Our blog post series “What we love about Tenerife” – Part 16: Jasmin
Food Tourism – The Right Way
I am definitely food tourist! Nature…Sightseeing…all interesting, but for me, it comes down to what can I eat! Since I came to Tenerife, I still haven’t been to the South and I haven’t climbed up the Teide…but I sure have tried a lot of different dishes!
So you get it…I love food…and Tenerife has some awesome dishes to offer!
You can find all kinds of international dishes here. Delicious Thai, awesome Sushi, fantastic Lebanese…but you should, and this goes for any place you travel to, always try the local food. And believe me, you will enjoy the dishes here in Tenerife, they are, as they say in Spanish, “para chuparse los dedos” (something like: finger-licking good).
I have found a lot of awesome local restaurants in the Santa Cruz and La Laguna area – many not the fancy type, but that is not what it is about. From a lot of travel experience I can even say that these types of restaurants are usually the best ones. Like they say: Don’t judge a book by its cover!
The number 1 rule if you want to find good local food is to look for, and better ask for, where the local people go to. Don’t just choose a place because it looks fancy (and is probably overpriced). Don’t go to a restaurant where you see anyone but locals in it. If you see many locals in a restaurant, chances are that you will enjoy a nice, authentic meal.
For starters, you can get some (visual) inspiration for Canarian, but also in general Spanish, food here on Pinterest, since a picture can say more than a thousand words:
So now let’s cut to the chase and talk about some delicious food. I am going to present you a few dishes with meat, vegetarian and seafood!
Dishes and Recipes
Mojo verde/rojo – This one first, because it is a basic – and usually part of all following dishes. It is a delicious and aromatic sauce that you could eat with anything (unless you don’t like garlic smell; my attitude is more like: Deal with it).
Some basic ingredients for the mojo verde (green mojo) include: garlic, vinegar, cumin, cilantro, olive oil and parsley.
For the mojo rojo or mojo picón (red mojo), which is a spicy version: a typical canarian kind of spicy pepper, garlic, vinegar, cumin, smoked paprika and olive oil.
Costillas (Ribs) – No, not the American version, with 2000 calories and tons of BBQ sauce (nothing against BBQ sauce, I am a huge fan of it). But this is different, it is cooked and the meat is so soft it falls off the ribs. With it come potatoes and corn. And less fat (but not less flavor). And of course, mojo is an essential part of this dish, to be more specific, mojo verde. Here the recipe for you!
Papas arrugadas: Translated this means wrinkled potatoes. These potatoes are really soft and delicious. You leave the skin on, which later has a salty taste because you cook the potatoes in salt water. After cooking them for some time, you pour out all of the water and let te potatoes cook in the pot until they are wrinkly with a dry skin and salt sticking to it. Again, best with some mojo, verde or/and rojo.
Queso asado con mojo verde: Oh yeeeees, cheese! How I love good cheese. And in Spain they have so many different and delicious types of it. Cheese made with sheep’s milk (queso de oveja) is really good and there are many different variations; I can recommend the smoked one (queso ahumado).
For this plate you can use any soft cheese or semi-soft cheese, just make sure its a good one (please no gouda or anything of that kind). Basically, you just fry the cheese (so it has to be a good cheese that won’t melt away, it should stay firm) and you eat it with mojo verde. Voilà, easy and nevertheless savory.
Chocos con mojo verde, Chipirones, Chopitos, Pulpo Frito: Ahh, Seafood at last! You can find these dishes all over Spain, but I really love eating it here, surrounded by the ocean and freshly caught. Eating these dishes here has definitely tasted better than eating them in Madrid.
Choco is cuttlefish and they serve you big ones, usually with potatoes and of course..mojo verde. Yummy!
Chipirones are small squids, and my favorite dish! I LOVE chipirones, a simplistic dish and yet so full of flavor. And I don’t need any sauce, just some lemon juice and salt and that’s it.
Talking about Chipirón, don’t miss this famous song from Spain:
Chopito (NOT chupitos, those are the alcoholic shots) is also squid, but baby squid, these are really small, but also very tasty!
And last but not least, pulpo frito (fried octopus), also some tasty seafood and please don’t let yourself be held back by its tentacles!
Restaurants to go to
I had a really good meal for a good price at a restaurant that is not fancy or anything, but has delicious food and you will find mostly locals there. It is called “El Bodegón Viana”, in Google you will find it under “Tasca Viana” and it is located in La Laguna.
For seafood, and especially my beloved chipirones, I have another local restaurant for you, again with none of that fancy stuff, but just mouthwatering seafood (in Santa Cruz): “Cofradía de Pescadores”, right next to the beach called Las Teresitas.
I hope I made you hungry! I am still far away from having tried all the food, but at least I was able to share some of the dishes with you!
So, happy eating everyone 😉