Just like in all of the island's cultural expressions, in the gastronomy of Tenerife tradition and modernity go hand in hand. The island's kitchens offer the visitor a wide range of possibilities, where the natural produce, which is often a unique result of the peculiar conditions of this land, is always of the finest quality.
Traditional and creative coo
Here in Tenerife you can enjoy the very best traditional dishes: gofio, honey and potatoes, amongst others. But you can also try the best in imaginative new cooking, the fruit of the fusion of creativity with tradition, at any of the island's avant-garde restaurants.
The fish par excellence and the favourite of the people of the Canary Islands is the vieja, with very delicate white flesh, but there are many other types that we strongly recommend, including bocinegro, sama and salema (all types of sea bream), and cherne (grouper). Tuna are abundant in the waters of the archipelago and these very tasty fish are served fried, grilled or in brine. Mackerel, sardines and, in particular, chicharro, or Atlantic Horse Mackerel (which gives the inhabitants of the island's capital their name: chicharreros), are also common dishes. The morena, or moray eel, is normally served fried and is a dish that no visitor should miss.
Fruit and vegetables
The huerta, or farmland, of the island is without a doubt one of its gastronomic treasures, and the fresh fruit and vegetables that it produces can be "discovered" with pleasure again and again. Tenerife produces excellent tomatoes, cucumbers, bubandos (a variety of courgette), pumpkins, chard, watercress, yams, potatoes, aubergines, cabbages and kidney beans. As for fruit, the banana is one of the island's staple agricultural resources. The fields of Tenerife are also filled with a wide range of tropical and subtropical fruits, such as avocado, mango, papaya, pineapple, custard apple, guava, mammee apple, starfruit, lychee and many other varieties, including some that are still relatively unknown in Europe.
No description of the island's food would be complete without mentioning rabbit, either prepared in salmorejo or stewed, two methods of cooking meat that give equally tasty results when used to prepare kid, or cabrito. Pork and chicken are also key ingredients in many island recipes and, together with beef, form one of the essential elements of the numerous asador carveries, which are especially popular in the north of Tenerife. Also worth noting are the wide range of pork products, both fresh and cured, such as sweet morcilla (black pudding) made with almonds and raisins; chistorra cured sausage; savoury ribs; salchicha sausages and spreadable chorizo, affectionately named "de perro".
Another of the gastronomic treasures that may come as a pleasant surprise to visitors are the Canary Island cheeses: soft, cured or semi-cured, especially made from goat's and cow's milk. Certain varieties deserve our full attention, such as the cheeses of El Tanque, cured and lightly spiced, and those of the Arico-Fasnia, Anaga and Teno regions, among others. Particularly interesting is one of the starters or snacks that is often ordered when eating out: fried cheese with mojo.
Gofio is a traditional food inherited directly from the island's indigenous people: the Guanches. It is a kind of flour made from toasted cereals, above all barley, wheat and maize, and, occasionally, pulses such as chickpeas or broad beans. It is often served, either as a dough or mixed with stock to form an escaldón, as an accompaniment to stews such as cazuela de pescado (fish casserole) or puchero canario. This natural product is most commonly eaten at breakfast time, when its pleasant taste and excellent nutritional values make it a healthy choice even for people watching their weight.
Mojo, a word of probable Portuguese origin, is the Canarian name for the typical sauces served on the islands. The most well-known mojos are the one made from coriander or parsley, called mojo verde, green mojo, and the colorado, or coloured mojo, which contains plenty of paprika.
To find out more
The main designations of origin of Tenerife's wines are Tacoronte-Acentejo, Valle de la Orotava, Ycoden-Daute-Isora, Abona and Valle de Güímar. Located in the north of Tenerife, in the municipality of El Sauzal, a large traditional Canarian house is the home of the "La Baranda" winery, which offers visitors the chance to discover at first hand the island's rich wine-growing heritage, in a privileged location with fantastic views of the sea and Mount Teide.
To find out more
The best way to buy Tenerife's food and drink is at the island's markets. You can visit the Tacoronte Farmer's Market in Northern Tenerife, the Market of La Laguna, and the Nuestra Señora de África Market in Santa Cruz - La Laguna.
To find out more
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