San Andres Rum Factory

La Palma has a small rum factory (the Aldea distillery), at Puerto Espíndola, in the borough of San Andres y Sauces. Unlike most rum factories, they start with sugar cane rather than molasses. After all, La Palma had commercial sugar cane plantations in the 15th century, before the West Indies had them. At harvesting season, the factory’s south building smells of sugar cane being crushed and fermented. Distillation happens in…

November 28, 2011

G Astronomy in La Palma

The Parador on La Palma is just outside the village of San Jose, in Breña Baja. (Paradors are a national chain of posh hotels, and very nice they are too.) Tonight (April 22nd ) at 8 pm they’ll be hosting the first public dinner with a new menu, inspired by astronomical bodies. A professional Starlight guide will be there to talk about the planets, and afterwards, there will be stargazing….

April 22, 2011

Vega Norte Wine

Wines from La Palma have improved enormously in the 20 years since I came here. Partly this is because they’ve created a “Denominación de Origen” which is much the same as the French “Appellation d’origine contrôlée” – you have to pass quality standards to be able to put the words on your bottle. And partly the local wine producers have just plain worked hard. Still, there’s an element of luck…

October 17, 2010

Organic veg on La Palma

Vegetables on La Palma tend to be good, as long as they’re grown on the island, because anything local is fresh. And because the island is so full of micro-climates, the variety of fruit and vegetables grown here is astonishing. I haven’t found gooseberries here yet, and rhubarb is scarce, but I’ve found just about everything else. But the organic veg is the best of all. I wanted to hold…

April 25, 2010