Persimmons

Persimmon tree in Las Nieves, Santa Cruz., La Palma
February 2, 2015

The persimmons are ripe. On La Palma, persimmons are called Kaki or Sharon, and I believe the tree comes from Asia originally. They’re much nicer when really ripe. The catch is that by the time they’re ready for eating, they’ve gone squishy, so they don’t travel well. Personally, I love them with Greek yoghurt.

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The Convent of the Holy Trinity in Breña Alta

The Cistercian convent of the Holy Trinity at Buenavista in Breña Alta is surprisingly new. It was founded in 1946, and it’s the only closed order on the island. I was surprised to find out that there are only ten nuns who live there. The convent has a small shop. I first went there about ten years ago, in search of a rosary made of dragon-tree seeds, for a Catholic…

March 16, 2014
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Rabbit’s foot fern

This is the Rabbit’s Foot Fern Davallia canariensis, which likes to grow in the warmer and damper parts of the island. It particularly likes dry stone walls, barrel-tile roofs and cliffs. As you can see, the name comes from the root, which is very pretty. I believe that the Awara used to make gofio from it, and so did more modern Palmerans when there was nothing better available, although I’m…

November 29, 2013
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Yams

Yams (ñame in Spanish) are a relative of sweet potatoes. They need a lot of water to grow, so they’re only cultivated in Los Sauces and inside the Caldera. You can recognise a yam patch easily, because they have huge leaves shaped like elephants ears. The root has to be boiled for hours, so you usually buy them from the supermarket already cooked.Then, traditionally, you serve them with honey or…

August 29, 2013
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Star Quality Malvasia Wine – heaven in a glass

Malvasia is a white dessert wine from the south of La Palma. It’s too sweet to drink with fish (or to drink like a fish). In fact it’s similar to Maderia or a sweet sherry – more something you’d have at the very end of a meal with the local sweet almond biscuits. In Shakespear’s day Malvasia wine was known as Malmsey, and it was very popular indeed. In the…

April 16, 2012
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Star Quality Malvasia Wine – heaven in a glass

Malvasia is a white dessert wine from the south of La Palma. It’s too sweet to drink with fish (or to drink like a fish). In fact it’s similar to Maderia or a sweet sherry – more something you’d have at the very end of a meal with the local sweet almond biscuits. In Shakespear’s day Malvasia wine was known as Malmsey, and it was very popular indeed. In the…

April 16, 2012
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