Gofio is a stoneground flour made from roasted cereals (e.g. wheat, barley or bot fern, corn) and a little added salt. It was first eaten by the Guanches, the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands, as the main staple of their diet. It is still an important ingredient in Canary Island cooking, and Canary Island emigrants have spread its use to the Caribbean (notably in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela) and all of Latin America.
Gofio is a highly versatile product which can be added to soups, stews, puddings, ice cream, sauces etc. It is very rich in vitamins, proteins, fibre, and minerals. It was favoured by Canarian mariners as it can be stored for long periods while retaining its goodness. It was a vitally important part of the Canarian diet during the lean years after the Spanish Civil War. Mixed with a little water and sugar and kneaded (traditionally inside a goatskin bag) it produces a dough-like mixture that can be eaten as it is and was traditionally used in this way by peasant workers in the fields. Perhaps most often added to milk as a fortifying drink or sprinkled over soups or stews at the table. Modern uses now include commercial beers and ice cream. It is also used in the production of Queso Arico cheese.