How long has it been since you tasted something that turned all your preconceived ideas upside down? There comes a time when eating is no longer a mere act of survival and becomes an experience that arouses all your senses. That time comes when you discover that cuisine is a universe of flavours, textures, colours and smells that you didn't know existed until that very moment.
The Island's varied climate and landscapes have their effect on its exquisite gastronomy. Its cuisine is simple yet delicious, made using the products yielded by the land. It is rich in fruit, much of which is tropical, vegetables, with varieties that seem particularly exotic to visitors, fresh fish, meat and potatoes. These potatoes are meant to be sampled with the Canary Islands' most international sauce: mojo (which can be red or green or seasoned with paprika, black pepper or the local variety of red peppers).
Another star dish is Canarian stew, which is made with a variety of vegetables and meats to create what many consider to be one of the most wholesome and tasty dishes in Spanish cuisine.
An aboriginal contribution to Tenerife's recipes is gofio flour, which is made of ground toasted grains and is eaten by the locals with almost everything, from milk to fruit, stew or lentils. Don't be surprised if your gofio is served in one of those old metal biscuit tins, as that would mean you have come to a truly genuine restaurant with real home-made food. In nutritional terms, gofio is rich in minerals, especially iron, zinc and magnesium, and provides a great supply of energy thanks to its carbohydrate content.
The local cheese, which is usually made of goat's milk, makes for a very typical starter. Soft and fresh or air-dried, Tenerife's cheeses are famous for their soft texture and special aroma, announcing a clean taste that is slightly acid and salty. Arico-Fasnia, Anaga, Teno and El Tanque are some of the Island's most prominent cheese-making areas. Recently, several of the Island's cheeses earned a series of international accolades.
Moreover, Tenerife has a great variety of fish: the local sama, wreckfish, parrot fish, tuna, sardines, grouper fish, etc. And sampling them on the seashore is a unique and unmissable experience.
The touch of sweetness on the menu is supplied by honey, an extremely natural and wonderfully special ingredient. The Island produces some unique varieties as they are made by endemic bees from autochthonous flowers species. One of the most unique honeys is made from the Teide broom flower.
Canarian bananas are probably one of the archipelagos best-known products. This is the only type of banana in the world to have been distinguished with a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), which ensures its uniqueness and superb quality. Their sweetness and high nutritional value make these bananas a favourite fruit among sportsmen and nutritionists, both within and beyond the Canary Islands, where they are grown in the traditional way on small plantations. Although bananas are usually eaten raw just as they come, you will often find them in milkshakes, ice cream, sweet skewers or even fried, either whole or in slices.
The wealth and variety of Tenerife's wines has seen them served for over four centuries on any occasion and with any of the Island's gastronomical delicacies. Their Atlantic and volcanic origin together with the fact that they are produced from ungrafted grape varieties make them unique wines and wonderful ambassadors of Tenerife's landscapes and people.
Beyond the traditional wrinkly potatoes and mojo sauce, Tenerife boasts no end of typical dishes prepared with the Island's finest raw ingredients. Fish, meat, legumes, vegetables, sauces and fabulous desserts join forces to create a wonderful recipe book that will allow you to reproduce your favourite Island dishes at home.