The gastronomy of La Gomera is characterized by the great variety of products it offers and the intensity of its flavor. But undoubtedly, if there is something that stands out among the most typical dishes and foods of the island, it’s the pastries.
So-called Gomeran sweets have become the true ambassadors of the island, and there is no one who can resist trying each one, from the traditional cookies, through the “tortas de vilana,” “bollos gomeros” and “tortas de cuajada,” to the “rosquetes de manteca.”
Today, there are several places that still continue to make these traditional recipes and have become a must-visit for anyone wishing to purchase any of these tasty products.
In addition, it is very easy to find them in any municipality of the island and in each of its candy stores and supermarkets.
1. Gomera Cookies
Gomera cookies are one of the most popular desserts of the Colombian island, a product that is present in every home on the island, and has become the main souvenir for tourists who visit the island and want to take a piece of La Gomera on their return.
Decorated with sugar or almonds, Gomeran cookies are made in the traditional way and their main ingredients include wheat flour, eggs, yeast, sugar, milk and lard. The recipe for this product has been passed from mothers to daughters for decades, managing to preserve over time the typical flavor that highly characterizes them, often being a well-kept secret.
Although nowadays they are cooked in electric ovens, there are those who still prefer to cook them in traditional wood-fired ovens, giving them a unique flavor that affects everyone.
2. Torta de Vilana
Vilana cake is another star dessert among Gomeran pastries. This sponge cake, based on potato, is usually prepared at Christmas time in most homes in Gomera, and will be a culinary experience for those who try it.
This Gomeran dessert arose as a result of the use of leftover stewed potatoes in the home. Mixing them with egg, flour, sugar, almonds and even raisins, a dough is obtained, which must be baked afterward to obtain this authentic delicacy.
The recipe of the vilana cake can vary, since the ingredients can be substituted for others, like potato for sweet potato.
3. Torta de Cuajada
Most of the typical dishes of La Gomera come from the use of leftovers from other preparations. This is the case of torta de cuajada [curd cake], which arises from the use of cheese leftovers, included in the dough made from the main ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs and milk.
After baking, the curd cakes have an exquisite contrast of flavor, which mixes the sweetness of the dough with the salty traditional cheese of La Gomera, often accompanied by syrup or palm honey.
4. Leche Asada
Leche asada [roasted milk] is a dessert that is made mainly on the island of La Gomera. With a texture similar to flan or quesillo, its main ingredients are milk, egg, condensed milk, cinnamon stick and grated lemon.
This dessert, which is served cold, is available in every Gomeran restaurant dessert menu and is usually served with a little cream or palm honey.
5. Rosquetes de Manteca and Rosquetes Morones
As its name suggests, this Gomeran dessert is made mainly with lard, which gives it a soft and delicious texture, as well as flour, egg and sugar.
With a texture similar to cookies, although much softer, these rosquetes are the perfect accompaniment to a coffee or a mid-afternoon snack.
Rosquetes morones are also a typical product of the island, whose main ingredient is ground almonds. These rosquetes have a soft texture and a sweet flavor.
6. Bollos Gomeros
One product of Gomeran pastry that should be on the table of any home on the island is the bollo gomero. Prepared following a recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation and in a traditional way, it is used as an accompaniment to many meals, a substitute for bread in many homes.
The most common way to bake these buns is in the traditional wood-fired ovens that still exist in many homes, something that gives them the smoky touch that lends them a unique flavor.