There’s a sweet, dark, smoky type of caramel that you’ll find getting drizzled all over your Tenerife traditional desserts and adding a sweet finish to many of the island’s more creative menus, and its name is Miel de Palma.
Literally translated as palm honey, Miel de Palma comes from the island of La Gomera and is not actually a honey at all but is derived from Guarapo – sap taken from the island’s distinctive date palm trees – which has been cleaned, filtered and distilled to produce a rich, sweet syrup which tastes a bit like molasses. Used for centuries, Guarapo has strong medicinal properties and high energy content which made it a valuable food and medicine for the Guanche, original inhabitants of the islands. Today its production methods have improved but the product itself remains in its purest form.
Available to buy in most major supermarkets across the island and from the South Airport, you’ll also see jars and bottles of Miel de Palma in traditional produce outlets and you’re very likely to come across it if you go on any of the island’s excursions. Although the idea of sap from a tree and the dark look of the liquid might be something that doesn’t immediately appeal, once you try this stuff you’ll be using it in everything and wishing you’d stocked up before going home.
A completely natural and organic, virtually fat-free product, there are endless ways to enjoy Miel de Palma.
Add a teaspoonful to Greek yoghurt to turn it into addictively good toffee flavoured yoghurt. Drizzle it over vanilla ice cream to add a smoky caramel flavour that has you licking the bowl; add it to cream cheese for cheesecake and drizzle it over pancakes instead of sprinkling with sugar. Packed with minerals, it’s a healthier and more delicious alternative to sugar and even has slightly fewer calories (300 cals per 100 grammes as opposed to sugar’s 387 cals)
Pour a little Miel de Palma over some of Tenerife’s award winning goat’s cheese to really bring the flavour of the cheese out and provide a sweet contrast. Add a little to dressings to perk up salads or drizzle over fresh, seasonal vegetables along with soy sauce for a sweet and sour starter. I pour it onto fresh fruit or my muesli with yoghurt for a sweet and energy-infused start to the day.
When it comes to meat and fish dishes, you’ll find that getting creative in the kitchen with Miel de Palma can bring some exciting new flavours to meat and fish dishes. On Tenerife you’ll find top chefs using it to savoury effect by adding it to sauces for pork, beef and rabbit and for fish and seafood dishes where it goes particularly well with octopus, tuna and cod.
Once you’ve got to grips with Miel de Palma’s possibilities, try adding it to cocktails to sweeten bitter ingredients or tone down spicy additions. Once you head down this road, there’s no telling where it might end. I told you to stock up…
Category : food and drink
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