The true essence of Puerto de la Cruz can be found in the flavours of its fresh fish, bananas and the famous Canarian potatoes “papa arrugadas”.
Its streets are lined with terraces and balconies that overlook the sea, and there are quaint spots where you can savour local Canarian dishes and products around every corner.
African and American cuisine mixed with the traditional ‘guanche’ style, plus the obvious Spanish influence make for one of the most interesting food scenes in the world. Want insider tips? Ask the locals, they´ll tell you the best places to eat and where to find the best views.
Tenerife´s volcanic landscape, rich in minerals, brings out the full flavour of its local products, such as gofio (toasted cornflour), honey, cheese, and local wines. And, of course, no visit is complete without raising a glass of the local wine from the valley of La Orotava. The history of this region along with the Alisios Winds make La Orotava wines special, and years of nurturing, protecting and developing its characteristics is what gives this wine its unique flavour.
The small port (Las Lonjas Street and La Ranilla district) a traditional fishing settlement is the perfect place to feel the bracing sea breeze, and buy fresh fish that has just been brought to shore by local fishermen.
In the fisherman’s kitchen, you’ll find dozens of ways to prepare fish, but the best way is to keep it simple; grilled over burning ashes, cooked on a griddle or boiled and accompanied with the typical Canarian “mojo” sauce. Sardines, mackerel, tuna, fried moray eel and other native species like parrotfish and salema are among the most commonly eaten fish in the region. FOOD FROM THE LAND
A locally grown papa bonita potato is the star product of the gastronomy from the Canary Islands – and was recently chosen as the first culinary wonder of Spain to support its candidature as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The most authentic one has a Protected Denomination of Origin, “Papas Antiguas de Canarias”. It’s a type of traditional potato, an Andean variety, cultivated in volcanic areas, below 1200m and 750m above sea level, and was introduced in the Islands before the 20th century.
You must ask for papas arrugadas, potatoes cooked in their skins in very salty water, and always accompanied by mojo, a typical sauce, with centuries of history, that can be red or green, spicy or sweet, but always with an intense and unique taste. There are many types of sauces, some of which include almonds, cheese or orange.
Another traditional food consumed by the Guanches is gofio, a kind of flour made from different roasted and ground cereals, usually wheat and corn. You can eat it in many different ways, adding a spoonful to your soup; in escaldón (gofio mixed with fish stock, sometimes served with pork crackling, red onion and mojo); made into porridge with milk at breakfast; or even in pella, a sweet ball of honey and nuts.
Another popular dish in Canarian cuisine is vegetable stew. The most common and traditional is made with watercress, with vegetables from the local vegetable gardens and corn on the cob.
It would be a crime to leave without trying the delicious goat’s cheese or sheep milk cheese. They tend to be fresh and tender, but also come in cured and smoked varieties. A common way to serve this cheese is to put it on a griddle for a couple of minutes and then pour mojo over it.
Other typical foods are black pig, goat – which is often added to stews to give it its intense flavour, rabbit – especially prepared salmorejo style, beans, and baked goods. Plus, honey – such as the Retama del Teide, with its Denomination of Origin Protected Honey of Tenerife status – sweet potatoes, figs, chestnuts and, of course, the banana are all staples of the local diet.
Thanks to its history, today you can opt for a fusion restaurant or go on a culinary journey around the world without having to leave the city. You can be tempted by the smells of Indian, Thai, Romanian, Vietnamese, Japanese, German, Chinese, Peruvian, Venezuelan, Turkish and Moroccan cuisine as you stroll through Puerto’s streets.
The above first appeared in http://visitpuertodelacruz.es/en/taste/
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