One of the joys of a holiday in Tenerife is sampling the local cuisine. Although you can readily find many international restaurants serving familiar dishes, hunting out a traditional Canarian restaurant can add value to your holiday.
The traditional food of Tenerife is a unique blend of Spanish, African and Latin American influences, and you can expect to find a wide range of interesting dishes quite unlike any you may have sampled before.
You don’t necessarily have to stray too far away to find eateries serving local cuisine; often a cafe tucked down a side street of a main resort will prove to be a culinary treasure trove, whilst many towns and villages are starting to cater for those tourists who are looking for authentic experiences. Many hotels feature local dishes as part of their daily menus.
One of the most famous Canarian dishes that you can find on Tenerife is Papas Arruagadas. Also known as ‘wrinkly potatoes’, this staple side order is usually served with the island’s equally famous Mojo sauce. This fiery sauce can be found all over Tenerife, and as well as being paired with Papas Arrugadas, it is often accompanied by bread. Mojo sauce is either green or red, with the red option being the spicier of the two.
Another famous local dish of Tenerife is Gofio. This grain-based staple has many uses, and as well as being an alternative to bread, it can be added to soups or served with meat as a main course.
If you see Puchero Canario on a menu during your holiday in Tenerife, give it a try. This local speciality is a meat and vegetable stew and is packed with flavour. For vegetarians, choose a stew with Garbanzos, or chickpeas. Garbanzos are ubiquitous on the island. Rabbit in Salmorejo sauce is also a national dish, whilst those looking to sample spicy Canarian-style chicken should head to Adeje, which has earned an enviable reputation for serving this favourite dish.
Be sure to try Tenerife’s most famous pudding, Bienmesabe. Translated as ‘tastes good to me’, this sweet dish is a mixture of almonds, eggs, honey, lemon and cinnamon and is typically served with cream or ice cream.
Cheese lovers will be delighted to discover that Tenerife is big on producing cheeses, and it exports over 3,000 tonnes every year. The town of Arico, in the south-east of the island, is widely believed to be the best place to savour locally produced cheeses.
Sampling local beverages can be a highlight of any holiday in Tenerife, and you have plenty of options to choose from. The native beer is Dorada, which is brewed on the island and is available in different strengths. Many people may not associate Tenerife with wine-making, but there are actually five wine-producing regions on the island. The rich volcanic soils, mild climate and variety of different grapes combine to create distinctive and tasty wines, so make sure to ask for the house wine to accompany your Canarian meal.