We show you some delights from the typical canarian food that you should not miss if you decide to come to Tenerife to enjoy a well deserved holiday.
Besides the sun, the beach and the natural beauties, the Fortunate Islands have other charms, unrepeatable tastes shared in all the islands or unique to each one of them, that make the Canary Islands a mandatory scale for sybarites.
Salted potatoes with sauce (Papas arrugadas con mojo)
Fortunately unavoidable, they are served as a starter, as a tapa, or as a garnish for fish or meat. Its success is in the contrast between the salted skin, the sweetness of the potato and the characteristic taste of the canarian mojo. The secret of these potatoes is in its small size; they must be boiled without being peeled and with a lot of salt, so they end up with a salted crust. In past times the cooking was made with sea water, which made its flavor even more original.
Not all the mojos are spicy, there are also some soft ones. There are two main categories: the red ones and the green ones. The red ones are made with oil, canarian pepper, garlic, cumin, salt, vinegar, and in some cases grounded almonds. On the other hand, the green ones are made with green pepper, cumin, garlic, coriander, salt, oil, and vinegar. The first ones are served as sauce for meats and the second ones for fish. The mojos are characteristic of all the islands, but some of them – La Palma, El Hierro, and La Gomera – have their own variation of mojo with cheese, although the most famous one is the almogrote from La Gomera.
Although it is eaten throughout the year, it is typical to eat it on the Holy Friday. This plate is made of salted fish, that is usually cherne, corvina or sea bass, preserved in salting; salted or boiled potatoes and sweet potatoes. It is served with red or green mojo, depending on each ones preferences. And the Gofio can’t be left out, some times it is kneaded with almonds or other special ingredients.
Due to the simpleness of its ingredients, the sancocho was part of the canarian gastronomy during shortage times. Nowadays it is found among the most popular plates, specially in Gran Canaria.
The base for this plate is the gofio, a cereal of wheat or corn that is toasted and grounded, that is mixed with fish soup, chopped onion and soft cheese. It is served as a side dish for most of the traditional plates, as a starter or even as a main dish.
For many years, the gofio was the main food for many generations of islanders, specially after the Spanish civil war, whether kneaded with water, scalded, or with milk. In 1994 it obtained the Appellation of origin. It is the canarian typical food by excellence.
Although normally the watercress is served in salads, in the Canary Islands there is a very singular soup that can be tasted in all the islands. It is more common in La Gomera and in Gran Canaria. It is made with watercress, slated pork ribs, beans, corn, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, cumin, paprika, oil, water, and salt.
With the Trade winds that bring coolness to the islands, you would like a complete soup, and it can be tasted in many restaurants in the Islands.
Tourists may find it weird that the canarians eat goat’s meat, but it is very common to find this plate in all the corners of the islands. Although it is a difficult plate to prepare, it is very tasty.
It is very common in Fuerteventura, La Gomera, el Hierro, and Tenerife, where the goats have had a bigger tradition. For some people it has a very strong taste, while for others is a delight of the canarian food that you should not miss.