Gastronomie in La Palma
The Palmeros have found in two historical monocultures: the sugar cane and wines, the basic ingredients for their traditional cuisine. The former was introduced in the beginning of the 16th century by Flemish, Portuguese and Andalusian colonists setting up on the island with a clear purpose in mind of exporting it.
At the same time, first vineyards were planted on the island. When the production of sugar cane decreased, vineyards’ importance increased and different wines produced on La Palma were drunk in many European noble and wealthy homes. The fame of the wines from La Palma was such as William Shakespeare, Walter Scott, Lord Byron and Robert Louis Stevenson among others mentioned them in their works.
The Spanish saying, in clear reference to the different ways of cooking depending upon different climates in the country: “In the south, people fry their food; in the centre, they grill it and in the North they stew it”, suits La Palma, as it is an island with a wide diversity of climates.
La Palma, with a long history in emigration and immigration, has always welcomed traditions and customs brought by emigrants and settlers who have come back to the island or who have settle down there. Desserts, liqueurs, fruits, dried fruits, meat and fish have always been welcome by both noblemen and peasents.
And still at present, covering any table on La Palma on occassion of big celebrations (weddings, baptisms, first communions, saint's day) we can see a handmade embroidered tablecloth.