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Canary Islands for Culinary Hedonists

New York to Canary Islands = 12 1/2 hours

The one—and possibly only—region of Spain that travelers may not think of as a gastronomic paradise is exactly where frontline gourmands are heading: Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. The Abama Golf & Spa Resort (from $260; Carretera General TF-47, Km. 9, Guía de Isora; abamahotelresort.com), built alongside ­banana plantations, houses the archipelago’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, M.B, making it a natural choice for overnighting. Epicureans in search of edgier fare should time their trip to the island’s GastroCanarias food fest (May 3 to 6; jigpuertocruz.com). The lineup includes a performance piece by artist Oliver Behrmann and chef Carlos Gamonal, wherein they dissect a life-size “alien” made of sweet jelly gum and candies and feed it to the audience. The progressive Gamonal, a third-generation chef, also experiments with more traditional cuisine at his family’s Mesón El Drago (Calle del Marqués de Celada 2; 922-543-001). Hunting modest guachinches—humble restaurants or wine sellers serving rustic local specialties—has become something of a sport for oenophiles here; vine-covered Bodegón El Engazo (Calle Tafuriaste 30, La Orotava; 922-333-556) has been a favorite since 1962. Cruise the bounty of local produce, fish, meat, and artisanal goat cheese at the Nuestra Señora de África marketplace (Av. San Sebastián 51; 922-214-743) before tucking into a kiosko for a plate of gofio, an ancient recipe of toasted wheat and corn. And there’s no better way to end a day of feasting than with a bracing barraquito ($1.30)—a coffee layered with condensed milk, espresso, milk foam, liqueur, cinnamon, and lemon peel—at the 119-year-old La Hierbita ($1.30; El Clavel 19; 922-244-617) in Santa Cruz’s old quarter.


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