Papas Arrugadas: Canarian Wrinkled Potatoes

Papas Arrugadas: Canarian Wrinkled Potatoes

Canarian wrinkled potatoes, popularly known as papas arrugadas, are a delightful and iconic dish originating from the Canary Islands, Spain. In this article, we will delve into the history of this unique culinary tradition, explore variations of the recipe, and provide helpful tips and tricks for preparing the perfect batch of papas arrugadas. Let’s uncover the secrets behind these salty, boiled potato gems!

A Brief History of Canarian Wrinkled Potatoes

Papas arrugadas have a rich history deeply rooted in the culinary heritage of the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands, located off the northwest coast of Africa, boast a distinct cuisine influenced by Spanish, African, and Latin American flavors. Potatoes were introduced to the Canary Islands in the 16th century during the Spanish conquest. Over time, the islanders developed a method of cooking potatoes by boiling them in heavily salted water, resulting in their wrinkled appearance and unique texture. This traditional cooking technique has been passed down through generations, making papas arrugadas an integral part of Canarian cuisine.

Variations of Papas Arrugadas

While the basic recipe for papas arrugadas remains consistent, there are variations that add depth and variety to this classic dish. One variation involves using different types of potatoes, such as new potatoes or fingerling potatoes, to achieve varying textures and flavors. Another variation includes infusing the boiling water with aromatic ingredients like bay leaves or garlic cloves to enhance the taste. Additionally, some recipes suggest coating the potatoes in olive oil before boiling to intensify the wrinkled effect and add a hint of richness to the dish. These variations offer a creative twist on the traditional papas arrugadas recipe, allowing for personalization and experimentation.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Papas Arrugadas

  1. Choosing the Right Potatoes: Opt for small, waxy potatoes like new potatoes or fingerlings, as they hold their shape well during boiling and develop the desired wrinkled texture.
  2. Salt Selection: Coarse sea salt is the key ingredient for achieving the wrinkled appearance and adding a delightful salty flavor to the potatoes. Ensure you use enough salt to create a crust but avoid over-salting.
  3. Timing is Crucial: Keep a close eye on the boiling time to avoid overcooking the potatoes, which can result in a mushy texture. The ideal cooking time is around 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.
  4. The Shaking Technique: After boiling, gently shake the potatoes in the pot over low heat. This helps to dry them out and create the wrinkled effect, enhancing their visual appeal.
  5. Enhancing the Flavor: While papas arrugadas are delicious on their own, serving them with a vibrant mojo sauce, made with garlic, cumin, paprika, and other ingredients, can elevate the overall taste experience.

Papas arrugadas, the beloved Canarian wrinkled potatoes, are a testament to the culinary ingenuity of the Canary Islands. This dish, with its unique wrinkled appearance and delightful saltiness, has become a staple in Canarian cuisine. By understanding the history, exploring variations, and following the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you can confidently prepare a batch of delicious papas arrugadas to savor and share. Embrace the tradition and bring a taste of the Canary Islands to your table!

Papas Arrugadas

Papas Arrugadas: Canarian Wrinkled Potatoes

Discover the history of Canarian wrinkled potatoes, known as papas arrugadas. Explore variations of this boiled potato recipe and learn tips and tricks for achieving the perfect salty and wrinkled texture. Elevate your culinary skills and bring a taste of the Canary Islands to your table with this iconic dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4


  • 2 lbs Small potatoes (such as new potatoes or fingerling potatoes)
  • ½ cup Coarse sea salt
  • Water


  • Wash the potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover them.
  • Stir in the coarse sea salt until it dissolves in the water.
  • Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and cook the potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a fork. This usually takes about 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them well and return them to the pot.
  • Place the pot back on the stove over low heat and shake it gently for a minute or two. This helps to dry out the potatoes and create the wrinkled effect.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let the potatoes cool for a few minutes. The remaining salt on the potatoes will create a characteristic crust.


Serve the papas arrugadas with mojo sauce on the side.
Keyword Appetizer

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