Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Year's Travels to Tenerife

Despite the fear that this is turning into a food blog, it would be impossible to capture the essence of our trip to Tenrife without mentioning the gastronomical feats we accomplished.

But first, some fun facts:
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, located off the coast of Morocco. 

It's a volcanic island that dramatically juts out of the Atlantic Ocean to reach a height of 3714 m at its peak, making it the highest mountain in Spain.

Known as the "Isle of Eternal Spring," it's a popular tourist destinations in winter, particularly for guiris (us and Northern Europeans) yearning to escape the cold and snow. 

Our friends from the Balcon, Dani and Jano, invited us to join them for a week over New Year's and we were more than happy to ditch our freezing apartment in Barcelona for some solid beach time.

They picked us up at the airport and we went straight to Jano's sister's house for an amazing home-cooked meal. A typical Asturiana (from northern Spain), his Mom Menchu has a rep for feeding her guests well.

A typical Menchu Meal could include some (or all) of the following:

Gofio Canario (ground toasted cereals with pork lard) or La Cabra (delicious goat stew)...

Here Marcial explains mojo, the red-spicy and green-garlicy sauces which accompany every meal in Las Canarias. To the left is sobrasada (a sweet, spreadable pork sausage) with fresh goat cheese.

After a few courses, Menchu might pour you a sagardoa (fermented apple juice) to cleanse the palate:

Of course, every sitting must include the famous patata arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) which are boiled in salty ocean water until all the water steams off and all that's left are salty yum-balls.

Just when I thought no more would fit in my belly, Jano and Dani helped me finish the last bits of dinner.

Then, home-made almond pastries and a divine coffee creation, the barraquito, must be had. 

We indulged so much, there was no other option than to spend the days sprawled on the sand like elephant seals.
This gave us the opportunity to make a picnic lunch and show how we 'mericans make sandwiches. In Spain, a bocadillo (sandwich) means bread, some jamon, and maybe a little tomato. We demonstrated how you need at least 10 ingredients to make a proper sandwich:

Now 10 pounds heavier (but 10 times happier) after our little vacation, we're ready to jump back into the  action of Barcelona.


  1. And are you warm clear through to your bones?

  2. Yum yum!!!
    See ya'll in May/June when we can enjoy the culinary delights together!!!

  3. I am a huge fan of your blog! Love reading about the food, the culture,and your enthusiasm for every new adventure! Can't wait for the next posting!