Notes on Gastronomy Canaria Tenerife


Thanks to our friends from Saborea Spain we have had the opportunity to spend a few days in the Lucky Islands exploring the cuisine and cuisines of Tenerife and Lanzarote. The surprise has been capital.

Bananas growing in the bush.

We started our tour of Tenerife at Finca el Patio where we could verify once again that bananas are not born in the supermarket tray and that the ecological and respectful cultivation of the Earth as well as the recovery of native breeds such as the Black Canarian Pig can be Not only desirable but also profitable. How? Well, by exporting and promoting local consumption through initiatives such as Adrian Bruins, an Amsterdam chef with more trips behind him than all the Viajablog team together happily installed on the island (you know, the irresistible Guanche charm ...) that Together with a group of crazy enthusiasts, they are launching the Tenerife section of the Slow Food movement with the intention of recovering and promoting elements of popular cuisine that, due to economic myopia, short-termism or simply laziness, have almost disappeared.

Octopus km. 0

What we could try could not be better, a lettuce salad torn from the earth half an hour before dinner (as fresh and crispy as a loaf of bread at eight in the morning) and avocado seasoned with olive oil from a nearby farm , then a rock octopus casserole with mussels and palm honey reduction and all this with an amazing red wine with character of the DO Pay.

The next day we went to the Teno Rural Park where from the hand of the guide of El Cardón we could discover one of the best kept secrets of the whole island: the goat cheese of Teno.

Strip the mountain goat.

Of very limited production, its smooth and nuanced flavor is achieved with the milk of the goats that graze on the cliffs of the Teno Alto mountains, which is why its flavor improves in spring due to the quality of the grass.

And as the human being is an animal that takes advantage of everything we could try another dish related to cheese, more exactly with the animal that gives milk. Yes, we talk about the goat. Although the goat may sound weird (better the older) it is a delicacy for the inhabitants of the mountains of Tenerife and although the meat is imagined fibrous the result after a long cooking with paprika, picona pepper, thyme, clove, bay leaf, wine ... it's fabulous. Strong and subtle at the same time as all the good traditional cuisine.

And this was only the snack after the meal came at the Mesón del Norte (highly recommended) another “involuntary” follower of Slow Food and the philosophy of Km. 0 because it has its own garden (a rising trend in star restaurants Michelín) called La Suerte and thanks to which we enjoy another Canarian delicacy: wrinkled potatoes.

Potatoes or "wrinkled" potatoes (important to note that wrinkled It makes mention of the preparation of the potatoes since, due to the effect of salt and residual heat, they release water and wrinkle) are the first potatoes that the conquerors brought from America and have not suffered just crosses or mutations, there are more than 40 varieties and 29 of them have Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) I put the list because the names are pure poetry:

Bold of El Hierro, Buena Moza or Palmera, Blanca, Colorada, Corralera Tijarafera, Corraleda Colorada, Corraleda Legitima, Carralera, Negra de La Palma, Black Veined, Striped or Jorge, Haragana, Blue Eye, White, Moñigo de Camello, De the Earth, Black Lily, White Lily, Beautiful Black, Beautiful White, Beautiful Red, Beautiful Blind, Beautiful Partridge Eye, Borralla, Baba Colorada, Black Egg Yolk, White Wig, Black Wig, Red Wig and Terrenta.

We can only tell you that its flavor, its texture, its color ... everything is different and surprising, soft, persistent flavor are like butter in the mouth. If you go to Tenerife do not miss them for anything in the world But beware, the production is very low and the price is therefore high, so make sure you are very good at what they are going to serve you because many restaurants in the most tourist areas are limited to cooking small potatoes.

AUTHENTIC wrinkled potatoes.

further combine with the different mojos (It is believed that the word comes from the Portuguese "molho" which means sauce) better than the tonic and gin, and as we have so many to choose from (red, green, saffron, oregano, peppers, tomatoes, more spicy or with less spicy ...) it is impossible that we do not like any.

Before dinner we made a stop at the Bodega El Lomo to see why the Canary Islands is the region of Spain with more Denominations of Origin (eight in total) and where the cultivation and recovery of native grapes is very advanced.

Made with Baboso grapes.

The problem of trying to recover these types of grapes, when it would have been easy to plant strains of Cabernet, Tempranillo or Syrah, is that the yield per hectare is very low which, added to the complicated orography, makes winemaking a task for the brave. . The result is surprising (they are Conejo de Monte wines with scarce.recent and aromatic, Atlantic but very sunny) although from what they told us, the spread in the rest of Spain is low being the islands and exporting its main markets.

But it was certainly at dinner where we faced each other with the most traditional cuisine of Tenerife from the hand of Barbara the promoter of this commendable proposal that is Casa Mi Suegra. Here we could taste the best and the most classic, the traditional popular and the holiday dishes. Barbara's task does not start in the kitchen, not even in the Tegueste market. Their work begins in the house of the townspeople, asking people about the dishes their mothers and grandmothers cooked, talking to the already ocotogenarian cooks who had worked all their lives in the richest banana plantations on the island, chatting with fishermen from the port ... in short he knows what he is talking about. And it also cooks very well because this is not a work of anthropology or an ethnographic museum, this is real. It looks smells and eats.

Machanga milk

In this house we could taste all the flavors of Tenerife in a single menu: mojos, wrinkled potatoes, gofio (roasted cereal flour that has been the historical basis of the Canarian diet) bacon (gofio with mashed potatoes, paprika and cheese) old clothes of octopus (another recipe recovered and van ...) almogrote (very old cheese cured with spicy paprika and mixed oil until reaching the texture of a campaign pate) and for dessert Machanga milk (a kind of more solid and eggless custard) which is what was taken on the holidays.

In short, an encyclopedic tour of the popular cuisine of Tenerife Served in a lovely place and at a good price (no dish of the extensive menu went from € 16) although it is best to be advised by Barbara. He knows everything and he has it very funny.