Food to Try on the Canary Islands
What about traditional dishes? Well potatoes are actually one of the best known local dishes! Papas Arrugadas or wrinkled potatoes are cooked in salted water and, as the name suggests, come out wrinkled. Eat them with two delicious local sauces - mojo rojo (red sauce) and mojo verde (green sauce). The red sauce is spicy, while the green one is mild and garlicky. If you like the sauces, you can always buy some from a supermarket to take home with you. I am very partial to the green sauce myself and eat it with pretty much everything, not just the wrinkled potatoes.
Another food I discovered on Tenerife is the cactus jam. Yes, it does come from the cacti that grow everywhere. And no, please do not try to pick the cactus fruit yourself because it looks easy to reach. It may be easy to reach, but everything is covered in tiny needles that will end up all over your clothes, skin and mouth (if you go as far as eating the fruit) and will be very annoying and difficult to remove. The locals arm themselves with special fruit pickers to do the job. So my best avice is to let them pick and process and you can just pop down to a supermarket and buy the jam there.
Though the climate in the resort areas is quite dry, the soil of the Canary Islands is actually very fertile, which means severals crops are grown here.
For example, you can try the local bananas. While not really different in taste from the bananas you can get elsewhere, the Canary bananas are significantly smaller in size. They are the most important crop, which is also exported.
Apart from bananas, tomatoes, grapes and potatoes are all grown in the Canary Islands. Grapes, of course, mean wine, so if that is your tipple of choice, you might want to try some local Malvasia wine. Though you probably never thought of Tenerife as a wine manufacturer, local wines have won numerous awards. There are vineyards in the Orotava Valley, Tacoronte Aceitejo and even in Abona in the south of the island.
Cactus jam and palm tree honey
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Finally, there is the palm tree honey, produced on the island of La Gomera. Again, this is something you can easily get from the supermarket. Taste-wise, I would say it reminds me more of maple syrup than honey, it is sweet and fluid.
Apart from the Canarian specialties, here you can also get a sweet food that is common throughout Spain - turron. There are so many different types of turron that it's difficult to define it, but overall it is a confectionary made with nuts. It can be nougat, marzipan or chocolate, hard (turron de Alicante) or chewy (turron de Jijona) - it's up to you to choose what you want. For those struggling to make a choice, there are mixed mini turron sets, so you can try them all.
Papas arrugadas with mojo verde