Buying gifts and souvenirs can sometimes be a challenge. You’ll find a range of authentic, quality handmade gift ideas for all ages at MAS CAMPESINO Mercado Autóctono Sostenible (sustainable local market), all within Casa-Museo del Campesino. The market opened just in time for Christmas and will stay open all year round.
Give your friends or family a little piece of Lanzarote and learn how the island’s men and women overcame adversity, by trying out nine handicraft workshop experiences for a fixed price of only €3 per person.
Here are nine original gift ideas from the MAS CAMPESINO craftsmen and women and their respective workshop experiences, that will make you a true island ambassador.
Traditional pottery is in fashion, whether for decoration or for everyday use in our kitchens. Trays, colanders, pots, bowls and even pendants, keyrings or bracelets: these are just some of the authentic Canarian pottery on offer. The bestseller has to be the “Novios del Mojón” (Mojón lovers): two figurines reminiscent of an old Canarian tradition carried out when a couple were engaged to be married. The man presented his fiancée with a masculine figure (with rather oversized private parts, shall we say), and if she accepted, she would present him with a female figure. A gift loaded with innuendo. Price: from €5
Create your own pottery with the help of craftsman Joaquín Reyes, feel the wet clay between your fingers and take your work home as a souvenir.
Typical Lanzarote hats, headdresses, earrings or brooches, all made with sustainable materials such as palm hearts, which are obtained from the inner core of palm trees, then dried in the sun and laminated by hand. Style and tradition rolled into one. Price: from €12.
Create your own Christmas star from palm heart and wheat using traditional plaiting techniques, under the watchful eye of Yolanda Torres. Remember to hang it on the Christmas tree!
Scarves, shawls, ponchos and elegantly designed bags with the latest designs: woven on a loom with natural materials such as merino wool, silk or cotton. Each gift is practically unique and handmade, and will make someone feel very special.
Learn to weave on the warp knitter (a series of longitudinal threads set on the loom) with the help of Montse Selva. And take your handiwork home with you, of course!
Rosettes are made using a fine art which involves threading a needle through a round base with pins, one that has been preserved only in Lanzarote and Tenerife. Parasols, cloths, shawls and all kinds of crochet are just some of the things you’ll find made using this traditional technique, adapted to modern formats. Price: from €8.
Macarena Arrocha will carefully show you how to create your own rosette, just like her mother and grandmother used to. Ask her to make one just like those she made for Custo Dalmau’s designs at the last edition of the Lanzarote Fashion Weekend. Children can even learn how to make a Christmas bauble.
DYEING WITH COCHINEAL
A range of different sized handkerchiefs, neckties, scarves, bags and colourful bandannas: all thanks to natural dyes from cochineal, a parasitic insect that still exists in Lanzarote, and that creates some incredible colours (reds, purples, burgundies…) Price: from €7
Paint your own wrapping paper or a pretty postcard with cochineal dye while Conchi Garcia explains this magical process.
It’s hard to resist the temptation with such gorgeous aromas: handmade face and body soap, ecological soya wax candles, air freshener pouches with wax flakes and petals or shampoo bars for all hair types (the cactus variety is perfect for hair loss, greasiness or dandruff, but they’re also available in nettle or rosemary). Perfect for travelling as they can also be used as conditioner or shower gel. The gift bag comes with a handy fact sheet explaining their properties. Price: from €5.
Pepa Calderó will show you how to add scent to a handful of Salinas de Janubio marine salts, using natural herbs and oils. Use it as a natural air freshener at home and you will always have Lanzarote close by.
Create your own basket or choose from the ready-made packs, such as the mojo picónkit which includes a pestle and mortar, a recipe and all of the ingredients to make this canarian sauce of excellence (available in five languages). Add this to Lanzarote’s deliciously natural corn and wheat gofio. (see video), then you’re onto a real winner! If you want to soak up Lanzarote’s culture and flavours, this is the place for you. Price: from €3.
Make a traditional pella de gofio, with gofio (milled grains)from La Molina de 1874, belonging to José Maria Gil, which is the only working mill on the island today. Surprise your family and friends with your handiwork, that’s if you haven’t eaten it all yourself, of course!
Estefanía González from Experimenta Lanzarote will show you how to make authentic mojo rojo/verde (red/green sauce), so that you can carry on making it at home.
QUESO – MERMELADA
Gift packs with malvasía volcánica jam, accompanied by a wedge of one of ten internationally award-winning Tinajo cheeses, are the latest sensation among tourists and residents alike. Prickly pear, fig, pumpkin or vanilla are among other irresistible flavours of jam on offer. Price: from €4.30.
Cheese and jam or mojotasting with Mario Morales from Quesería Tinache and Fefo Nieves from Mermeladas Lala.
9. ECOLOGICAL FARMING
Mangos, pomegranates, guavas, tomatoes, goat milk yoghurt or oil, all 100% ecological. Just the delicious smell and colour of this produce, grown here in Lanzarote’s volcanic soil, is enough to make your mouth water. A basket of 100% ecological products from Lanzarote is perfect for enjoy during your stay, or alternatively as a gift. Price: baskets from €30 or simply pick and mix as you wish.
Put your apron on and learn to cook a typical Canarian dish with locally-sources products from Finca Tres Peñas, and with the wisdom of Manuel Peláez Sánchez. And then enjoy your delicious meal, of course!
With so much choice, it’s best to visit the market at Casa-Museo del Campesino and decide for yourself.