If a Canarian restaurant doesn’t have cherne on the menu, the chances are it’s not a bona fide Canarian restaurant. Cherne is a seriously popular fish on Tenerife.
Cherne is a chunky white fish not dissimilar to cod. Menu translations give it all sorts of names from bass to halibut to Canary fish to not bothering at all and sticking with ‘cherne’. A few get it right, cherne is wreckfish also known as bass grouper and stone bass which shouldn’t be confused with sea bass (lubina in Spanish) which is a very different fish with completely different flavours.
Cherne is an ideal fish for people who are put off eating fish because of a worry about picking bones out of their teeth. It’s tasty and also incredibly good value, in traditional restaurants you should pay around €7 to €8. In the more upmarket tourist areas expect to pay more. I’ve seen the same dish on menus in Costa Adeje at a whopping €18.
Mostly it’s served as as cherne a la plancha; simply grilled, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with herbs which is probably the best way to eat it.
We always think of it as the fish for people who think they don’t like fish. We tested this out with a friend earlier this year and although he was hesitant to start, he was raving about it by the time he’d scoffed his meal.
The cherne in the picture was taken at a restaurant near Roque de las Bodegas in north east Tenerife.
Jack is co-owner, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to lots of other places. Follow Jack on Google+