There are countless advantages to living on a tropical island like Tenerife and not least of those is the near constant supply of fresh, exotic fruits to be found in the supermarkets. What’s more, they don’t come in pre-packed polystyrene trays covered in plastic, they’re loose and ready for you to choose and weigh your pick of the crop.
For the freshest choices and greatest variety, head to one of the farmers’ markets such as The African Market in Santa Cruz, Plaza Del Cristo in La Laguna, Mercado Municipal in Puerto de la Cruz, La Orotava, the weekend market in Adeje, or my personal favourite, Tacoronte on the Tejina road out of the town.
Faced with all that tropical goodness, here’s my pick of the best tropical fruit to buy on Tenerife:
Mango (above, top right). My favourite fruit. Juicy, orange fleshed and packed with sweet flavour. The flesh should be soft and yielding to the touch and have no bruises on the skin. Just coming into season now, it’s extremely expensive at the moment (over €4 a kilo – gulp), wait a few weeks until it’s in full season and the price drops.
Pineapple. Available all summer. Until I moved to Tenerife, I had never seen red pineapples, the ones we get in the UK being picked and exported before they’re ripe. While simultaneously impaling your fingertips, test for ripeness by pulling one of the razor-sharp leaves from the centre of the fruit. If it comes away easily, the pineapple is ripe and ready for eating.
Kiwi. A year-round favourite that adds vibrant colour and sweetness to fruit salads and breakfasts. In my experience, if your kiwi isn’t soft when you buy it, it will never get soft. If they get overripe they go metallic tasting and yellow in colour – yuk.
Kaki. Better known as Persimmon, this orange beauty adds a splash of vibrant colour to the breakfast bowl and is great for making fruit compotes, if that’s the sort of thing you make. The fruit should be soft and not discoloured.
Paraguayo. Known also as the doughnut peach, this little beauty is in full season now and very cheap. Tasting like a peach with added honey, it has less juice than a peach but with a firmer flesh. Choose ones that are soft to the touch and not bruised.
Pomegranate. I love cutting these open and spilling the bright red seeds over my cereal and yoghurt or adding them to salads for a sweet taste and an exotic look. Choose one that’s red in colour and quite heavy which shows the fruit is still moist, and watch when you open it or you’ll have pomegranate juice all over the kitchen wall.
Custard Apple. Not the prettiest of fruits but quite possibly the tastiest, the off-white flesh tastes like vanilla custard. Never cheap, they should be really soft before you eat them. Halve, scoop out the flesh and separate it from the endless black seeds then taste and tell me it wasn’t worth the money.
Pitahaya. Also known as the Dragon Fruit, I’m including this just because it looks so amazing, like something that would grow on Pandora. In fact the taste is disappointing, a bit like watermelon and quite bland but it looks great in the fruit bowl – pretentious? moi?
Category : food and drink
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