Canarian cuisine is slightly different from continental – yes, we will get here all the best in Spanish cuisine, i.e. immortal paella, churros with liquid chocolate or mini appetizers – tapas, but Canaries offer much more. An example would be Tenerife – the largest of the islands and what you can eat on it.
Fruit in Tenerife
In Tenerife, try local bananas. It is like a fruit that you can easily get in any grocery store, but you won’t be able to buy the local variety – platano canario.
And this is due to EU regulations, for which – attention – bananas from the Canary Islands are too short and crooked!
Therefore, the entire fruit collection is only distributed within Spain. Canary bananas are more aromatic and sweeter than those we know, so you should try them at the source.
The second fruit worth reaching for in Tenerife is the prickly pear. The south of the island is practically desert conditions, where mainly succulents and shapely cacti grow. The fruit of the prickly pear is therefore soft and sweet, but without any other distinct taste. On the island, they are processed into juices, jams and marmalades. If you haven’t tried to eat them before, Tenerife is a good place to be tempted. It is important to buy prickly pears already peeled and ready to eat, because, unfortunately, their spikes can painfully get under the skin.
Although the Canary Islands are not particularly well-known for their cheeses, several quite interesting varieties are produced here. Tenerife is dominated by goat cheeses, often sold in smoked form. They can be bought in stores in three forms: fresh (queso fresco), semi-mature (queso semicurado) and mature (queso curado). Sometimes whole cheese rings are wrapped, for example, in peppers or gofio.
What else is good to eat in Tenerife?
Meat, fish and seafood
It is known that Tenerife is an island, which makes access to seafood much easier here. For this reason, it is worth tempting here for freshly prepared shrimps, squid and cuttlefish. From fish you can order fresh sea bream, moray, sardines, tuna or a local delicacy – vieja. Grilled octopus (pulpo ala plancha) or salads with its addition (ensalada pulpo) are very popular.
Seafood in Tenerife
When it comes to meat, instead of chicken chop on Tenerife, go for the goat (carne de cabra) and rabbit. From the latter, a very well known conejo en salmorejo stew is prepared, i.e. rabbit meat stewed with spices in red wine. When it comes to goat, it is worth ordering simply fried meat (baifo frito) or prepared in a tomato sauce – cabra a la antigua.
Soups and other good dishes in Tenerife
For soups in Tenerife, it’s worth trying the canario ranch. It’s a kind of thick soup with the addition of pasta, chickpeas and bacon. Another interesting dish is potaje de berros, i.e. watercress soup. Whereas fish soup lovers can try garbanzos con pescado here.
However, the most popular dish in Tenerife are wrinkled potatoes – papas arugadas, small tubers cooked in their skins in water with the addition of a large amount of salt. Plus two sauces – mojo rojo and mojo verde. The first red made on the basis of hot peppers, vinegar and olive oil. Second mojo verde – prepared on the basis of coriander, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. In Tenerife, both sauces are served with almost everything. It’s worth to pack a jar each into the luggage.
A very famous dish on the island is also ropa vieja. This, in turn, is a thick meat dish, prepared with the addition of various vegetables, chickpeas and onions. Mega filling, just like the local goulash – puchero canario. In this case, it’s a mix of beef and pork, stewed with the addition of pumpkin, cabbage and sweet potatoes.
A lot of people also recommend to try on Tenerife sandwiches, stuffed corn pancakes – arepas. They are served with fish, meat and vegetable fillings. They are often served as breakfast snacks. By the way, see current prices in Tenerife and check how much you will pay for dinner in a restaurant or beer in a bar.
Desserts and sweets in Tenerife
When it comes to desserts, it’s definitely worth trying mousse de gofio on Tenerife, i.e. mousse made from condensed milk and concentrated gofio – flour from roasted cereal grains. It is added to everything on the island, from desserts and ice cream to soups, stews and other dishes.
The second dessert worth the sin is bienmesabe, a type of sauce / mousse made of ground almonds, honey, yolks and rum. It is served with biscuits or as ice cream topping. His exact name translation means – it tastes good to me. And it really does.
Desserts also include coffees served in Tenerife – leche y leche is a version with condensed milk alone or barraquito, i.e. a drink made of layers of coffee, condensed milk, alcoholic liqueur and frothed milk. Both versions are rather only for gourmands, because they are really very sweet coffees. Desserts will undoubtedly also be one of the biggest attractions for children in Tenerife.
Alcohol in Tenerife
In Tenerife, take an interest in local wine. Especially products from the Bodegas Monje and Casa del Vino La Bardana vineyards.
You should also pack a bottle of excellent rum with honey – ron miel. If there is still some space, it is impossible not to be tempted by the flagship product on the island or the banana liqueur – Cobana, produced of course based on the local fruit.