When I fancy a junk food hit I don’t head to the golden arches on Tenerife, even if they are looking all bright and trendy these days. The island has plenty of delicious and cheap fast food goodies inspired by Spanish and South American cuisine that get my juices flowing much faster than a mass produced slab of meat in a bun.
Some will be familiar to most folks but others might be new snacks on the block. Here are a few suggestions to try that will silence a rumbling tum for a couple of euros.
This is a Spanish cheap and chunky, filled crusty baguette. It’s pronounced bok-a-deeyo (the double Ls aren’t pronounced in the same way as you say them in Brillo pad – as one friend insists). Most are pretty basic with a choice of cheese, cheese and ham, ham, Serrano ham or chorizo fillings. For a serious bocadillo, try one filled with Spanish tortilla at the bus station in Santa Cruz and for a fancy version, Humboldt’s Mirador Café in La Orotava where you might be offered a calamari and fried egg bocadillo.
A pepito is a bit like a scaled down bocadillo. It’s South American in origin and is generally a small baguette that is packed with chicken or beef, tomato, avocado and lettuce that is drowned in mayo or ketchup… or sometimes both.
Arepas are a real favourite of mine. They’re savoury, filled fried corn pancakes from Venezuela. Fillings come in all sorts but the classics are carne mechada (spiced, shredded meat) and the reina (queen) which is chicken and avocado. For a real arepa experience you need to make sure they’re drizzled with a mix of avocado and spicy lip-stinging salsas. If you don’t get a bottle of both put in front of you, it’s not an authentic arepera (a place that serves arepas). La Laguna has a few good areperas but you can find them all over Tenerife, even in places like the little plaza in Alcalá.
Whether it’s as a breakfast snack, a post-clubbing munchie, or a fiesta food hit, churros are perennial favourites amongst Tenerife’s young scene. These long, crinkly strips of deep fried sweet pastry (like a mutant doughnut) are delish dipped in chocolate or in sugar. The legendary Marcos (having swapped his mobile churreria for a more permanent establishment) is the place to be seduced by them in Los Cristianos. Elsewhere, follow fiesta sounds and you’ll find a churro van… and a queue.
These crazy potatoes have got to be seen to be believed. This is French fries through Picasso’s eyes. Diced ham and cheese are added to a mountainous plate of chips and then whoever prepares them goes a bit mad with the mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard bottles, creating abstract patterns. Not a good choice if you’re not into condiments.
If you don’t fancy any of the above there’s always pizzas (everywhere), the trusty hamburguesa (of varying quality on Tenerife), the perro caliente (hot dog) or, even better, the world’s ultimate snack food – tapas.
Category : food and drink
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