I am often asked by visitors to recommend typically Canarian restaurants, which is difficult, as everyone likes different things. Instead of recommending a specific place, I tell people about the Gastronomic Routes and Food Fairs that take place each year right across the island. I usually publish these when I see them on my monthly ‘Things to Do’ blog, but it can be difficult, as often these aren’t advertised until the last minute. Case in point, Turismo de Tenerife published an article on 8th saying that one of these routes would begin on 10th in Icod de los Vinos (I’ve got to admit it was this article that prompted me to write this blog.) This particular tapas ruta will be dedicated to rabbit a speciality and favourite of the area. So unless you stumbled across this particular article by accident or know specifically where to look most people would be unaware of when and where these delicious tapas routes are taking place.
In all honesty true Canarian cuisine isn´t that exciting – it is tasty but not refined, basically what I would call home-style food, filling and using whatever is in season. However, to taste island cooking at its best I would recommend people try these initiatives organised by the various councils to sample local food. The overall programme is called ‘Tenerife through Taste’ and celebrates the products by season. It is also a great way for both tourists and residents to sample perhaps unusual island cuisine at a reasonable price.
I have listed the routes or activities that I know are taking place this year, although no doubt there will be plenty more that have not yet been advertised.
1 -30th April “A Taste of Traditions” held in different locations in Tegueste where you can sample not only tapas but also the outstanding wines of the area. You can download the full programme as well as a list of participating establishments HERE
10th to 24th April (as mentioned above) it is worth a visit to Icod to sample some of the most popular rabbit dishes
12th and 13th April Canarian Food Fair – Near the Harbour, Los Cristianos You can not only try but also take home some of the best produce of the Canary Islands , spices, potatoes, sweets, wines, spirits and sauces. The fair is open each day 10am and 8pm and you will see displays of crafts and folklore performances.
To 20th April Tapeando Isora is the offering made by Guía de Isora where you can sample tapas and a small beer for just €2.50
Later in the month 29th April to 19th May, Vilaflor will feature white potatoes in its menus.
17th May to 9th June, the municipality of Granadilla de Abona dedicate their route to oily fish such as tuna, sardines and mackerel. With lots of the area being on the coast this will be very popular with both holiday makers as well as residents.
To 17th July ‘Saborea La Laguna en miniatura’ (A Taste of La Laguna in Miniature’) every Thursday almost 100 establishments offer the public a miniature selection of the best dishes on the menu at an affordable price and accompanied by a drink.
12th July to 4th August Los Realejos gastronomic theme is potatoes a favourite vegetable of the island.
A little off topic but still relating to great food. Between 22 / 25 August is celebrated ‘Heaven & Earth Ocean’ sponsored by the Association of Entrepreneurs and Professionals Gastronomy, the aim is simply to bring together the great personalities of the world of gastronomy on the islands and in the rest of Spain at the Magma Art and Congress Centre, located in Las Americas
Now this is a bit confusing as Tourismo say that during September Santa Cruz features potato products like borralla and batata rajadilla (sweet potato) melon and bubango (courgette) yet the programme published earlier in the year has this listed as 18th November to 19th December, so who knows – is this a typo or a change of plan?
However we do know that from 1 – 29th September Adeje favours the flavours of cheese, honey and gofio as their speciality products.
1 – 25th October Puerto de la Cruz will be serving up fish and banana, hopefully not together.
4 – 27th October Guimaras sweet potato,
18th October – 1st November La Matanza de Acentejo will produce dishes featuring apples.
27th October to 17th November Guia de Isora almonds and honey
1 – 30th November La Matanza de Acentejo this time dedicated to the chestnut.
8th – 30th November Candelaria – Sweet potato
15th November – 15th December Arafo sweet potato and chestnut and although specific dates are not yet published I believe sometime in November Arico will feature honey
Last year more than 300 restaurants from different municipalities took part and we as residents and tourists were given the opportunity to sample 14 regional products. So no matter where you are staying in Tenerife if you like your food check out the local Tourist Office to get details of your nearest Ruta de Tapas.