SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE AND ITS “CONCURSO POPULAR DE COMIDAS TÍPICAS CANARIAS”, THE OLDEST IN SPAIN.
We are still in difficult times of uncertainty and restrictions, due to the worldwide pandemic caused by the SARS-Cov2 coronavirus, which continues to affect the gastronomy, hotel and catering sector. In this complicated scenario, the Development Society of Santa Cruz de Tenerife continues with its goal of making the capital of Tenerife, in addition to being “the heart of Tenerife”, also the “gastronomic capital of our island”.
To this end, the Development Society, through its project and product club“Degusta Santa Cruz“, has just presented and launched two attractive actions in which, in parallel and simultaneously, it is committed to the tradition of Santa Cruz and the talent of Santa Cruz. Two realities that undoubtedly exist and coexist today among young (and not so young) professionals and lovers of gastronomy, hospitality and catering in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
One of them, the genetically named “Now, Canarian cuisine” arises from the desire of the City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife to support our gastronomic and festive traditions.
The second, with the title of “I Gastronomic Exhibition of Young Talents of Santa Cruz de Tenerife” aims to recognize and value the good work of the new santacruceras and santacruceras entering professionally, with firm foot, in the world of gastronomy, cooking and catering.
In this article we are going to stop and deal, specifically, with the program series “Ahora, cocino canario” and a reality that should fill with pride all the citizens of Chicharras. Almost everyone knows and we should all feel very proud and satisfied that the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has (this is exactly its true name and that which should be preserved and enhanced) the “Popular Contest of Typical Canarian Food” the oldest contest of its kind in Spain, which has been held annually and without interruption, for a whopping almost fifty years, with significant representation of neighborhood associations of the capital and the good people of our Carnival chicharrero.
The personal commitment of José Manuel Bermúdez Esparza, the mayor of Chicharras, together with the perseverance of Councilman Alfonso Cabello MesaThe “oldest” and “uninterruptedly held” qualities of the competition, although in a different imaginative and attractive way, have been key to the fact that, over the last two years and despite all the regulations and restrictions that have been and still are in place, the competition has been able to be held and maintain its two qualities and qualifiers of “oldest” and “uninterruptedly held”.
With the generic title of “Now, Canarian cuisine”, a series of seven audiovisuals has become a tasty reality, which can be viewed by entering the YouTube platform and entering the title of this series of seven programs in the search engine, or by entering directly through the following link.
In these seven programs, presented and conducted by the communicator Puchi Méndez (Radio Club Tenerife – Cadena SER) a series of “cooks” of Santa Cruz, all of them lovers of Canarian cuisine and traditionally linked to the typical food contest of Santa Cruz and many with the Carnival of Santa Cruz, prepare seven of the most popular dishes of our cuisine.
The magnificent people who have participated and elaborated the following dishes in the above mentioned seven programs have been: Manuel Delgado (Stewed ribs with potatoes and millet pineapples); Julio “Paco” Tacoronte (Cherne a los dos mojos), Carolina Padrón Rodríguez, of the children’s murga Guachipanduzy (Torta vilana); Cristina Santos, from the murga Los Jocikudos (Tollos en salsa); Angelita González Ledesma and her friend Gloria, by the children’s murga El Cabido and the association Los Caberos (Rabbit in salmorejo); Ramón Rodríguez and Candelaria “Lala” Martín (Canarian fish casserole – Sama roquera); and Dulce Rodríguez, of the murga Los Sofocados (Puchero canario)
Obviously, it has not been the same as seeing them enjoying the elaboration of their dishes and presenting them in the traditional tents that are usually set up in the Plaza de la Pila, next to the parish church of Nuestra Señora de La Concepción. But the novel initiative of the Development Society, in audiovisual format version, has served so that, despite the damned coronavirus, the Popular Contest of Typical Canarian Food of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, has not missed its annual appointment in this pandemic 2021.
Some of these dishes of authentic typical Canarian cuisine, are those that for years and years are present in the popular contest that traditionally has centered its celebration in the framework of the Fiestas de Mayo. A contest that, undoubtedly, has had and has a number of unconditional fans who, annually, gather to either prepare the aforementioned recipes or to taste them in a healthy atmosphere of well-favored citizenship… and solidarity.
And we emphasize “solidarity” because, also in a traditional way, many of the dishes prepared in this Popular Contest of Typical Canarian Food of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, are tasted by people without resources or at risk of social exclusion. Discreetly and quietly, the dishes have always been offered to all these people, who approach the tents, and many cauldrons have left them, on their way to centers and soup kitchens of the municipality. A generous and supportive action that, undoubtedly, must be recognized, valued and publicly congratulated.
The special audiovisual edition of this year, however, has not prevented both the Autonomous Organism of Festivities and the Development Society of Santa Cruz de Tenerife itself, have continued thinking of new ideas that, in the near future, serve to further consolidate, further enhance if possible and promote nationally and internationally this veteran Popular Contest of Typical Canarian Food of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
There is no lack of ideas, no lack of will, no lack of talent, we have it and we have it very well; all of us want to work; raw material, the best; the desire to incorporate new blood, always; the doors are wide open to youth…. In other words, the best future is guaranteed.