My nose discovered the unmistakeable, so Italian aroma of That’s Amore, before I spotted it on the side street behind busy Calle Marcial Garcia which runs from Playa Chica to the main square of El Médano. I’m something of a pizza addict so my senses went on full alert. I’d been away from Tenerife for several months, and it was a delightful welcome home to El Médano.
The traditional red and white décor cheered me even before I saw the food, but when I entered the small shop I drooled at the sight of the immaculate counter filled with rectangular tins of pizza, cut into slices ready to take away, groaning with toppings, some new to me.
It turned out that they had opened just a month before my return in July. Business has been brisk, so that owners, Alejandro and Eduardo, have extended opening hours (on Fridays and Saturdays they open until 2 am!) and products, and they now also deliver within El Médano. It really isn’t surprising, when you listen to Alejandro talk about their food and their philosophy – passion oozes with every word.
It’s now a two-family business, so that covering the long opening hours fits into family life. Whilst working in a nearby restaurant, Alejandro and Eduardo discovered that they had similar dreams, to open a really good quality takeaway, using only local or genuine products in the making. Alejandro had worked in several well-known restaurants in Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos, but, even so, it took a while for them to source local artisan growers for the vegetables and herbs they use. His father is from Naples, so he had a very clear idea of what good pizza should be.
Even the flour for the melt-in-the-mouth crust is milled especially for them in a stone mill in Santa Cruz, and before it ends up covered in those luscious toppings, it has been proving for 48 hours beforehand. The toppings can vary slightly, because no compromise is made on the freshness or quality. If an ingredient isn’t available, then no frozen or packaged substitute is used. In fact they may be the only eatery around to proudly boast that they don’t even possess a freezer!
I asked where the inspiration for the toppings comes from, and Alejandro replied that it depends entirely on what is available on the day. Amongst the familiar cheeses, tomatoes, spinach, and chorizo used as toppings, you may find octopus, pimientos de padron, squash or even potatoes used in imaginative ways. Everything must be 100% natural, including the herbs.
As a baby boomer, I come home singing their title song every time I go. I wondered about a song in English being popular in Spain, but was assured that Dean Martin is as famous both here and in Italy.
That’s when Alejandro told me that pizza = love. The crust represents the soul, and the topping the body. “We want people to have a sensory experience when they bite into our pizzas,” he said, and I could only nod in agreement, because that exactly sums up how I felt with my first bite. Nights home with a good movie will never be the same again, especially as That’s Amore are beginning to offer Italian wine and other goodies too.
That’s Amore, c/Villa de la Orotava, 3, El Médano Tel: 630239102 Price of a rectangular slice of pizza €2.50 or €3 when they have a “special.”
Category : food and drink
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