Travel around the old roads of Tenerife and it soon becomes obvious that the island tends to be lacking somewhat in farm animals. What fields exist are devoid of cows, sheep or pigs. You might spot the occasional hen, usually given away by a rooster who’s forgotten to set his clock, but that’s about it… except for goats.
Goats have been the dominant farm animal on Tenerife since way back when the Guanches ruled supreme and they get priority when they move about from pasture to pasture on Tenerife. In the north of the island especially, don’t be surprised to find that traffic jams on country roads are caused by goats loitering whilst they make short work of the verges.
Goats are handy for getting rid of excess fruit and sometimes you can come across the wonderful sight of goaty al fresco fine dining – a field carpeted by scarlet tomatoes.
Given that goats are commonplace, it should come as no surprise to learn that they’re equally common on menus in traditional Canarian restaurants across Tenerife.
Carne de cabra (goat) on Tenerife isn’t a sophisticated dish, often being served simply in chunks with papas fritas (French fries).
The way it’s prepared is that the goat meat is usually flavoured by herbs and spices such as thyme, cumin and paprika; fried with onions and chillies and then stewed, occasionally supported by assorted vegetables.
However, most of the times I’ve eaten cabra, there has been an absence of vegetables.
I’m a big fan of goat meat and would choose it over steak any day of the week. It has a stronger flavour, but not as intense as game meats. It’s also very good value, averaging around €8 and under for a main course.
Some people are a bit hesitant of trying it, I’m not really sure why. The same people happily order lamb, pig and cow.
If anyone likes to try out good, authentic local dishes when they travel, then seeking out carne de cabra on Tenerife is a must.
If trying it for the first time, make sure it’s in a restaurant that specialises in carne de cabra; there are plenty of good ones about.
Our restaurant tip for good carne de cabre – Meson del Norte, Buenavista del Norte.