Posted by: travelrat | June 28, 2010

Eating (and Speaking) on Tenerife

Tenerife: 14th December 2009

Finally came the cuisine part. The Canary Islands are, of course, part of Spain, and you can’t visit Spain without at least one call at a bodega, usually a sort of combined wine cellar, pub and food store. Although it’s not often seen on our supermarket shelves, Tenerife does produce a pleasantly drinkable wine. With the wine, there were the usual tapas, or finger snacks, in generous portions. The local hams and cheeses from which the tapas were made, hung all around. I was reminded of the old Army song:

‘There was ham, ham, mixed up with the jam

In the stores; in the stores.

There was cheese, cheese, wafting in the breeze

In the Quartermaster’s Stores.

And sausage, and wine in bottles and barrels … the only constraint we had was, once we got back on board the ship, we still had one of Costa’s sumptuous dinners to deal with.

The bodega was actually in the basement of … wouldn’t you know it? … a souvenir shop! We’d already bought the obligatory fridge magnet in La Laguna, but we did manage to buy a nice plate for the kitchen wall.

It was, though, slightly surreal to eat and drink in a typical Spanish bodega and speak in German to a couple who spoke very little English. You see, this tour was a bilingual one, conducted in English and German.

I was surprised to hear that the guide pronounced the name of the island’s capital, Santa Cruz, like Tom of that ilk, rather than to rhyme with ‘truth’. Maybe it’s a regional thing. My American friend is learning Spanish, and tried to practise on his Puerto Rican and Mexican colleagues. They were highly amused to hear him speaking this way, and thought he was camping it up.

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