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There is many local grown produce on the Island of Tenerife. Why not let us help you shop for some of this home grown, and traditional canarian food by shopping on line. It’s easy with OnlineshoppingTenerife.com. Browse in the comfort of your own home. Shop online now and have it delivered when you arrive on Tenerife.
In a place like Tenerife, where winemaking is such a strong part of local tradition, there is, of course, a place in its gastronomy for vinegar. It is produced with great dedication using some of the best wines produced by some of Tenerife's wineries. The island's vinegars stand out for their complex bouquet, perfectly balanced sweet and sour taste and their quality. This makes them perfect to accompany a wide range of traditional dishes: they provide an explosion of taste for even the most demanding taste buds.
In Tenerife we can find delicious, multiflora honeys from the coast, hills and mountains and because no specific botanical species dominate here the honeys from the combination of flowers have quite surprising characteristics. However, you can also find honey that comes from one particular plant or a small number of plants. Among the many types of honey, there is the honey from the Teide Broom, which is produced in the period between spring and summer at a height of over 1500 metres. This honey has a clear, amber colour, with yellow tones and a delicate aroma with a hint of warm plants and a gentle taste. Then, there is honey from the Tower of Jewels plant with a delicate taste of chestnut and avocado. It has a dark colour and a characteristic smell of caramel, ripe fruit and of health land.
Gofio is basically a toasted, ground cereal. It is the only food that originates from the islands' aboriginal inhabitants that is still eaten with great relish today. That primitive Gofio was mainly made from barley as well as from other roots and dry fruits. The ingredients were ground using a hand mill made up of two rough, circular stones that turned one on top of the other. Later Gofio acquired new flavours mainly from the use of wheat and sweet corn. Nowadays, Gofio is dissolved in milk as a breakfast or mixed with different ingredients (oil, water, and fresh fruit, such as bananas, or dried fruit and honey) to be eaten with other meals. It is used to accompany some vegetable soups (watercress, for example) and to cover pork scratching which gives them a special taste. It is also an essential part of dishes such as "puchero canario" (Canarian stew) or fish casserole. Gofio is mixed with the juices of these specialities until it reaches a paste-like consistency. Nowadays, it is also used a lot in cake making and even in ice- creams.
The gastronomy of Tenerife includes a great variety of fish thanks to the abundance and diversity of its coastal waters. Of all the species caught, the most valued for its exquisite taste is the "vieja" (sea bream) which is boiled and served simply with "mojo" (a traditional sauce made from red pepper or coriander) and "papas arrugadas" (new potatoes, boiled dry in sea salt). This fish is also an important part of some more sophisticated dishes. ... Besides the sea bream other popular fish in the island's cuisine are the snapper, sardine, tuna, and stonebass which are all prepared in a variety of ways. One of the favourite ways is as a fish stew, especially in the north of the island. Another favourite is to mix and mash fish soup with "gofio" (toasted, ground cereals that were part of the guanches' diet) to prepare one of the most typical and popular dishes on the island - "escaldón."
In the past the chestnut was an extremely important subsistence crop for the population of Tenerife, it was even used for bartering. Today chestnuts survive almost everywhere on the island but especially in the Acentejo region, in the north of the island, where 20 different varieties are grown and in the district of Arafo in the South. Chestnuts are still used to accompany many traditional dishes. ...Once autumn arrives, it is easy to come across chestnut sellers and their stands filling the streets with the sweet smell of roasted chestnuts. However, it is during the celebration of San Andres that chestnuts play an important role. On the 29th of November the wine cellars in Tenerife open their doors to taste the new wine. The wine is always accompanied with chestnuts boiled in water, salt and green anise and served with a good sauce, salted fish and local sweet potato.
Rabbit cooked in a tasty sauce and pork are the most popular meats used in traditional Tenerife cuisine. Pork is prepared in many different ways. It is the main ingredient in a dish called "carne de fiesta" (party meat). This is a traditional dish made from small fried chunks of pork that have been dipped in oil and herbs and is extremely popular at "romerias" (religious processions) and local fiestas. .../ A special mention must be given to the black pig, a rare, local species whose meat is highly valued. Goat's meat also has a special place in the traditional gastronomy of Tenerife as does "puchero canario" (Canarian stew) made from beef, pork, French beans, chickpeas and other vegetables.
The taste of Canarian bananas, the main crop in Tenerife and the rest of the Canaries, is unmistakable and of such high quality that it is unmatched. Here bananas are grown under the best weather and altitude conditions as well as in the island's ideal, volcanic soil. The result is a small, yellow fruit with small spots on its skin that is distinctive of its origin.The locals like to eat their bananas fresh although they are also used in dishes such as, "arroz a la cubana" (rice, sausages, egg and fried banana) and many others. Bananas are also used to make marmalade, jam and liqueurs. During your holidays you can visit banana plantations that have been around since the 15th and 16th centuries.
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Tenerife also produces high quality cheeses. It should not surprise you that the Canary Islands is the autonomous region that consumes the most cheese per person each year, with figures that vary between 14 and 16 kilograms per person: in total volume this adds up to about 24,000 tonnes a year. Of this amount, about half is locally produced, and approximately 80 per cent of these are farmhouse cheeses which generate an important income for the farming sector. There are doubts among historians as to whether the Guanches, the primitive inhabitants of Tenerife, made cheese or just drank fresh milk, as there are no references or archaeological finds that demonstrate it. In fact, the main history of cheese making in the Canary Islands started after the arrival of the Europeans who brought techniques and methods from other regions and countries. Nowadays, cheese is made by modern techniques and in full compliance with the European regulations for cheeses from unpasteurised milk: the Canary Islands are also in a Goat and Sheep Brucellosis free zone (also known as the "Maltese fever").
A large amount of the cheese is made locally, although as mentioned, under strict controls and regulations. The most commonly used milk is Goat's milk and in particular, indigenous breeds well known for their high production and quality are used. In some cases they add sheep's milk which gives the cheese greater stickiness during maturation. They are considered a real part of Canarian gastronomy and there are different farmhouse cheeses made according to the traditions and methods in each area or county.
The most commonly eaten cheese is called "fresco" (fresh), just a few days old, without too much pressing and drained on its own. It has a light, pleasant taste, slightly salty with an aroma of fresh milk. There are also "fresh" cheeses, which are smoked with special woods, almond shells etc, which gives them a unique character and a longer shelf life. Cured cheeses require a few weeks in storage and there are various methods for doing this ranging from natural methods to others in which the cheese is covered with pepper or Gofio. These methods are typical of cheeses from the Anaga area, where Gofio is made from "millio" (the common name for sweet corn on the Canary Islands). There is not a large number of cheese recipes in restaurants or in homes: mainly cheese accompanies a range of dishes, especially "potajes" (vegetable soups and broths), and in the past, cheese was eaten with fruit, such as grapes, figs, bananas etc, as well as the with the excellent honey from Tenerife. The recipe most commonly used is "queso asado" (fried cheese) or "queso a la plancha"(grilled cheese), where it is usually accompanied by a "mojo" (sauce) nearly always made from light or "green" coriander or parsley although sometimes red sauces are used.
The potato is a popular part of the diet in the Canarian Archipelago. The Canarian variety of this tuber, originally from South America, is completely different from the ones eaten on mainland Spain. On the islands, the potato is small, round and very tasty, which is why it is commonly used in traditional cuisine. It usually accompanies most dishes, as well as being eaten on its own, as in, "papas arrugadas con mojo," which, are "wrinkled" potatoes (jacket potatoes boiled in salt) served with a traditional sauce. Nowadays, there are over twenty varieties, among which, "papas bonitas" (pretty potatoes), "papas negras" (black potatoes), "papas Quineguas or Chineguas" (King Edward potatoes) and the "papas up to date" are particularly worth mentioning.
Canarian tomatoes which are very red and a distinctive round shape, have a special, sweet flavour which is particularly popular in the international markets. The archipelago is the main European producer of tomatoes. Tenerife devotes large amounts of land in the south of the island to growing tomatoes and it is a key ingredient in the cuisine here. Raw, fried, cooked or in a sauce. The Canarian tomato is part of many different recipes.
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