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Old canarian lard

The flying lard game

The lard was known by the aborigines from Canary Islands, although its use as food is not sufficiently proven. Añaterve, Mencey from Güimar (Tenerife), presented the conqueror Fernández de Lugo with ’12 shortbread bowls, 12 aged cheeses, 12 fresh cheeses, 12 milk skins and 12 barley hides’ [sic]. Therefore, cheese and lard were part of the diet of the ancient Canaries.

Restos de manteca conservada por los guanches.
Restos de manteca conservada por los guanches.

Although the data available regarding this lard relate them to medicinal uses, such as anti-inflammatory medication, for scrubbing, to resolve toothaches and, in particular, in the practices associated with embalming. However, this does not mean that food use could not occur.


The way to obtain the lard in those days was, at least, very curious. A skin of skin was filled with milk halfway and then two women, separated by ten feet, threw it between them. Yes, as if it were a ball.

This curious system for making homemade butter persisted in the south of Tenerife until recently. One more fact that confirms the survival of old ancestral customs in some Canarian zones.

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