A group of islands off the North African coast mainly known for the touristic destinations of Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Tenerife and La Palma. We made the mistake of going one January to the north coast of Tenerife, which was cold and wet with the Atlantic driving down towards its coastline with frightening ferocity. I was recovering from an operation and my husband had thought that a spot of mid-winter sun and some swimming would do me a power of good. The only way to achieve this was to drive to the south coast of the island, through which purpose we discovered the beautiful lunar landscape of the volcanic heart of the island around the Caldera de las Canadas, where parts of "Planet of the Apes" were filmed. Bananas are found all over the Canary Islands and there is some north African influence over the cuisine, with the use of spices not much used in Spanish cooking generally, such as cumin. You will find dishes, particularly the gofio bread, made with corn meal as well as wall rocket and sweet potatoes.