El gofio

A big traveler

Toasted cornmeal (gofio) was a top food before, during and after the war. In fact, when all the other food was rationed, it was one of the few items that was always available. To talk about toasted cornmeal is to talk about the Canaries, about home and about deep-sea voyages.

Do you know why? It kept for a long time without losing its qualities, so it was taken to the United States and Latin America –on clandestine ships– during the postwar period. In fact, it is still made in those countries just like in the Canary Islands. Would you like to know something else? In the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela toasted cornmeal is sweet and it is known as garfia if made of wheat and fororo if made of corn.

The unique flavor of tradition

Nowadays, toasted cornmeal (gofio) is still the most traditional food of the Canary Islands, and it was awarded the ‘Protected Designation of Origin’ in 2014. Thanks to the wisdom of the people from Fuerteventura, who have been able to transfer all their knowledge generation after generation, it can be found today in many modern dishes. Would you like an ice cream or a mousse, for example? They can be made with toasted cornmeal. It is a natural, energy-giving product, with no preservatives or artificial colors.

The evolution of toasting

Let us tell you a little secret. Toasting the cereal after cleaning and sieving it is what makes it unique. This is what makes toasted cornmeal different from any other flour. It used to be cooked in a round clay or brass dish over firewood. The grains were mixed with sand or soil and stirred constantly with the meneador. Would you like to know what that is? It’s a long stick with a ball made of fabric or leather on its end. Discover all the secrets of toasted cornmeal at the “Los Molinos” Center of Tiscamanita.

* Find out on what days the Tiscamanita windmill is in operation.