Sunday, September 29, 2013

THE CANARY ISLANDS: TENERIFE AND LA GOMERA

El Teide (Tenerife)
El Teide (Tenerife)

We went to Tenerife and La Gomera, two of the Canary Islands, some weeks ago. We had been in the Canaries before my diagnosis and I remembered the amazing flavours of its traditional cuisine, wondering if I could taste them now being coeliac. But in fact, it is not difficult to eat gluten-free in the Canaries.

Some of the typical products are:

-    Mojos: They are spicy sauces usually served with papas arrugás (wrinkled potatoes: potatoes boiled in salt water), meat or fish. They are made from garlic, cumin, paprika, vinegar, olive oil and salt. There are two types of mojo: Red mojo or mojo picón, with dried red peppers; and green mojo, with coriander or parsley. Naturally gluten-free.
Mojo verde and Mojo rojo
Mojo verde and Mojo rojo
-    Almogrote: Crushed mature cheese mixed with garlic. It is necessary to ask if it is gluten-free because some Canarian cheeses are covered in gofio (wheat flour).
-    Gofio: It is a type of wheat flour, so it is prohibited. We can only have the corn variety; the only a brand which elaborates a corn gofio without gluten traces is Buen Lugar.
-   White roast cheese: Canarian cheeses are all made of goat milk, because there are no cows living in the islands. There are a wide variety of them and they are excellent. Be careful with those covered in gofio. White cheese is commonly roasted and served with honey or with marmalade (this one not always gluten-free).

As main course you can have meat: roast goat, rabbit or chicken; or grilled Canarian fish: vieja, sama, cherne, etc.

And as dessert, you can find the following naturally gluten-free:
-          Bienmesabe: made of almonds, sugar and eggs.
-          Leche asada or quesadilla: with milk, sugar and eggs.
-      Cheese with Palma honey: Palma honey is extracted from the palm trees; it is more liquid and maybe less sweet than the one from bees.
Although they are supposed not to have gluten, it is better to ask before you order them, just in case flour would been added. If you are not sure, you can have a banana, the Canarian variety is very tasty and all a symbol in the archipelago. In fact, you will see banana trees everywhere all around you in the Canaries.

You will find these dishes in most of the restaurants of the islands. But if you want more safety to avoid any mistake or cross contamination, you can visit any of the restaurants recommended by the two coeliac/celiac societies of the archipelago: Coeliacs Association of Tenerife (ACET), for the western islands: Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro; or Coeliacs Association of the Province of Las Palmas (ASOCEPA), for the eastern islands: Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.

In our last holydays in Tenerife and La Gomera we visited two restaurants that I would like to recommend, one in each island:

-          In Tenerife: Restaurante Folelé: Calle Juan Bariajo, 2 Playa de Los Cristianos, Arona. Tlf: 922 792 604. It is a traditional canary cuisine restaurant. All the dishes of the menu except two are gluten-free. They have also GF bread and beer. It is in a nice place, the meal is delicious and good price, what else? It is recommended by ACET.

Grilled cheese at Folelé
Grilled cheese at Restaurante Folelé (Tenerife)

Leche asada at Restaurante Folelé (Tenerife)
Leche asada at Restaurante Folelé (Tenerife)

-          In La Gomera: Restaurante La Vieja Escuela: Calle Poeta Trujillo, 2, Agulo. Tlf:  922 14 60 04. When I said I have coeliac disease the cook went out and told me that her daughter was coeliac too, and she told me what I could have from the menu (almogrote and mojos included). She also offered her daughter GF bread to me. Very good, home made meal and with the tranquillity of eating safely.

Restaurante La Vieja Escuela (La Gomera)
Restaurante La Vieja Escuela (La Gomera)

Regarding the stay we decided to rent apartments in the two islands, because we were in rural areas and we wanted to prepare our own breakfast. But if you want to go to a hotel, the coeliacs societies have agreements with several hotel chains:

The Coeliacs Federation of Associations of Spain (FACE) has also agreements with two hotels chains with hotels in the Canaries:

Finally, if you need to buy some gluten-free products you can go to any of the shops recommended by ACET and ASOCEPA:

Or go to any of the supermarkets with gluten-free products:

Parque Nacional de Garajonay (La Gomera)
Parque Nacional de Garajonay (La Gomera)


6 comments:

  1. Como siempre, las mejores recomendaciones para las personas celiacas a las que les gusta viajar. Enhorabuena por la entrada y por el blog Ana.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hace años que no vamos por Tenerífe, pero esta información nos será útil cuando volvamos.

    ¡Menudo despiste Ana Vel! claro que sabíamos que habías abierto el blog.

    Besotes

    Ana y Víctor.

    ReplyDelete
  3. No queríamos dejar terminar el año sin desearos a los dos y a los vuestros un muy Feliz 2014, que se cumplan vuestros sueños e ilusiones.

    Besotes

    Ana y Víctor.

    ReplyDelete