If you are planning on trying some of the typical Canarian cuisine dishes you came to the right place. In this article we will introduce you to some typical and some less known dishes that you will only be able to taste in the Canary Islands and some which are only specific to certain islands.
There are many places where you can eat typical Canarian dishes, but if you happen to be in Tenerife, you should try a Guachinche. What is a Guachinge? A Guachinche *technically* is a traditional and family-run establishment where you can enjoy good wine and some dishes from the Canary Islands’ cuisine. Most Guachinches are located in the northern part of Tenerife, especially in the municipalities of La Orotava, Santa Úrsula, La Victoria, La Matanza, and other off-the-beaten-path locations that can only be reached by car. Typically, the more hidden the Guachinche, the better.
We are Including all menu Items in Spanish so that it is easier for you to locate them on a menu, as translations may vary.
Carne De Cabra
Goat meat stew is one of the most popular dishes in the Canary Islands. Goats are common in the Canary Islands as they are adapted to the terrain of the islands.
Goat meat has a strong flavor so is usually cooked along with strong-tasting spices.
Dishes normally come with french fries or typical canary island potatoes (papas arrugadas)
Papas Arrugadas with mojo are probably by far the most typical dish in the Canary Islands.
What makes these potatoes special is the way they are cooked. First, they are boiled with their skins on in water with plenty of salt. Once they are cooked, the water is drained, and they are further cooked over low heat while gently shaking the pot in circular motions. Gradually, the skin of the potatoes wrinkles “se arruga” and takes on a whitish color due to the salt.
Queso Asado (Grilled Cheese) is one of the most popular dishes along with papas and goat meat. Among the wide variety of cheeses found in the islands, Palmero cheese is the one that they use for this recipe as it’s a kind of chees that doesn’t melt when grilling it.
Queso Asado is normally served along with jelly or the typical red and green “mojos”
Mojo Rojo (or Mojo Picón) and Mojo Verde
Mojo is a traditional sauce from the Canary Islands, an essential side to some typical dishes of the archipelago, such as the Queso Asado or Papas Arrugadas Depending on the ingredients used, mojo can be red or green.
Depending on the restaurant they will make mojos with their own recipes, but generally, these are the ingredients for the different mojos.
Mojo rojo: red bell pepper, piquillo pepper, garlic, cumin, paprika, almonds or cashews, oregano, breadcrumbs, olive oil, vinegar, and salt.
Mojo Verde: bell pepper, fresh cilantro or parsley, garlic, cumin, salt, olive oil, and vinegar.
Mushroom filled with Almogrote (Champiñones rellenos de Almogrote)
This dish is not very typical, so you might have trouble finding it. Almogrote is a typical dip-in dish made from cheese, similar to Mexican “salsa” or guacamole, but in some restaurants, they use it to create special dishes. Such as this one, which consists of filling a mush with Almogrote, then breading and finally deep-frying it.
One of the restaurants that has this specific dish (Mushroom filled with Almogrote), is the Restaurant La Tóxica in Los Cristianos, Tenerife.
The Morena (Moray eel) it’s a type of fish that has an elongated body, similar to that of an eel. It doesn’t look edible at first but can be very tasty if cooked right.
Not many restaurants offer it, as cooking it right is not easy because it’s full of spines. (Even some restaurants that do offer it don’t cook it right either, and you will feel he spines) If you want to go for the safe option we would recommend asking the waiter if it comes in small pieces. (Contrary to what is shown in the picture).
Note that this dish comes as a starter rather than a main dish.
Escaldon de Gofio
Escaldón de gofio is an old and traditional recipe from the island of Tenerife. It is made by boiling a broth of meat or fish, which is then poured over Gofio in a clay container. The mixture is then kneaded until it reaches a more or less thick consistency. And normally served with, cheese, onions, and green or red mojo.
Gofio, which is also typical in the islands, has a Berber origin, as it is a traditional food very similar to the flours used by the peoples of North Africa to complement their diet.
To make this flour, cereals are toasted and then ground with a stone mill. Nowadays, the most commonly used gofio is made from corn (gofio de millo), but it can also be made with other cereals such as wheat, rye, or even quinoa and other grains.
Churros De Pescado
Canarian fish churros are not meant to be confused with Spanish Churros, which are a dessert. This Fish churros are normally a main dish.
They consist of strips of clean, fresh, boneless white fish (such as Turbot, Sole, Sea bass or Hakecut) which is cut into strips and coated in a tempura batter. Finally, they are deep-fried.
They can be enjoyed on their own (as they are already tasty by themselves) or, they can be served with a sauce for dipping.
Barraquito is a Canarian coffee, specifically from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is a specialty from the westernmost islands of the archipelago. (Tenerife, La Gomera, la Palma & El Hierro)
There are several versions of this coffee that you can find in the Canary Islands, each with different flavors and aromas, but they share common main ingredients. which include condensed milk, liqueur, coffee, and milk.
These are just some of the main dishes from the Canary cuisine and we will be adding more in the future. If you have any suggestions for dishes or desserts to add, please, add them in the comments.
Thank you for reading!