but not unbearable. I don't know if we just didn't get a good one because online it says it's supposed to taste sweet. I would like to try it again if I find it again.

kiwano yellow kiwis
Golden kiwis! So good.

green kiwi perfect mango
The mango here are really good and fresh.

atemoya custard apple
Atemoya. I didn't really like this. I prefer the Red Cherimoya (that we had a few weeks ago) which is a cross breed of this fruit.

Watermelon is one of my favourite fruits.

When I was young, I hated eating oranges. Prior to this, I never ate a mandarin before (I mean I never willingly purchased, peeled and ate a full one lol). I've had pieces of them before. On my goal to eat all the different types of fruits available here, I got some mandarins (I now believe these ones in the photo are tangerines) and loved them. Since then I've been getting them every day and eating 2-3 per day. I know there are mandarins, clementines, tangerines, etc but I never knew the difference. I think "mandarin" is the general term. I have done some Googling but still, I am not 100% sure which is which. But I think the ones I like most are tangerines. Now I am having trouble finding them as the place I first got them from switched to a different kind now (plain mandarins). I have since been searching different fruit stores for tangerines again with no success lol.

prickly pears

Prickly pears are pretty popular here (as they come from a cactus plant). They taste really good but kind of dangerous to prepare due to the pricks. My boyfriend cut and prepared this one and I was so careful not to touch the skins yet I still managed to get a prick in my hand that I have no idea how it got there. It took 5-10 minutes with a tweezer to pull it out. I would like to eat them again but not sure if it's worth the risk hahah.



771. Canary Islands Part 11 | Valle de Mogan Tasting Menu Dinner

Valle de Mogan Tasting Menu Sardine

For my boyfriend's birthday dinner, I took him to a restaurant called Valle de Mogan. We had the tasting menu. I really loved it. It was one of my favourite tasting dinners I've ever had. Everything tasted so good and was really beautifully/creatively plated. The service was really good as well. In the photo above is a "smoked and salty sardine with golden skin, pickled mini-eggplant, okonomi pipette, pepper essence and celery foil". It was one of my favourite courses.

The restaurant itself was a bit of a distance from Playa de Mogan where we stayed. It was inland, at a house surrounded by mountains. The whole restaurant was outdoors in a covered patio. Unfortunately at night it was too dark to see the mountains. But during the day, the view is amazing.

There were only a few other seated tables when we were there. As soon as we sat down they brought out two glasses of champagne for us (on the house).

Valle de Mogan Restaurant Valle de Mogan Restaurant Valle de Mogan Tasting Menu
Amuse Bouche

Valle de Mogan Tasting Menu

When I saw "Canarian Potatoes" on the menu, I wasn't too excited about it because I don't really like them (usually they are actual boiled potatoes drizzled with a special sauce that I find too salty). But I LOVED this version of it. It had a similar taste but as you can see, not in actual potato form. The menu described it as "Canarian potatoes with mojo foam and sea snails with cactus glaze". It was really unique. Also one of my favourite courses.

Valle de Mogan Tasting Menu

I know I keep saying this but this was also one of my favourites. It was a "fine sheet of limpet cured in salt, air of sea urchin, with spherical passion fruit, sea lettuce and anchovies garum"

Valle de Mogan Tasting Menu
"Tom Kha of squid, Galdar pineappe agar-agar, konjac noodles, katsubushi"

Valle de Mogan Tasting Menu
"65 degree free range chicken eggs, salicornia, scrambled potato with Teror chorizo and iberian tocino, tuber melanosporum oil"

Valle de Mogan Bone Marrow
Tasting menu courses always seem small but they eventually become quite filling. At this point I was starting to get full, and this dish was super heavy. I've only had bone marrow a few times in my life. It's not something I like a lot but this was really good: "beef bone marrow, goose foie, artichoke, nameko". However I don't like the taste of foie gras at all. Unfortunately I only had a bite of it (the foie) and couldn't finish the rest.

Valle de Mogan Pork Belly

Then came another super filling dish: "black pork belly lacquered in palm honey and mango, lemon cane, kaffir lime, galanga, sesame cookie and somag sphere". Pork belly isn't something I usually like to eat either; it was mostly pure fat so difficult for me to eat when I was already full.

Valle de Mogan Tasting Menu

Valle de Mogan Tasting Menu Dessert
Dessert! A mixture of berries, chocolate, candied ginger, etc. They then poured a syrup over it (I didn't take a photo of that part).

Valle de Mogan Tasting Menu

Pineapple candy wrapped in edible "paper". Brought out to a Happy Birthday song and a candle (that was blown out and taken away before I could take a photo)! Overall this was a really good meal and I loved the experience.



770. Canary Islands Part 10 | Weekend in Mogan

leftbanked despacito Mogan

Last weekend was my boyfriend's birthday. We spent a couple nights in Mogan which was my birthday gift to him, plus a tasting dinner at Valle de Mogan (one of the best rated restaurants on the island, which I will post about in the next post!). I really enjoyed it there. Mogan is sooo beautiful! We came here once before but just for a day on the beach. This time we stayed in this little area beside the beach which has colourful houses and a lot of flowers.

Mogan Gran Canaria

Obviously with COVID now, this resort town is pretty empty. It is nice to be there with less people, as I assume usually it's crowded during their peak season/now. It is also sad to see though. Most restaurants and stores are still open for business, despite the major decrease of customers.

Mogan Canary Islands Mogan restaurant Mogan Gran Canaria sleeping cats Mogan Gran Canaria Playa de Mogan Canary Islands Mogan Canary Islands Mogan Canary Islands Mogan Canary Islands Playa de Mogan leftbanked
The bracelet was a gift from our very nice Airbnb host, when we extended our stay by another month. It is made of volcanic lava.

The Fruit Hunters book

In my Fruit Hunters book: I found this kind of funny/interesting. I have always been a "Summer Enthusiast". I assumed everyone likes to have fun, do what they like and enjoy life. But apparently only 53% of Americans feel the same. I used to be what they call "Generation Starbucks" and only recently am I getting more into fruits and consciously eating more for health reasons.

Mi Vida Mogan
I looooved the design of this restaurant. It was so colourful and quirky.

Mi Vida Mogan Mi Vida Mogan Mi Vida Mogan Mogan Gran Canaria Mogan leftbanked despacito Mogan

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