An indispensable option to get into the “majorera” gastronomy and enjoy it is “la vieja”, a tender and tasty white meat fish which is offered in the menus, cooked in an exquisite variety of ways, of most restaurants specializing in seafood in Fuerteventura. Its catch is also associated to an ancient and laborious technique that survives today and is an accurate reflection of the customs and traditions of the most authentic local culture.
A delicious fish to taste in different dishes
Throughout the selection of restaurants related to sea products in Fuerteventura, visitors interested in the best exponents of the typical local cuisine can choose between different dishes that have “la vieja” as their core product. This fish belongs to the parrot fish family, and it stands out for its unique flavour and delicate and tasty white meat, rich in proteins, minerals and essential fatty acids.
Just “sancochada” (that is, boiled), it is delicious. However, as it can be expected, this method has its secrets, since being such light and soft flesh, cooking time and temperature must be carefully controlled, and the vegetables accompanying it must be conveniently chosen, like onion, pepper, garlic, tomato and parsley. Once served, a little lemon juice will give the final touch.
Although “la vieja sancochada” is enormously popular, so is “la vieja a la espalda”, a method which owes its name to the fact of cooking this fish on its back and on its own scales. Thus, its prized meat is exposed to receive a nice dressing of olive oil, garlic and parsley, being finally served with the typical Canarian potatoes in green “mojo”.
You can also bake or fry it and always, thanks to its unique and distinctive flavour, with excellent results.
The catch of this fish is carried out near the coast, both from small boats and from land, but always through individual catches, as it is a non extensive fishing. Although modern fishing gears have joined the catches of this fish, the traditional fishing method of “vieja” still survives in Fuerteventura, an old and interesting technique we’ll discuss later on.
Where to taste a delicious “vieja”
As for where to find restaurants offering “vieja” we must say that in any coastal town or establishments specialized in fish it will be almost certainly available. However, due to its tradition and degree of specialization, some sites are particularly suited to taste seafood, such as El Cotillo and Los Molinos, in the north, Las Playitas and Ajuy, downtown, or El Puertito de Jandía, at the southern end of the island.