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With fishing villages dotted all around the coastline, it’s no surprise that seafood is a big deal in Tenerife. Straight off the boat and salty fresh, it’s simply to die for. There’s a mind-bending menu of seafood to umm-and-ahh over, from octopus to sardines, tuna, hake, bream, mackerel, sardines, swordfish, parrot-fish, wreck fish, limpets, lobsters, crab and clams.
Most of the time, fish is baked or grilled simply with sea salt, garlic and lemon, bringing out all the natural flavour.
Strung along the promenade behind Playa del Duque, you’ll find a handful of restaurants with huge men-us and sizzling seafood grills guaranteed to get your stomach rumbling. It’s the perfect place to get a fishy fix at a really reasonable price.
Be sure to try sancocho canario, a traditional fish stew involving sea bass served with potatoes and a spicy sauce, as well as caldereta, a very lip-smacking local fish soup. Pulpo Gallego, another local favourite, is octopus boiled and sprinkled with paprika, which makes for a great snack.
One absolute staple of Canarian cuisine is mojo sauce, which ranges from mild and warming to downright brutal. Made of red chilli and cumin, the red variety tends to be blazing. Think watery eyes, streaming nose and scorched tastebuds.
On the other hand, green mojo, made from coriander and parsley is enough to give your tongue a cheeky tingle without blowing your head off.
Another quirky Canarian invention is papas arrugadas, or wrinkly potatoes. These are potatoes spiked with sea salt and left to dry after boiling. Sounds weird but tastes great. Papas arrugadas are most often served with mojo or, at times, al-mogrote, a local dip made of tomato, garlic, olive oil, paprika and hard cured cheese.
Carnivores are not forgotten on the Canary Islands and two must-try dishes are ropa vieja and conejo en salmorejo. Ropa vieja translates literally as ‘old clothes’, mostly because the dish uses leftover shredded meats stewed with chickpeas and veg. Don’t be put off by the title; it’s an absolute delight.
Conejo en salmorejo is another eye-opener, involving wild rabbit stewed in a marinade of wine, vinegar, garlic and spices. Both taste even better washed down with some local island wine.
Looking for suggestions on where to go after dinner? Discover the best options on our Costa Adeje night-life page.