What is worth taking from Tenerife?
Most of us bring back a souvenir from our vacation. It can be something bought or found, small or big, something to wear, decorate with, or consume at a later date. Whatever it may be, it takes us back to the realm of memories, to the times of that vacation. Many of you ask what is worth taking from Tenerife. Of course, the most important things are the good experiences, but besides that, Tenerife offers plenty of interesting items, whether they are food products, cosmetics, or decorative items.
What food products are worth taking from Tenerife?
Miel de Palma
Also known as Palm Honey or Palm Syrup, this product is produced exclusively on La Gomera (the closest island to Tenerife’s southern coast). Miel de Palma is not honey produced by bees. It is a condensed syrup made from the sap of the Canary Island Palm, which is an endemic species of the archipelago. To obtain this syrup, the palm tree is cut from the top and a space is formed to collect the liquid. The sap can only be extracted from the palm tree at night and for a period of 30 days. Afterward, the palm tree needs to be left untouched for 5 years for regeneration. The freshly extracted palm sap is called Guarapo, and it is very sweet and ready for consumption. In shops, you can find pasteurized Palm Syrup. Interestingly, about four liters of fresh Guarapo yield only half a liter of Palm Honey.
Canarians claim that Miel de Palma has remarkable health benefits as it contains many vitamins and minerals. It can be used in the production of homemade cosmetics, such as nourishing hair masks. In the kitchen, Palm Honey is used similarly to Maple Syrup, as an addition to desserts or pancakes.
This is a type of cheese spread. This exquisite product also originates from the island of La Gomera. Its history dates back to the Middle Ages, although the recipe has been slightly modified over time. Almogrote is made from very hard, mature goat cheese mixed with crushed spicy red peppers. Garlic and olive oil, which are present in almost every dish in Canarian cuisine, are also added. The final product has a pâté-like texture, orange color, and a mildly spicy taste. Almogrote is commonly used as a coating for mushrooms or served as a snack on crackers.
The Canary Islands are famous for producing excellent goat cheese. There are several different goat species on the islands, which means that not all local cheeses taste the same. The simplest division is into mature and semi-mature cheese. The former is very hard with a distinct flavor and aroma. It is often used in the production of Almogrote and various types of pesto. On the other hand, semi-mature cheese is more frequently served as a snack. It has a milder taste and is ideal for sandwiches. To produce one kilogram of local goat cheese, seven liters of fresh milk are used.
Goat cheese contains a significant amount of vitamins from the B group, as well as vitamins A and E. Moreover, it is rich in calcium and phosphorus, which are ideal for bone growth and help prevent osteoporosis. It effectively regenerates the intestinal flora as it acts as a neutralizer of acidity. It is recommended for people suffering from digestive problems, especially those who require treatment with antacids. However, due to its high fat and sodium content, these cheeses are not recommended for people struggling with overweight or hypertension. Canarian goat cheeses have a taste somewhat reminiscent of oscypek, a traditional Polish smoked cheese.
All local jams are made from tropical fruits harvested in the Canary Islands. It’s worth trying such unique specialties as banana jam or cocoa banana jam. However, in addition to these specific flavors, you can also find mango, papaya, cactus, fig, or passion fruit jams. Those seeking new taste experiences should also try onion, pumpkin, or aloe vera jam. All of them are delicious, interesting, and one-of-a-kind.
Mixed dried spices for mojo sauces
Mojo Rojo and Mojo Verde are indispensable elements of Canarian cuisine. They are practically served in every Canarian restaurant as a pre-meal snack with bread. Depending on the chef, each sauce has the same base but slightly different flavors. Ready-to-use mixed spices are available for making them at home. Mojo Rojo (red sauce made from peppers – mild or spicy) and Mojo Verde (green sauce made from coriander – mild). In small proportions, the spices should be mixed in a bowl with olive oil and wine vinegar. For Mojo Rojo, you can add tomatoes or tomato puree, while for Mojo Verde, avocado and green olives are commonly used. Of course, you can customize the flavors according to your preferences. This way, you can bring a piece of Canarian cuisine home with you and enjoy potatoes with Mojo Rojo and Mojo Verde even after your vacation.
The Canary Islands are known for producing excellent fruit wines. Many grape varieties are cultivated here, and the wines derived from them have received numerous awards in various competitions. Fruit wines are light and enjoyable to drink. You can easily savor their exquisite taste. They can be more or less sweet. The best fruit wines have a relatively short lifespan, so it is recommended to always drink the youngest available vintages. We recommend trying wines sold in supermarkets in blue bottles; they are almost always fruity and really tasty. Most sweet fruit wines are white, but in wineries, you can also find rosé fruit wines and, contrary to popular belief, red fruit wines. The latter are excellent for use in cakes and desserts.
For lovers of Barraquito coffee, this will be a great purchase if you want to enjoy its unique flavor even after your vacation. The original Licor 43 was introduced to the Spanish market in 1946, using a secret Spanish family recipe with 43 natural ingredients. These include selected Mediterranean citrus fruits and botanicals. Licor 43 has a beautiful golden color. The perfect balance of its ingredients provides delicious layered flavors of vanilla, citrus, botanicals, and floral notes. It can be enjoyed on the rocks or neat.
Cocktail de Platano
It is a banana cream liqueur that resembles the taste of banana-flavored Baileys. For those who enjoy sweet creams and liqueurs, it can be a very attractive flavor experience. With its rich, creamy consistency combined with exotic banana, this tropical beverage is certainly a fantastic vacation cocktail. It is served chilled or on the rocks. It is sold in a yellow bottle.
Ronmiel, also known as Honey Rum, is a variation of rum produced from sugarcane brandy or molasses typical of the Canary Islands. It is called Honey Rum because the final product contains honey. Its alcohol content ranges from 20% to 30%. It has an intense amber color and leaves a pleasant, sweet taste in the mouth. Ronmiel is served cold or on the rocks, either neat or with a lemon slice as it pairs well with citrus flavors. Honey Rum is one of the favorite alcoholic beverages among young Canarians.
Mistela / El Gomeron
These are two commonly purchased alcoholic beverages from La Gomera (in case you go on a day trip, for example). Mistela is a delicious spiced wine with a very interesting, sweet flavor. It is often served with desserts or as a chupito, a digestif after a meal. On the other hand, El Gomeron is a local moonshine mixed in special proportions with Palm Honey. It is slightly stronger than Mistela but equally attractive. It is also served as a digestif.
What decorative items are worth taking from Tenerife?
Pinecone from the Canarian Pine Tree
This is a legal souvenir from El Teide National Park. The Canarian Pine is a species endemic to the Canary Islands and can be found naturally only on five islands (El Hierro, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, La Palma, and Tenerife). It is a slender tree that usually reaches a height of up to 40 meters, although there are taller specimens (e.g., in Vilaflor – 56 meters). One of the most important characteristics of the Canarian Pine is its remarkable fire resistance, which is attributed to its resin content, thick bark, and regenerative ability after a fire. Like all pine trees, it sheds pinecones. During the Christmas season, they are painted and used as ornaments. Canarians also use them as kindling for grilling. The Canarian Pinecones are dark brown and hard, quite different from the ones we are familiar with in Polish forests.
Jewelry made of Volcanic Lava
One of the main attractions of the Canary Islands is their volcanoes, and everything associated with them. Various types of jewelry (bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pendants, etc.) made from black solidified volcanic lava are available for purchase. It is said that the energy of volcanic lava activates vitality, personal creativity, and perseverance in pursuing goals. The color black eliminates negative polarization and tension. Ultimately, a volcanic lava bracelet can be a quite useful keepsake.
Jewelry with Olivine and Obsidian
These two minerals used in jewelry making here come from El Teide National Park. You can find earrings, rings, necklaces, and pendants incorporating these stones. Olivine is a beautiful green mineral that is believed to provide a sense of tranquility, especially recommended for people suffering from phobias and nervous problems. Obsidian, on the other hand, is a black mineral associated with protection and energetic stability.
Jewelry made of Banana Tree Leaves
Platanos (Canarian bananas) have been a star of Canarian agriculture for many years. It is not surprising that with such extensive production, another part of this plant has found an application. Dried leaves undergo a special treatment and are then transformed into beautiful hand-painted beads. Each bead is unique, varying in size, and extremely lightweight. You can find earrings, bracelets, and necklaces with them in souvenir shops.
Dragon Tree in a Pot
The Dragon Tree is a botanical symbol of Tenerife. The oldest specimen on the island is located in the town of Icod de los Vinos and is estimated to be around 1000 years old. You can purchase seeds (around 1€ for 2 seeds) or a one-year-old tree packaged for transport by airplane (around 8€). It is a low-maintenance plant that needs a well-lit spot and dislikes cold temperatures. Watering it once every two weeks is sufficient.
In practically every tourist town in Tenerife, you can purchase magnets specific to that particular place. As a result, people who collect fridge magnets or those who want to show off a substantial collection after their vacation will face a difficult choice. The options are abundant, ranging from towns, buildings, landscapes, and animals made of stone, lava, or wood. Some are hand-painted and decorated, while others incorporate sand, olivine, or obsidian. They can imitate postcards, the shape of the island, lizards, or turtles. Each magnet is unique, and each one is more beautiful than the last.
What cosmetic products are worth taking from Tenerife?
Aloe Vera Products
The Canary Islands are known for producing fantastic creams, gels, ointments, and other products made from Aloe Vera. This extraordinary plant has been known for its dermatological benefits since ancient times. In addition to its positive anti-aging effects on the skin, it also acts as a natural antiseptic for burns and wounds. It promotes healing and relieves pain. Aloe Vera is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and amino acids. Many local companies specialize in Aloe Vera products, so there is a wide variety of brands available. It’s difficult to say which one is the best. It’s always worth trying several different ones before finding the one that suits you best.
It’s worth taking the time during your vacation to visit a few perfumeries in Tenerife. Many good brands can be found at very attractive prices, often better than at duty-free shops at the airport. It’s important to compare prices to notice the difference. You’ll find very interesting cosmetic sets, makeup products, creams, and a wide variety of perfumes.
As you can see, the list is not the shortest, although it probably doesn’t include all the possible souvenirs you can take from Tenerife. We hope that we have shed some light on the situation and made your choice easier. The most important thing is to try local products and specialties during your stay in the Canary Islands. They are truly delicious. Moreover, by having the opportunity to taste them, we discover new and interesting flavors, often very surprising. You can find more about the flavors of Tenerife in our article “Food in Tenerife”.