Tucking In At Gastro Canarias

Just a few yards inside the Gastro Canarias food festival and my heart had been broken. Well not so much broken as cut into small tasty pieces. It was the Egatesa meat company stand and they were cooking a selection of their meats for tasting, the burgers were heart shaped and I was torn between them and the sizzling sausages – so I had a little of both.

My last visit to this annual feast at the Recinto Ferial in Santa Cruz was three years ago, it´s aimed mainly at those in the trade but offers plenty for everyone. Slightly dearer this time at six euros, it was still good value and had my nose twitching and my mouth watering. After covering the ladies football team of Egatesa Granadilla Tenerife for a few seasons, it was good to meet a few of the players, Ayano and Silvia, doing the rounds. A quick tour showed me that the stands were split more in favour of drink than food this time, but a large stage area featured a show cooking competition in front of a bleacher seat audience.

I seem to recall that on my last visit I paid a lot of attention to the beers on offer, I decided to pace myself this time – but then I saw a Belgium beer stand. Even better, Gert, the sales manager for Transbelga, was a friendly face from Los Cristianos and welcomed me into the heavenly parlour. Showing remarkable restraint, I started with a 5.2% Jupiler, the range of bottles was incredible, many had enchanted me in the past on trips to Belgium and Holland. It was mid afternoon when I strolled in but the pace was picking up as people came in after work. As well as the consumable items there were innovative cooking and storing systems and some very delightful promotion ladies to demonstrate and entice the public.

Gofio cookies, caramel gin, and multi flavoured chocolate fountains were among the temptations, and the dazzling array of ice cream scoops were getting bigger as time went on. I´m not a wine buff, a shame as there were tasting and appreciation classes, Tenerife has some exceptional wines that can pop their cork with the best. Some of the pastries, tarts, and cakes had me drooling. It seemed a bit bizarre that the Recinto Ferial had no free Wi Fi, trade shows are their standard fare, maybe they are missing a trick. There´s a large outside terrace which gives lovely views of the Auditorium one way and the full glory of the Cepsa refinery the other.

Dorada didn´t have a stand, they had a mock up of a bar, and I was pleased to see one of their brewers I remembered from the brewery tour. They had the full range of their bottled beers on, the Trigo wheat variety went down nicely and I also tried the new Especial Esencia Negra, a little stronger at 5.7%. My football Peña ,Armada Sur, runs on a fuel supply of Dorada, last Saturdays home game saw us clear 500 bottles at our La Tahona pre match watering hole. In the interest of fairness I felt compelled to also drink some Mahou beer, they sponsor an annual pre season cup for CD Tenerife and also the player of the month award. Their brewery in Candelaria has also had the dubious pleasure of my company for a tour with the CD Tenerife squad.

I didn´t want to make a pig of myself so l did one last circuit of the hall to make sure I hadn´t missed anything. There were definately a lot more theatrically large stands this time, Lanzarote had a beach scene to showcase their products, and Heineken seemed to have a homage to the Star Ship Enterprise to promote their no alcohol beer. With my legs crossed tightly for the one hour Titsa bus trip back to Los Cristianos, I was looking forward to continuing my beer browsing back at The Victory Bar.