Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Events on Tenerife: Walk for Life in Playa de las Américas

We receive lots of queries about walking on Tenerife, well here’s the opportunity to indulge in something you enjoy and also do it for a great cause as donations made go to (AECC) “Asociación Española contra el Cáncer” (Spanish Association against Cancer) and (AMATE) “Asociación de Mujeres afectadas por Cáncer de mama” (Association of Women Affected by Breast Cancer).

Each year, thousands of people turn the promenade at Playa de las Américas into a pink parade in a colourful show of support for those who have been affected by this horrible disease.

Simply, register, make a donation, pick up your Walk for Life t-shirt, or pink cap and you can become a member of the pink parade.

Walk for Life this year takes place on Sunday the 13th December and the route runs along the promenade from the Mediterranean Palace hotel in Playa de las Américas to the Sally Tien Plaza, Costa Adeje.

Have a look at the Walk for Life website for more information

Monday, 23 November 2009

Food and Drink on Tenerife – You Can Tell a Place by its Supermarket

Here’s a general rule of thumb, if you want to get an idea of what a place is like and what sort of people
live thereabouts visit the local supermarket. It’s essentially important when you’re looking at locations as potential places to move to whether for good, or even just for a couple of months.

When I lived in Levenshulme near Manchester, the local Asda was full of the most exciting and diverse range of food products aimed at satisfying the culinary needs of the different communities living in the area. I could even buy the Jamaican speciality ackee. It was heaven for food lovers .

A few miles further down the road in Stockport, the range of products wasn’t quite as extensive and tended to be generally quite unadventurous, but perfectly adequate for most of the people who shopped there. A further few miles along the A9 in Hazel Grove, Sainsbury’s opened a flagship store aimed at what they saw was a middle class shopper from the ‘posher’ end of Stockport and surrounding area. Whilst the choice wasn’t quite as worldwide as Levenshulme, it did have sun dried tomatoes and the likes – quite adventurous at the time.

On Tenerife it’s no different. A supermarket in Los Gigantes will stock very different items from a supermarket in La Laguna for example. The supermarkets in the tourist resorts are different from the supermarkets which cater for mainly Canarian residents.

I’m a self confessed foodie; I love all types of food and will try virtually anything and subsequently it's important to me that I have access to a wide variety of international products as well as local foods.

In this respect, living in the La Orotava Valley turned out to be perfect; more by luck than by good planning I have to say. The Al Campo supermarket in La Villa isn’t perfect by any means, but there are very few ingredients which I was able to get hold of in the UK (and I mean ingredients, not products which is a completely different thing) that I can’t pick up there.

Products are mostly aimed at the valley’s Canarian residents which means that there are hardly any TV dinners or pre packed meals (an indicator that Canarios still prepare meals from scratch). There are sheets of salted fish, walls of hams, pigs ears, sheep ears, whole skinned rabbits and piglets, horse meat, cow’s tongues and strange things which cling to rocks which I haven’t figured out what to do with yet.

However, there’s also a decent mix of other nationalities in the valley from a variety of countries including Europe, South America and Africa. So the supermarket also has German sausages; cheddar, brie & feta cheese; Mexican, Indian & North African products like ‘ras el hanout’; an incredible spice which adds the most divine flavours to anything it’s sprinkled into.

What it means is that I can still prepare all the recipes I used to before I moved here, as well as adding a few more, locally inspired dishes.

But if you don’t check out what the local supermarket stocks, or even where it is, you could end up like my friend who lives in a remote valley on La Gomera. It’s a beautifully stunning location, but the nearest shop is a thirty to forty minute drive away and it doesn’t stock much anyway. The island’s main supermarket in San Sebastian is only marginally better.

When she stays with us and we go to the supermarket, she always ends up resting her head on one of our shoulders, almost crying at the treasures she sees filling the aisles in front of her eyes - bless her.