Tenerife gastronomy: Potatoes

August 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The potato is to Canarian cuisine what Mount Teide is to Tenerife: its defining point. On the Island, you can find varieties such as the papa bonita, the papa azucena, the papa cara, papa King Edward (quinegua, in the Canarian dialect), among others. It can be cooked in a variety of ways, and in many Canarian homes it appears on the table every single day.

Papas arrugadas

Papas arrugadas

The potato arrived on the Islands from America over four Centuries ago and since then it has been cultivated year after year. Little by little, it has become increasingly important and has been added to almost all dishes in Canarian gastronomy. It accompanies meats and fish, and is to be found in all kinds of stews and casseroles such as papas con carne or puchero canario, and even in salads.

Its great quality makes it among the most highly valued potatoes anywhere in Europe. The key is in the tremendous care with which the potato is cultivated; the characteristics of the earth; its texture, which is soft on the palate; the taste, which has acquired its own distinctive flavour with the passing of time and a versatility which means that it fits in perfectly with any recipe, whether traditional or modern (it is even used in some desserts).

One of the most popular and high quality varieties is the papa negra, with a yellow centre, and one of the best ways of preparing it is “arrugándola”. The method is very simple and the result delicious. The potatoes are washed and put into a pan with water and lots of salt and left to boil. When they are ready, they are taken from the gas, the water is poured away and they are returned to the flame for a few seconds after which they are ready to eat. These are the famous “papas arrugadas”, literally meaning wrinkled potatoes. You can’t leave the island without having tried them!

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