Canarian Wrinkled Popes (Papas Arrugadas – wrinkled potatoes)

Yes, just back from Gran Canaria, I have to find something that is likely to upset some people.  Sorry peeps, it’s just too good to keep to myself.  Anyway, they’re rather nice!

Papas Arrugadas are (traditionally) small potatoes boiled in seawater.  However, if you do not wish to have a day trip to Clacton, Rhyl, Blackpool or other similar resorts (other resorts are available in every coastal county of the UK), you can just use normal drinking water and lots of sea salt – the big crystals are best.   Use lots of it.  No, LOTS of it.  No…. MORE than that…..

That’s better!

(NOTE:  The chemical granulated table salt isn’t really nice enough for this.)

The spuds should be small to smallish; certainly not even medium sized and definitely not larger.  Just scrub ’em and boil ’em.  Don’t peel ’em.  You’ll need quite a few for each person cos they’re rather nice.   Just use the baby/miniature/Charlotte/Elaganza little spuds that you get in the supermarkets or on your local market stall.    Don’t use the very red skinned spuds; the skins may be a bit thick for this.

Ok, so you just boil ’em for about 20 mins and then drain almost all of the water away (for once, you’ll not be able to use this source of boiling water for soup base or even the washing up because of the salt content) and leave the almost dry hot pan, on the hob but off the heat, to simply evaporate away the remaining moisture.  You want to maintain the subtle but tasty salt coating on the spuds.  Let ’em dry off.  Don’t butter ’em or anything.  Leave ’em just as they are.

Pop your wrinkled popes (called papas….. popes in Spanish….. and before you start to call ’em patates as they do on the peninsular, there, in/on the Canaries they call ’em papes) into a dry dish and eat ’em either as an accompaniment to something Spanish (the Canarian beef stew, as written in the next recipe, is an ideal example) or as a starter with a spicy sauce.


(Oh bugger; that’s French… What’s Spanish for ‘Oh Bugger’?…Oh bugger, I mean ‘Voila’?)

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