Isla de Tenerife Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by oriettaIT
  • Farmer market stand in Candelaria
    Farmer market stand in Candelaria
    by oriettaIT
  • Mojos
    Mojos
    by painterdave

Most Recent Local Customs in Isla de Tenerife

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    Banana plantations

    by oriettaIT Written Jun 21, 2012

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    Tenerife has lots of banana plantations, the whole coastal area, all around the island is covered by banana plants.
    They are cultivated inside tall cement bricks walls and covered by nets to assure protection against the wind and I suppose also against banana's thieves!
    Especially in the South-Western part of the island I saw plenty of those bananas' farm, some of them built in terraces.
    No wonders bananas in Tenerife are so good, they are freshly picked, as well as Mangoes and Papayas they were my favorite fruit in Tenerife.

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    Papas arrugadas

    by oriettaIT Updated Jun 20, 2012

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    Farmer market stand in Candelaria

    Canarian wrinkly potatoes (papas arrugadas in Spanish) is Canary Islands traditional baked potatoes dish.
    Small new potatoes, the smallest possible are washed very well and boiled skin on. When they are done they have to be put in the oven to bake until the skin become wrinkly and white because of the salt that stuck to them boiling.
    They are usually served with Canarian peppers sauce Mojo and are a fundamental element of every Canarian meal.
    I saw them for sale in any markets, the best were in the farmer market i saw in Candelaria village during a Sunday morning. Looking at the raw product they seem to be different to start with from the potatoes we are used to in the rest of Europe.

    A easy recipe for papas arrugadas is the following:

    2Kg (5lbs) small to medium potatoes unpeeled (50 - 75mm; {2 - 3"})
    200 gram (7 1/4 oz.) Sea salt

    1) Wash the potatoes. Because they are in their 'jackets' you must wash them well.
    2) Put salt in a large saucepan
    3) Add water to a depth of about 3.5 cm (1 1/2")
    3) Add potatoes (they do not have to be immursed in the water)
    4) Cover the potatoes (not the pan) with a tea cloth (or cabbage leaves)
    5) Boil slowly for about 20 minutes.
    6) Drain and steam dry over low heat. (a white salt layer should form on the potatoes and they should be slightly wrinkled)

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    Mojo sauce

    by oriettaIT Written Jun 20, 2012

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    Every meal we had during our week stay in Tenerife was accompanied by these delicious sauces!
    There are red, orange or green mojo and the recipe varies from cook to cook.
    Basically they are a fine mixture of spices and peppers with olive oil.
    They are always served together with papas arrugadas but they can also be a perfect appetizer spreaded on top of a freshly sliced piece of bread.

    A simple recipe for red mojo is the following:

    Peel and section one whole, small clove of garlic
    Add 1 large table-spoon of cumin powder
    Add 1 large tea-spoon of paprika
    Add 1 large tea-spoon of sea-salt
    Add a little olive-oil and grind all of it into a paste
    (make sure you grind out all the lumps of garlic!)
    Scrape the mixture into a blender.
    Use more olive-oil to get all the mixture out.
    Add to the blender 1/2 a red pepper, finely chopped and blend.
    add another 1/2 chopped, red pepper and blend
    add yet another 1/2 chopped, red pepper and blend
    add another a final 1/2 chopped, red pepper and blend (so 2 whole red peppers in the end) add more olive oil to dilute as required or leave it as above for nice and spicey.

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    It's the Sauce MOJO

    by painterdave Written Feb 9, 2012

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    Mojos

    In any good Canarian restaurant you are going to find the sauces called Mojos. Red and green, this sauces accompanies papas arrugadas (small potatoes), fish meat and breads. This sauce tastes only a bit similar than mexican salsa, but has its own unique flavor mostly because of the chili peppers used and in most cases lack of tomato. Be sure and try both, and perhaps you will want to buy a jar to bring home the flavor of Tenerife.
    A great booklet on Mojos has the same title and includes various recipes of which we have tried many and we were glad to have spent the few euros in the airport bookshop.
    Mojos, by Blanca Moreno Mendez

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    Paella- Saffron and Seafood- not just for one!

    by AnneAlex Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This server dishes out paella for two

    If you have any leanings toward seafood you must enjoy this freshly made dish served throughout most of Spain. Paella is made usually for two people and often serves more. You can order it with a variety of meats, but the seafood is the original. Mussels, prawns, lobster, crab, all atop a bed of saffron rice grilled in a skillet for your delight. Make sure you have someone to share it with because they do not serve these in individual portions!

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    Parking for free!

    by King_Golo Written Mar 31, 2011

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    Parking with a view

    Even in most of the town centres, parking doesn't cost a cent! This is particularly enjoyable if you come from a country like Great Britain where your parking ticket is almost as high as the restaurant bill... Even better: Despite the masses of tourists, you can normally find a parking place within minutes.

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  • Tenerife is different...

    by Tor_Helsheim Updated Mar 18, 2009

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    This is priceless - a snippet from the local ecological group. From my stay in Tenerife, I can vouch for the authenticity. The comments about jerry-building and over-development are particularly apt. Here it is:

    Tourism in Tenerife plummets by 19%

    At the end of July 2004, we were stunned by the news that the number of tourists visiting Tenerife had plummeted by 19% (year-on-year figure for May 2004).

    Surely this could have nothing to do with the environment?, we asked ourselves. It is hard to fathom the ingratitude of tourists when the Island's government and its inhabitants do everything in their power to concrete over every square yard.

    Where had Tenerife gone wrong? Was the drop in numbers some kind of perverse punishment meted out by tourists for the way we islanders pander to their every whim? What other explanation could there possibly be? After all, the government has been building roads like crazy on this tiny island of ours and generally doing its level best to bury the place in cement in the name of "development". Of course, there have been dark mutterings of rubbish dumps, filthy ravines, horrid new buildings, sewage discharges, and oil slicks - but these delights were around last year too (and the year before that). Based on experience, the government has every reason to think that such things attract tourists in droves - that is why it is striving so hard to lay on more of the same.

    Our urban planners must also feel deeply hurt by tourists' failiure to appreciate their handiwork. Foreign visitors would act differently if they only stopped to think about the time, money, and thought poured into building uncecessary, badly-designed industrial estates. The sacrifice made by islanders in maintaining the traditional "bare breeze block look" of their dwellings also seems to have been wilfully ignored by Europe's tourist hordes.

    What about Tenerife's artificial beaches, crafted from sand dredged up from the sea bottom and then laced with crud? It is small wonder that the islanders feel a sense of betrayal when Europeans stay away. Another cruel twist of fate is that the drop in custom comes just as the Island's authorities were planning another 500,000 beds in Tenerife, doubling existing capacity. One suspects that tourist absenteeism is part of some fiendish plot to keep local politicians awake at night. Our illustrious leaders will just have to count sheep (or even non-native "mouflons") if they are to sleep soundly.

    Nothing, it appears, can woo the foreign ingrates back to our battered shores - not even Tenerife's Eighth Wonder of the World, a stately pleasure dome stuffed with non-native animals - parrots, crocodiles, bald eagles, and whatever else takes your fancy. Only the Yeti and The Bearded Lady are missing. On the subject of wildlife, one should not forget Tenerife's world-famed discoteques, where specimens of Homo Sapiens slug it out as the local police look on.

    It also makes one's blood boil when one thinks how valiently the developers toil to cram the coast with luxury hotels - and all for less than the price of a boarding house in Scunthorpe. These elegant establishments make heroic efforts to cater to their discriminating patrons - fish and chip suppers, the nightly "knees-up", and "happy hours" - alas to no avail!

    Are tourists unmoved by the beauties of Tenerife's protected nature areas, replete with illegal concrete shacks, roads, and rubbish tips? Do they really believe that Tenerife is run by scoundrels rather than by outstandingly intelligent men serving the common good? To judge by the recent visitor numbers, the answer is "yes" on both counts.

    All in all, tourists simply fail to grasp the efforts being made by Tenerife's people and their leaders to turn this tropical isle into a new Manhattan.

    However, we should not allow hurt pride to shake our resolve. "The powers that be" are already working on the problem. We can look forward to further expansion of Tenerife's busy airport (good news for 'plane spotters!) and construction of a monster tanker haven in the South-Eastern corner of the Island. The surge in population promises more motorways and high voltage electricity pylons to adorn the landscape.

    Tenerife may be a small - even cramped - island but it has development plans that any African dictator would be proud of. Far from being disheartened by the drop in tourists, we should hold to our course - come what may."

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    Papá Noel & the 3 Kings climbing up the balconies

    by annase Updated Dec 31, 2007

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    Around Christmas, many balconies were decorated with either Santa Clauses (Papá Noel) or the Three Kings (los Reyes Magos), climbing up to them. Spanish tradition has it that the Three Kings arrive overnight on the 5th January, riding horses and leave presents for the children which they can then unwrap on the morning of 6th January (el Día de Reyes). Parents encourage children to write to the Three Kings with their gift requests.

    Influenced by American TV and cinema, some families have decided give their kids presents on Christmas Day, arguing that this allows the kids more time to play with their toys, since they have to go back to school on the 7th January.

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    Xmas customs

    by annase Written Dec 31, 2007

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    Spanish Xmas celebrations stretch from 22 December, when the big lottery draw (El Gordo, the Fat One) takes place to 6 January, when the presents are customarily unwrapped. El Gordo is one of the largest lotteries in the world and thousands of people win each year.

    Nativity scenes with figurines are laid out on a table at home as well as in the public places such as squares. There is no limit to their degree of elaboration. Public squares usually feature life-size figures and there are silent, living representations in public halls.

    One the most quirkier customs I came across involves a figurine of a yule log. Such things were on sale at the Christmas markets of Barcelona. Apparently, the log is being beaten by children and it then "poos" delicacies such as turron (hard Spanish nougat made of honey, egg and almonds) and marzipan =)

    Between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, there's still time to fit in another celebration. The equivalent of April's Fools Day takes place in Spain on 28 December. It's known as "el día de los Santos Inocentes" (Holy Innocents' day).

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    House wine is great !

    by venteeocho Written May 30, 2007

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    Wines and restaurants
    These islands also house ten wine Denominations of Origin: Abona, El Hierro, Lanzarote, La Palma, Tacoronte-Acentejo, Valle de Güimar, Valle de la Orotava, Icoden-Daute-Isora, Monte Lentiscal and Gran Canaria. The islands also have their own local drinks which are worth tasting, such as banana liqueur, or its own rum concoction, honeyed rum. Other liqueurs made with fruits are currently being developed. The visitor to the Canary Island archipelago must not leave without paying a visit to the restaurant called Mesón el Drago, which has been awarded with two suns in the CAMPSA Guide and is located on Tenerife island; Anthurium in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which has been awarded one sun by the CAMPSA Guide and specialises in typical products of the Canary Islands, adapting them to modern recipes; and, with the same classification, El Cucharón in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; El Jable and El Coto de Antonio in Tenerife. In the neighbourhood of Vegueta, also in Las Palmas, is the excellent restaurant called Cho-Zacarías

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    PAPA ARRUGA

    by MaheshSamtani Written Feb 25, 2007

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    Papa arruga, literally means crushed potato. This is a local delicacy. May sound too simple but extremely tasty and something unique that after eating you would think how it had not struck you before. This is a typical dish of the Canary Islands having in the mojo picon, which is another typical dish, a perfect compliment to give you a special bite.

    This speciality is the result of the scarcity that the locals had to suffer in the olden times and the situation forced them to extract elements from locally available crops. They would have never imagined that it would survive with the passing of times and be considered as something a person must try when you get here. In our case we got back quite some bottles of mojo picon, which is available in different varieties, depending on the grade of chilli that you would like.

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    Red ticker tape what on earth for?

    by scottishvisitor Updated Jan 21, 2006

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    Crime scene!!

    The sea can be very rough at times depending on the weather & wind conditions. This makes swimming impossible & paddling about for children quite dangerous. There are no life guards so hence the tape.

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    The villas are decorated with colourful flowers.

    by scottishvisitor Updated Jan 21, 2006

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    Beautiful flowers

    The Islands are blest with a temperate climate with little rain & many hours of sunshine. The lack of rain makes little difference to the growth of plants as they get water from the cooling effect of night time when the volcanic soil stores moisture from the atmosphere. Every villa is bedecked with spectacular flowers.

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    Would the Giant Leprechaun please return

    by scottishvisitor Written Apr 17, 2005

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    Leprechaun's Boots

    Please collect your boots before leaving the park.
    Pueblochico had a smile to offer around every corner.

    There was an Irish connection regarding the Lynch family owning a mansion in Tenerife - Ah the luck of the Irish!!

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    Traditional Canarian Costumes

    by scottishvisitor Written Apr 8, 2005

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    Traditional Dress

    In the high village of Guia Isora there is a local gift shop.
    You can view traditional Canarian clothing browse the gift shop & try out the traditional herbal liquors, aloe vera products & herbal rememdies all made from local catus & other sub tropical plants.

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