Jessica Acosta Roschmann
Leaving behind the stereotypes that pigeonholed Ibiza in a ‘party island’ that attracts summer & partying tourism, the island stands out for being a real paradise of landscapes, culture and gastronomy. It’s a pleasure to get lost any time of the year. With the aim of promoting a high-quality tourism and what is more, the gastronomic one, the ‘Gastro Jornadas’ take place in over 50 restaurants every year, which offer menus including traditional local dishes for 25 €. A good opportunity to discover goods and flavors from a land that amazes pretty much by the palate.
But the gastronomic experience in Ibiza doesn’t finish here, since the island offers a huge range of local goods, typical dishes full of tradition and history, and high-quality charming venues, not to mention the rising trend: organic produces and agrotourism. Local and foreigners that long time ago decided to stay in the island, fight fiercely for its success.
The island has a great geography, history, tradition and weather conditions for producing a whole range of high-quality local products like salt, potatoes, oil, ‘frigola’ (local thyme), melon, wine or aromatic herbs.
Furthermore, native breeds like the ‘black pitiuso pork’ become into traditional cold cuts as ‘sobrasada’, ‘butifarró’ or ‘vientre relleno’ (stuffed belly). We could sum way more products like lamb, seafood and fish (ray) which are the basement of a broad gastronomy, full of flavors and variety.
The population awareness-rising about the importance of good healthy eating and the new trend of consuming organic products in the island comes from the effort of people like María Marí Colomar from Can Muson. She is in charge of teaching children and grown-ups the importance of the good relationship between environment and land products. The key are workshops, courses and guided visits to a farm full of native products and animals where insecticides are swapped for ashes and where even the bleach is ecological.
The variety and amount of traditional dishes in Ibiza are the inheritance of the historical legacy of multiple civilizations who settled on the island one day. From Phoenicians to Punics, Romans and Arabs let on the island the trace of their nautical, commercial and gastronomic customs.
One of the most well-known is the ‘coca de pimientos’ (peppers coca) or ‘arroz de matanza’ (pig-slaughter rice) which contains a wide variety of meats: chicken, ribs, loin and sirloin. But Ibiza shows its sort of traditional dishes by revealing the tasty and assorted range of dishes like: ‘ensalada de crostras de peix sec’ (salad with crusty dry fish) made of local toasted bread (pan payés), dried fish, tomatoes, garlic and salt. Another one is ‘Fritá de cerdo’ (fried pork) which is made on the pig slaughter day with loin, liver, ribs and belly strips of the pork, another variation of the dish is ‘fritá de pulpo’ (fried octopus). ‘Bullit de peix’ is a singular serving for this dish, because the fish with potatoes and vegetables are served firstly with ‘alioli’ aside (garlic-parsley mayonnaise) and then a dish of ‘abanda’ rice is served. And last but not least, ‘Borrida de Ratjada’ is a stewed ray-fish dish with potatoes, eggs, oil, parsley, toasted almonds, salt and pepper.
The traditional gastronomy from Ibiza reserves an important space for the ones who has a sweet tooth. Its confectioneries offer traditional dishes like ‘flaó’ (cheesecake from Ibiza) traditionally made for Easter Sunday. It’s made out of goat cheese, spearmint, sugar, eggs, pork lard, lemon zest and aniseed. ‘Greixonera’ (almond cake) is made out of ‘ensaimadas’ (pastry from Mallorca), eggs, sugar, milk, cinnamon and lemon zest. ‘Orelletes’ specially made for traditional local and familiar parties, are made of flour, eggs, sugar, pork lard, baking powder, aniseed, lemon zest and vanilla.
Ibiza has a variated and wide offer in hotels and restaurants, some of them focused on the most traditional gastronomy and some others on the high cuisine and avant-garde cooking. Native island quality products are the point in common.
Located in an idyllic place, Can Lluc is a paradisiac site surrounded by calm and nature. In its kitchen, creativity and tradition are joined. The presentation and serving of the plates are fantastic and its cooking, daring. From ‘Palitos de sobrasada caramelizada’ (caramelized sobrasada sticks) to ‘Canelones de col rellenos de raya con patata ibicenca’ (cabbage cannelloni filled with ray and potatoes) or the updated ‘flaó’, transformed into a light foam from the popular dessert from Ibiza.
At Vara de Rey Drive, one of the most emblematic landmarks in Ibiza, is located Sa Brisa. It’s a cozy Gastro Bar with its cookery inspired by street-food and pretty nice prices. Sa Brisa is a trip to all the corners of the world with a Mediterranean flavor. Some of their different specials are the ones the chef Gonzalo Aragúez offers : Falafel salad, ‘Ceviche de corvina, vieiras and gambusín’ (marinaded corvina, scallops and small shrimp), Cod ‘croquetas’, quesadillas with shrimp from Ibiza with guacamole and achiote. These are some interpretations of the international street cuisine that you can enjoy there.
At Sa Brisa desserts never take a second seat and its supply holds two menus with 25 desserts each one, one sweet and one savory. Desserts like chocolate ‘sablé’, ‘hazelnut daquoise’, dark chocolate with salt flower are made by the pastry chef David Denais. They will delight those who have a sweet tooth, for sure.
In refurnished local building from 17th century is located Can Beri Vell, offering creative cooking, a cozy environment and a superb serving, run by its maître, Vicent Tur, making the experience to be unique in this restaurant. Its chef, José Manuel Hernández ‘Bruno’, offers dishes like Duck micuit with green tomatoes jam and grilled goat cheese, or ‘Huevos rotos’ con sobrasada y espuma de patata ibicenca, or finally Iberian lamb stuffed with spinaches and pine nuts. A quite attractive menu paired with local wines.
Can Gat is a family restaurant located on the beachfront and run by Jauma for 40 years. An old refurbished local house with stunning views, exquisite service and traditional food from Ibiza.
Can Gat offers the most traditional dishes from the island gastronomy, with high-quality fresh local products. We need to highlight the ‘All i oli’ (garlic mayonnaise), ‘Ensalada de crostas con peix sec’ (crusty dry fish salad) and ‘Bullit de peix’ (stewed fish with potatoes). The home-made traditional desserts are a must: ‘flaó’ (Ibiza’s cheesecake) and ‘Graixonera’. Having a shot of herbs liquor can be the icing on the cake on this gastronomic experience in Ibiza.
Set in the beautiful Cala Vadella and just some steps from the ocean, is Cana Sofía. Its chef, Moisés Machado, bets on the island gastronomy, keeping the traditional classic cuisine from Ibiza and adding new trends of creative and signature fusion cuisine.
At Cana Sofía the dishes are elaborated carefully and the products are impeccable. The suggestions are ‘Sopa de cangrejo ibicenco y ortiguillas de mar’ (crab soup with snake locks), ‘Lomo de cerdo ibicenco con patatas al estilo ibicenco y tripas de bacalao’ (local pork loin with Ibiza style potatoes and cod guts), ‘Taco de cordero ibicenco con salsa de vino payés’ (piece of lamp from Ibiza with local wine gravy), ‘Bizcocho de hierbas de Ibiza con helado de manzana asada’ (Ibiza’s herbs sponge cake with baked apple ice cream).
These are the best ambassadors to make known the amazing gastronomy offered on the island.
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