Tenerife belongs to Spain, therefore it is no wonder that the influence of this country is also seen in the local cuisine. The Spanish cuisine is varied, as it includes greasy meat dishes, fish and seafood as well as dishes full of vegetables. The Spanish dish most often served in Tenerife is paella, i.e. a meal brimming with various flavours consisting mainly of rice and seafood and sometimes also chicken. A good paella should be served right from the pan and should be spiced with precious saffron, which gives the rice an intense yellow colour and an inimitable aroma. Another popular dish is served in many restaurants on the island – gazpacho. It is a soup full of raw, usually blended vegetables with a dash of olive oil. It is served cold. On hot days this is the best refreshment on the island!
While in Tenerife, one should try fish and seafood dishes, as they are incredibly tasty and always fresh (due to the vicinity of the ocean). Many species of fish are served on the island: tuna, sole, gilt-head bream, swordfish, sardines. These are mostly fried, grilled or sometimes roasted and served with the aromatic herbs and sometime sauces. Seafood lovers will also be delighted in Tenerife. Mussels, shrimps, calamari, octopuses are prepared in hundreds of ways and almost always taste great. When it comes to meat, on Tenerife people eat various dishes based on chicken (pollo), rabbit (conejo) and also other kinds of meat. Ropa vieja is quite popular on the island. It is a stew made of chickpeas, various kinds of meat, potatoes and vegetables. The name of the dish literally means “old clothes” and probably originates from the fact that it is prepared from leftovers. Interestingly, Cubans have the most popular variation of ropa vieja and its recipe is based mainly on slow-cooked beef.
And finally we come to a typical Canaries dish – papas arrugadas, i.e… wrinkled potatoes. They are boiled with their skins in water with sea salt and then served with colourful sauces made of peppers: red mojo rojo and green mojo verde. They can be eaten solo, but usually served as part of the main meal.
For a dessert you need to try pella de gofio, a local delicacy made of roasted flour.