The Canarian cuisine has some regional particularities which make it unique and different to other Spanish regions. However, Canarian recipes are often forgotten in mainstream Spanish cuisine. The Canarians have a huge variety of potatoes, including many sweet potatoes (I especially like the white varieties of these!). Some of the old varieties of Canarian potatoes, the so-called ‘Papas antiguas de Canarias’, have received a protected origin seal from the European Union. Within this group, the category of ‘Papas bonitas’ is especially suited to cook Papas arrugadas. However, these are even difficult to get on mainland Spain, not to talk about outside of Spain. I therefore use new potatoes and the taste is still great, although not the same as on the Canaries.
The name ‘papas arrugadas’ literally means wrinkled potatoes. This makes sense, since the potatoes get a wrinkly skin by being cooked in large amounts of salt. They usually go as either a side dish (i.e. with stuffed courgettes) or a starter, and generally come with ‘mojos’, a sauce which comes in spicy red and green. There are different ways of cooking them and getting the white and wrinkly appearance. Below you will find a simplified version.
Wrinkled Potatoes from the Canaries
- 1 kg new or baby potatoes
- 100 g coarse sea salt
Wash the potatoes and place them in a large pot. Ideally there should only be one layer of potatoes.
Add the salt and enough water for the potatoes to be almost covered. Then bring to boil and leave over medium heat without lid.
After 20-30 minutes, when the potatoes are cooked (you can prick one with a knife, if the potato falls off easily, it’s ready), remove the remaining water from the pot.
Place the pot with the potatoes back on the fire for roughly one minute. Shake the pot every couple of seconds to move the potatoes around.
Now the salt on the potatoes should be visible and the skin has probably wrinkled a little. Remove the pot from the hob and serve immediately.