The arrival of potatoes in Europe came with the Spanish conquistadors, who brought them from America. Specifically from Peru and Bolivia. The seed of those potatoes that came first are called “old varieties”, and the Canary Islands are the only place where they are still being cultivated, some five hundred years later. Today, this tuber is a Protected Designation of Origin and is also known as “local potatoes”, “traditional”, “colored” or “of the land” and is classified in no less than twenty-nine varieties. Varieties different from the Andean ones, but which come from them. The Anaga Massif is one of the most biodiverse agricultural areas in Tenerife. Potatoes are planted in March or even later, depending on the variety and location of the crop. Typical varieties are terrentas (or torrentas), Moras, Borrallas and Palmeras.
The climate, the volcanic soil with basaltic minerals, together with the tenacity and know-how of Canary Island farmers, has given rise to a unique product, which today enjoys great acceptance among restaurateurs and the general public.
Colored potatoes have characteristic skin tones ranging from brown to black or from red to pink or even orange and are marked by the presence of “eyes”. It is a rounded potato of small size compared to other varieties from northern Europe. The texture, which delights the palate, is generally creamy and floury.
The borralla or mesonera potato is the representative star of the area because, according to some studies, it is exclusive to the Canary Islands. It has an elongated shape, with somewhat deep-set eyes. It is recognized because its skin is light brown with slight orange tones. Once cooked, it is ideal for dishes with sauce or to accompany with mojo, because its texture makes it ideal for these recipes. There is also a variant known as borralla rosada or borralla colorada.
In order to conserve the seed, the production has been taken to other areas, exchanging varieties between the different localities of Anaga, as well as with other places such as La Esperanza, El Sauzal, Tegueste, San Juan de la Rambla or Icod el Alto. This variety is also grown in the Teno Rural Park, where it is known as melonera. With this exchange, we proceed to the sanitation of varieties, which facilitates their conservation and improvement of the crop. In Anaga, the day of the borralla potato is celebrated, specifically in Taborno, and has become one of the most important traditional agricultural events in the Rural Park. Nothing like paying a well-deserved tribute to this particular and exclusive jewel of Canarian agriculture that has been preserved generation after generation thanks to the farmers of the area.