The cuisine of the Canary Islands combines traditional Spanish recipes with African and Latin American influences.
Some Canarian dishes come from Spanish cooking, but the Canarian specialities have their own touch of originality. Away from the standard Spanish food, and the tourist-oriented “international” style restaurants, there is a genuine local cuisine in Tenerife. However it will be easier to find a real British pub or a fast-food restaurant than a tipical Canarian restaurant, usually distinguished by a short menu of soups, stews and grilled fish dishes.
The basis of Canarian cuisine is a variety of fresh vegetables, fruit and fish, generally light meals, more easy to digest in a warm climate. Meat is usually consumed as a part of stews or as steaks.
Traditional Canarian food
One of the best-known traditional dishes from Tenerife are the Papas Arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes), made of potatoes boiled in salted water, served with two delicious “mojos” (sauces): the mojo picón (spicy sauce) and the mojo verde (green sauce).
If you are a fish lover you will be delighted in the Canary Islands. Among the most typical regional recipes are Caldereta and Sancocho Canario, salted fish in a “mojo” sauce. You will find a wide variety of international recipes of fish and seafood, too.
Among vegetarian dishes Potaje de Berros, a hot pot of chickpeas, is perhaps the best known.
The most typical dessert is “bienmesabe”, a mixture of honey, almond cream, eggs and rum,but you’ll also find a wide choice of tropical fruits, like mangoes and paw paw. “Platanos Fritos”, fried bananas, are also worth tasting, as is the local goat cheese.
The Tapas concept is one of the most delicious Spanish contributions to international gastronomy. A Tapa is a light and small piece of food that Spaniards have either before lunch or dinner, usually with a glass of wine or beer. The Tapa can be presented in several ways: as a pincho (with a stick), as a mini-dish of a traditional recipe, as a canapé, etc…