Why bother going abroad if you’re only going to seek out the same food you eat back home? It’s a question I’ve pondered ever since sitting in a safari lodge in Sri Lanka watching a few people eat roast beef and Yorkshire pudding whilst most of those around me tucked into a variety of Sri Lankan curries.
The roast beef was tough and the Yorkshire pudding hard as a brick. Of course it was, anyone with half a brain could have predicted that. The Sri Lankan curries, on the other hand, were delicious.
Trying the local food is part of the great joy of visiting somewhere ‘different’.
So, if that’s what we believe, why suggest that anyone should eat egg and chips when they visit Tenerife and add fuel to the notion it’s the land of all day British breakfasts?
It’s all about how and where you order your plate of egg and chips.
I have never, ever asked for egg and chips in a restaurant on Tenerife. Yet I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve ended up with just that in Canarian restaurants.
The first time was in Bodeguita de Enfrente in Santa Ursula when I ordered a speciality from the menu called huevos al estampido as I’d never tried it before. It was egg and chips. In reality it was egg, chips, minced chorizo and paprika, so the perked up Canarian version, and it was bloody lovely. Sometimes the name changes slightly and it can be huevos a la estampida. It’s not a big change but enough to catch me out the next time I saw it on a menu a few months later.
Another time I ended up with egg and chips was after ordering another menu item I hadn’t seen before. Huevos estrellados turned out to be basically the same as huevos al estampido. Sometimes this varies and the chorizo is replaced with jamón Ibérico or the eggs are roughly scrambled instead of fried. Again delicious, but still egg and chips.
I thought by now we’d encountered all of the variations of egg and chips hidden behind exotic sounding names. That was until Andy ordered papas Ibérico at Tasca El Olivo in Puerto de la Cruz. Papas Ibérico turned out to be, you’ve guessed it, egg and chips. It was the best looking version of egg and chips we’ve eaten, served in a neat little frying pan and covered in thin slices of jamón Iberico. It was, once again, simply delicious.
For foodies, the surprise of what turns up on your plate is part of the fun of trying local dishes when abroad, even if it turns out to be only a variation of egg and chips. And for anyone who isn’t the most adventurous when it comes to food, ordering huevos al estampido is just one of the many ways there are of eating local dishes which are just a variation of favourites from back home.
Telling friends that you enjoyed this wonderful local dish consisting of a savoury combination of wafer thin slices of jamón Iberico and spicy chorizo chunks on a bed of papas fritas, all of which is topped by huevos fritos and a sprinkling of paprika sounds far more impressive than saying ‘I ate a fantastic plate of egg and chips when I was in Tenerife’.
Jack is co-editor, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Google+
We too have had huevos estrellados a few years ago in Puerto which was, in my very rough Spanish translation, starred eggs. It was egg and chips with paprika sprinkled on the top. Not quite what we expected but very nice, and my other half had German beer to drink while I had a few cocktails. No complaints – in fact we shall be seeing if that particular cafe bar is still there when we return in September!