Being out and about in rural Tenerife gives you the opportunity to have a nosy at what local food goodies you can find some room in the rucksack for.
Last week we picked up a couple of gems that you’re unlikely to find in Tenerife’s supermarkets.
The first was a chunk of the famed Teno cheese in a tiny little shop the size of a cupboard in Teno Alto.
With a choice of chunks of fresco, ahumado or curado on offer from a small fridge we opted for the strongest, the curado, on the basis we like our cheese to have attitude – and boy does Teno goat’s cheese have attitude.
Our friend Pamela at Secret Tenerife had told us previously that Teno cheese had a unique flavour due to the wild herbs chomped by goats in the area; she wasn’t kidding.
The first tasted warranted an ‘Ay Caramba’ and was like a drop kick to the taste buds. Not so much a ‘you’ve been Tango’d’ as a ‘you’ve been Teno’d’. This is cheese with flavour. After I’d gotten over the initial shock of the intensity of the first tasting, I cut off another small chunk and another (not easy – not only is it strong, it’s hard as well; a bit like a Glaswegian foundry man). The more you eat, the more addictive it is. This is not a cheese for wimps and after you try it, most other cheeses will just seem to lack personality.
Take it with a glass of rough-and-ready vino del país (country wine) and the flavours intensify even more.
You could say I’m a convert and I know a walk I’ll be doing more often in future.
The second food goodie we picked up was at the Dia del Trilla above El Tanque. It seems only right to buy some bread when attending an agricultural fair dedicated to threshing wheat, especially as one of the stalls at the fiesta had a display of breads to rival most supermarkets.
I waited in line as a couple inquired about some loaves that were the size of doorsteps (honestly, no exaggeration). They were three euros each. Truly, they were so big that if Jesus had five of those loaves to feed the 5000, it wouldn’t have been considered a miracle.
They were too big for me, so I opted for a more conventionally sized round white loaf and one which the girl at the stall informed me was cornbread.
The white loaf was nothing special, but the cornbread was another revelation. A plate of it with some of the Teno cheese and a glass of full bodied red wine is my culinary nirvana at the moment.
That’s one of the beauties about walking on Tenerife and exploring the island’s rural side; it isn’t just the scenery that delights and surprises.
Talking about walking, I’d better schedule more walks pronto after gorging on all that cheese and bread.
The Teno goat’s cheese was €4 for the chunk in the photo; the white bread €1.50 and the cornbread €3.