Get Your Tenerife Mojo Working

Wed, July 30th, 2014 - By Andrea Montgomery

The first time I saw papas arrugadas con mojo on a menu I immediately heard the treacle vocals of Muddy Waters in my head singing: “Got my mojo workin’ but it just won’t work on you.” I quickly learned that it’s actually pronounced mo-ho and that although it has nothing  to do with dating prowess, it is about getting saucy.


Mojo Rojo


A staple of the Canarian kitchen, every cook will have their own recipe for mojo, often using their own, home grown herbs, and improvising on ingredients depending on what’s available. You’ll find subtle differences in taste and strength, both within Tenerife and across the Canary Islands as a whole. On La Gomera for instance, the mojo is generally much spicier than it is on Tenerife.

But mojo isn’t simply the red and green sauces that you get with your Tenerife potatoes, in fact, mojos come in many different colours and flavours, even the ones you think you know so well.


Mojo Verde & Mojo Rojo


Closer inspection of the ubiquitous mojo rojo and mojo verde that appear on every restaurant table from Los Cristianos to Santa Cruz, reveals that there are more varieties than meet the eye. Mojo verde (the green one) can be cilantro (coriander) or perejil (parsley) or pimientos verdes (green pepper) while the mojo rojo (the red one) can be pimento rojo (red pepper), pimentón (paprika) or pimienta roja (cayenne pepper). Although there are no real rules to how you eat your mojo, in fact the red one is best eaten with meat while the green one goes with fish, the mojo equivalent of red and white wine. Both red and green will also contain more than a touch of garlic so if you don’t want to end up singing the Muddy Water’s version, it’s best to ensure your loved one gets their mojo on too.




Red and green aside, there are also lots of specialist mojos which you may find adorning your dinner table depending on the restaurant. Finding increasing popularity on the bread board is La Gomera’s speciality of almogrote which is made from mature (for ‘mature’ read smelly) cheese mixed with mojo and can on occasion be something of an acquired taste. But toned down, it makes a delicious dip and we have recently found it cropping up on Tenerife tables as far apart as Vilaflor and El Tanque. A dangerously addictive mojo often accompanying the bread rolls is alioli, or garlic mayonnaise, another one for sharing if you don’t want to scare off everyone within a 20 yard radius every time you open your mouth.




Other traditional, specialist mojos that you’ll find across the Canary Islands are mojo de almendras (almonds)  and mojo de huevos (eggs), both from La Palma; mojo de queso (cheese) from Gran Canaria, not to be confused with almogrote; and mojo de aguacate (avocado) which is often served with arepas. There are more, but I think these are enough to ensure you find your Tenerife holiday mojo.

Posted : Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 at 11:24 am
Category : food and drink
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