The first in our ‘have you tried?’ series covering traditional food, drinks and anything that you can stick in your mouth, involves a dish that is common in Canarian culture but probably not one that’s been tasted by the majority of visitors to Tenerife.
In Canarian homes escaldón de gofio often accompanies Canarian stews and broths like pucheros or cazuelos but in some traditional restaurants it turns up on the starters menu.
It’s a dish that has links with Tenerife’s original inhabitants, the Guanches as the main ingredient is gofio; a flour that pre-dates the conquest. It’s made from various roasted grains and is still immensely popular across the Canary Islands (if you’ve never heard of it, just check the flour section next time you’re in a Canarian supermarket).
Escaldón in it’s most basic form is a very simple dish; consisting of gofio mixed with fish stock to make a thick paste. The better the stock, the better the escaldón. When I’ve had it, it’s come accompanied by huge chunks of onion for scooping it up like a dip. Sometimes people add meat, fish and, or, vegetables and occasionally even drizzle mojo (Canarian sauces) over it to perk it up.
It’s cheap, tasty (I think so anyway, although I have had dull as ditch-water versions – which some may say it can resemble) and whilst it’s never going to scale the culinary heights or be the best looking dish on the block, it is an authentic taste of Tenerife.