We compare prices from leading holiday companies so you can find the best deal for you.
One absolute staple of Canarian cuisine is mojo, a tangy sauce that accompanies pretty much everything. The red variety, a blend of red chilli and cumin, tends to be blazing. It’s the stuff of streaming eyes, scorched taste buds and laughing local waiters, so think twice before dolloping a heap on your dish. The green variety, made from coriander and parsley, is a safer bet. Milder and far more merciful, it’s enough to give your tongue a cheeky tingle without blowing your head off.
Another Canarian invention is papas arrugadas. Soft, wrinkly and so salty they’ll make you squint, these are potatoes, but not as you know them. Spiked with sea salt and boiled in the skins, papas arrugadas are left to dry until they resemble your grandma’s fingertips. They are eaten as a tapas-style dipping snack, usually served with mojo or, at times, almagrote, a local dip made of tomato, garlic, olive oil, paprika and hard cured cheese.
Gofio is another of Tenerife’s weird-but-wonderful gastronomical treats. Eaten by the island's original inhabitants, the Guanche, it’s a dish that speaks right to the heart of the island, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Alone, gofio is a cereal grain that can be used in anything from power drinks to ice cream. However, as a tourist, you’re most likely to encounter gofio in tapas bars as a kind of paste-cum-dip. One popular incarnation is gofio escaldado, where the grain is mixed with fish stock and served with scoop-shaped onion wedges.
Straight off the boat and salty fresh, the seafood in Tenerife is simply to die for.
All along the coast, al-fresco restaurants offer a menu of seafood dishes as long as your arm. One must-try dish is sancocho canario, a traditional sea bass stew served with wrinkly potatoes and mojo, while caldereta, a lip-smacking fish soup, is another favourite among locals.
Pulpo a la gallega, octopus boiled and sprinkled with paprika, makes for a great mid-afternoon snack with a cold beer in the winter sunshine.
Carnivores are not forgotten in Canarian cuisine and two standout meat dishes are ropa vieja and conejo en salmorejo. Ropa vieja translates literally as ‘old clothes’, mostly because the dish uses shredded leftover meats stewed with veg and pulses. Slow-cooked and full of earthy flavour, it’s a real delight. Conejo en salmorejo, a wild rabbit casserole packed with wine, vinegar, garlic and spices, is another crowd-pleaser, and it tastes even better over a bottle of local wine.
Find out how to finish your evening – whether it’s an after-dinner nightcap or something more lively – on our Tenerife nightlife page.