Five Unusual Dishes to Try on Tenerife

Wed, October 2nd, 2013 - By Jack Montgomery

In Playa de las Américas and Costa Adeje on Tenerife you can eat your way around the world if you want. In these resorts, restaurants cover a whole range of International cuisines.

However, when heading to holiday pastures new it’s interesting to check out some local specialities. A lot of Canarian food isn’t a million miles away from what many Brits are used to – basically meat and potatoes. But if you want to impress friends and family back home with your knowledge of local cuisine that is a bit different, look for these on traditional menus.

Goat (cabra) is a regular on Canarian menus, especially in rural areas in the hills e.g. around Santiago del Teide, Vilaflor and La Orotava. I’ve never understood why anyone who can happily tuck into a sheep will be horrified at the idea of eating goat. It’s a really tasty meat – if you get a tender one – and is served with papas fritas. Casually dropping into the conversation that you ate goat and chips will really impress friends back home.


Goat Meat, Tenerife


Not to be confused with squid – which it can be on some menu translations, cuttlefish (choco) is a cheap dish found on menus in seafood restaurants in Tenerife towns and resorts that have fishing communities (Los Cristianos, Puerto de la Cruz). It’s generally grilled and served with papas arrugadas (Canarian wrinkled potatoes) or French fries. In truth it doesn’t have a strong taste – a bit like squid – but get one with tentacles and it’s a great foodie photo opportunity.


Cuttlefish, Tenerife


Gofio has been a filling staple of the Canarian diet since the islanders used to run around in skins and live in caves. It’s a flour of toasted, milled grain. Sometimes you get it to thicken soups and stews in traditional restaurants but as an actual dish it most commonly comes as escaldón which is gofio mixed with stock (usually, but not always, fish) to make a thick chunky paste that you scoop up with huge chunks of onion. It’s a bit of an acquired taste but at a couple of euros a bowl it doesn’t cost a lot to give it a try.


Gofio Escaldon, Tenerife


Almogrote is a quite pungent and delicious cheese pate, flavoured with chillies and garlic, from La Gomera that has made it onto the menus of quite a few restaurants on Tenerife. There are a lot of Gomerans on the island, especially on the south west coast in places like Alcalá and Playa San Juan. Most restaurants tone it down for tourist tastes but if you get a proper one… yowza.


Almogrote, Teneriife


Leche Asada
It literally means roasted milk, but this is more of a baked milk pudding. Milky puddings make up most of the Canarian dessert choices and I can’t say that they particularly turn me as they remind me  of school dinners. But I have had the occasional one which I’ve really enjoyed. Leche asada is sometimes helped out with a sweet honey topping, which improves it no end.


Leche Asada


There are plenty more ‘interesting’ specialities on Canarian menus. Be adventurous and try some; it’s much more fun than eating the same stuff as back in Britain.

Posted : Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 at 3:57 am
Category : food and drink
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