Thecooking from La Gomera has always been remarkable in the Canary Islands. This is due to the uniqueness of its elaborated products and the quality of the raw materials that it shelters. To know and taste the typical dishes or the wine is to get in direct contact with our most precious landscape. We are referring to the rural landscape.
Vallehermoso preserves a great tradition as regards the local cooking.It is a simple and delicious cookbook, a cooking that keeps the essence of the inhabitants from La Gomera, the way to work the ground and above all, the way to keep certain culinary traditions of exquisite taste. So, the cheese, the “almogrote”, the “mojos”, the cakes, the “gofio”, the wine or the “miel de palma” are a reference of Vallehermoso in any place in the Canary Islands.
Most of these traditional products are centenary and, nowadays, the support of little companies in the entire municipality. These ones are helping to preserve the agricultural landscapes which are becoming increasingly scarce, as well as some cropping techniques and original and unique process of transformation.
From the sea until the highest hill, every area in Vallehermoso is ideal for a kind of crop. Thanks to the different microclimates between north and South, coast and mountain, we find in Vallehermoso (and in the whole island of La Gomera), products such as tropical fruits of an extraordinary quality to Mediterranean and European crops. In the same way the richness of the natural pasture land has allowed the subsistence of the cattle breeding from the indigenous time. The taste of the cheese and meat from the island is accompanied by the contribution of many vegetable and local species.
We cannot forget to mention the great “pantry” of our coastline as La Gomera is famous in the Canary Islands for having first-rate fishery resources nationally.
The cheeseis one of the most valued products in the gastronomy of the Island. This is elaborated using raw goat’s and sheep’s milks. The one elaborated using milk from the goat has been considered as one of the best in the world according to its category in different international exhibitions.
The “Almogrote”is elaborated with the delicious cheeses. It is an excellent tasty snack. A kind of “paté” (spread) elaborated with grated cheese, hot pepper, butter and garlic. It is usually spread on bread and biscotti. This last product is considered a real culinary treasure.
The “gofio”,which is the flour from the grain of toasted cereals like the corn, wheat and barley, is a product with excellent dietetic and gastronomical characteristics. It has been the food and basic nourishment for many children in the islands. It is usually prepared by mixing it with milk or making a cream. In La Gomera it is eaten by mixing it with honey and goat’s cheese.
The most characteristic wines in the island are the White ones, of a straw yellow color with intense varietal aromas, pleasant on the palate, with special body and bouquet though we also find excellent red wines. In order of importance, the varieties that are grown are: “Forastera Gomera”, “Listán blanca”, “Marmajuelo” and some “Malvasía” grapes. To a lesser extent, the red varieties like “Listán Negro” y “Negramolle”.
The most representative and typical variety from the Island is the “Forastera Gomera”, which is the grape with the greatest oenological value because of its aromatic intensity that permits the elaboration of excellent white and young wines.
From 2003 these wines are protected by the Denomination of Origin (DO) “Wines from La Gomera”. The estimated area of vine crops in La Gomera is about 450 hectares, a 60% of them as well as the production are found in Vallehermoso.
The systems of cultivation for the vine in La Gomera and especially in Vallehermoso have a great landscaping, cultural and economic value. The Landscape of “paredones”, that is the system of crops in terraces.
The insular Wine Cellar placed in Vallehermoso, elaborates different types of wines, though other Wine Cellars are also part of the Regulating Board of the Denomination of Origin, as well as the familiar and non commercial ones which also keep the essence of the good wines from the northeast area of the island.
The cakeselaborated in La Gomera, with a very wide range, are well-known as products made with ingredients of the highest quality by traditional methods in Vallehermoso. The “Galletas” (buiscuits) and “Rosquetes” from La Gomera, the “Tortas de Bilana”, the Tortas elaborated with curd” or the “Leche Asada” with “Miel de Palma” (honey taken from the palm), have always been products related to the municipality of Vallehermoso. This exquisite taste is due to their careful and traditional elaboration.
The “miel de palma”(honey taken from the palm tree) is the top dish in the cooking from La Gomera, it is elaborated with the sap (guarapo) from the palm tree bye boiling it and making it thick. It is used for the elaboration of desserts and cocktails or to serve with different dishes like the “leche asada”. The “miel de palma” is the most appealing and representative example of the close connection that the inhabitants from La Gomera have established with the palm tree, as a unique culture has appeared related to this species.