A visit to Tenerife will not be complete if we do not try its rich, varied and delicious gastronomy. The typical food of the Canary Island is a perfect combination of tradition and culinary avant-garde, with a wide variety of dishes where healthy and local foods are its hallmark. The products of the sea and the land are combined in a wide range of recipes for the most demanding palates. Remember to visit Tenerife and rent a car with Atlas Car.
Avant-garde and tradition
As we said, in Tenerife you can taste some of the best traditional dishes of the Canary Islands, as is the case of gofio, wrinkled potatoes or honey, three typical island foods that can be consumed alone or elaborated in a wide variety of gastronomic recipes. There are a multitude of homemade food restaurants where you can try these typical dishes. Of course, the most advanced culinary avant-garde can be tested in the many Michelin-starred restaurants in Tenerife, which always know how to give a twist to the most traditional products.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruit of its fertile lands and privileged climate, Tenerife’s vegetable garden is one of the greatest exponents of the island’s gastronomy, always emphasizing that it is fresh produce of the highest quality. In Tenerife, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, sweet potatoes, chard, pumpkins, potatoes, eggplants and beans, among others, are grown. If we focus on fruits, of course, we must mention the banana, perhaps the greatest symbol of the whole Canary Islands, and appreciated all over the world. But bananas are not the only ones. The tropical climate favors the cultivation of fruits that cannot be produced in any other part of the European continent, such as papayas, pineapples, mangos, avocados or custard apples.
But first let’s start with the wine, a tradition in Tenerife and with many denominations of origin and nuances for lovers of grape wines. They are the best alternative to accompany any dish. Tenerife is known for its excellent wines and its many certified designations of origin, such as Tacoronte-Acentejo, Orotava Valley, DO Ycoden-Daute-Isora, Abona or Güímar Valley. Both red and white wines are produced, so it is best to try several to accompany the dishes we are going to mention below.
Freshly caught fish and seafood of the highest freshness are usually the protagonist of the menu of any restaurant or restaurant on the island. If one has to name the star fish of the island, it is, without any doubt, the vieja. It is a fish with white and soft flesh that can be prepared in many different ways. Besides the vieja, the cherne, the bocinegro or the salema are cheap and delicious fish, generally accompanied by potatoes and salad. Mackerel and sardine are also very typical fish and of course, the mackerel. This fish gives its name to the inhabitants of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital of the island, who are known as chicharreros, for a reason. In addition, the culinary delicacies of the sea are completed with cuttlefish, limpets or squid.
Meat from the land
The interior of Tenerife is home to a livestock tradition of great prestige, highlighting the beef, goat or chicken. Rabbit is also very typical, and the most common forms of presentation are salmorejo and condumio. All the meats are usually prepared on the grill, in the multiple grills that are distributed throughout the territory of Tenerife. It is necessary to emphasize the wide offer of pork derivatives, such as sweet black pudding, chistorra sausage, salted ribs, sausages or chorizo spread, called by the locals as “dog” sausage, a real delicacy.
The Canarian mojo
The mojo, or rather, the mojos, are one of the true stars of the gastronomy of Tenerife and the Canary Islands. You can never miss a little mojo to accompany the dishes. The most typical are two, the green mojo, made from coriander and parsley. And the red mojo, which has plenty of paprika. These slightly spicy sauces combine perfectly with meat and fish and, of course, with the famous wrinkled potatoes.
All the islands of the Canary archipelago produce a wide variety of cheeses. Of course Tenerife, the largest of them all, was not going to be the exception. The cheeses of Tenerife, we can find them in multiple versions, both cured, semi-cured and fresh cheeses. All of them are produced from milk from the large goat herd, although there are also sheep and even cow cheeses. They can be eaten alone, roasted and, of course, accompanied with a little mojo.
The gofio is something that can only be found in the Canary Islands, a very typical product and that is a direct inheritance of the aboriginal people of the Canary Islands: the Guanches. Gofio is a flour made from toasted cereals, mainly barley, wheat and corn, although it can also contain legumes, such as beans or chickpeas. It is usually served as an accompaniment to casserole dishes, meat and fish, although it is also eaten on its own, thanks to its excellent nutritional properties.