Rural Holidays in Fincas on Lanzarote


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Attractions on Lanzarote - Cochenille breeding near Guatiza - Photos

By the middle of last century the " Opuntia ficus indica ", more common nowadays as the Prickly Pear, was introduced to the island imported from Mexico and cultivated in large plantations around the village of Guatiza. On it´s surface a tiny louse, the cochineal, was bred to gain a very precious red dye stuff known as Carmine from the larvae, that was ( and still is ) in strong demand by the cosmetics -, pharmacy- and food industries. Using a spatula, the larvae have to be sraped by hand from the thorny cactus, then purged, deadened in hot water, dried and finally ground. The procedure didn´t change a lot since and with a look the tininess of the insects, the effort needed to produce quantities of the final product is imageinable.

 Cochenille farming Guatiza, Lanzarote
Cochenille farming Guatiza, Lanzarote
Cochenille farming Guatiza, Lanzarote
Cochenille farming Guatiza, Lanzarote
Cochenille farming Guatiza, Lanzarote
Cochenille farming Guatiza, Lanzarote


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