The Tastes of Ibiza by Tanya Taylor
Ibiza is a tiny Island which means in the past it would’ve had to be pretty self-sustaining at times so we thought we’d bring you just a few of the tastes of Ibiza.
Although the land can look pretty dry and barren in the summer, it is surprisingly fertile. A closer look at the landscape will reveal an array of fruiting trees and wild herbs growing abundantly.
Over the years the Ibicencos have incorporated these Mediterranean flavours into interesting and tasty dishes unique to the island.
This guide encourages you to let your mouth do the exploring so you can get a real taste for Ibiza.
The savoury dishes of Ibiza often incorporate the tastes of pine nuts and goat’s cheese sometimes combined with honey and figs to give it a really delicious sweet/savoury flavour.
When you are on the lookout for local dishes it’s worth noting that the word “Payees” means farmer in the Ibicenco language, for example, “Pan de Payees” is farmers bread with “de” meaning “of” so anything with “de Ibiza” in the title means it’s a local product of the island.
One of the most common savoury dishes you’ll find is “Ensalada de Payess”. This is a very hearty salad made up of eggs, potatoes, roast pepper, sweetcorn and lettuce.
If you’re into seafood then try out the “Bullit de Peix” which is a mixed fish and seafood stew, steeped in saffron and served with rice and potatoes.
You can find a fantastic modern recipe of Bullit de Peix on Ibiza Foodie here.
If you’re a real carnivore then you might want to try out the local black pudding “Butifarra” or “sobarasada” the local sausage it’s pretty spicy and aged for that extra flavour.
If one thing’s clear then it’s that the locals sure do love their sweets. You can find them as offerings in local bars and bakeries.
Flaó is the most popular sweet treat and it’s a bit of a strange one. It’s kind of like a cheesecake but it’s packed with herbs delivering a very interesting taste that will leave your tastebuds slightly confused but craving more.
Magdelenas Ibicencas have a buttery shortcrust pastry base and are filled with a deliciously rich almond marzipan mixture, they’re small but very satisfying.
Another sugary morsel not to be missed is the Bunuelos Ibicencas these are super sweet doughnuts with a tasty twist. They’ve got a hint of lemon and fennel added to them giving a very distinctive taste.
For authenticity, all of the above should be enjoyed sitting at a local bar washed down with a “cafe con leche”.
A trip to Ibiza simply wouldn’t be complete without having indulged in the local tipple Hierbas. This medicinal liquor is made up of typical herbs of the island and has been around since time began.
It’s a sugary mixture of fennel, rosemary, louisa, aniseed, juniper and other local herbs. It has a super sweet, lingering taste and is quite strong and dangerously moreish.
Another more obscure drink born in Ibiza is the “Cafe Caleta” named after the cove where it was first concocted initially thought to be in the 50s although we have heard many different versions of its origins.
It’s a killer coffee that has infused in it cinnamon, orange zest and also a big slug of rum and brandy. It’s a bit like potent mulled wine with a big caffeine punch.
Talking of coffee, Ibiza has two coffee roasters, Cafes Ibiza has been providing beans since 1958 and can be found as the standard coffee in many bars and restaurants.
Cafe Meke is a more recent addition to the island and they appeal to coffee connoisseurs, offering a range of organic, fair trade and unique blends.
If you’re more of a tea person then Sanima Herbs offer some tasty herbal teas fresh from Ibiza’s earth.
The main vineyard on the island is Can Rich, established in 1997 they offer red, white and sparkling organic wines, you can even visit their winery in San Antonio.
Lastly, Ibiza even has it’s own beer La Isla, a light bottled beer or for those with a taste for craft beer then Iboism will satisfy your needs. They have a brewhouse in Port des Torrent where you can sample their range of Ibiza themed brews.
You might be surprised to discover that one of the island’s main exports, aside from Balearic Beats, is salt. The Salinas salt plain has been in operation for around two thousand years and “Sal de Ibiza” can be found in delicatessens all over the world.
Another regular export from the island is the Carob also known as Algaroba. The pod from this tree can be made into a thick treacle like syrup or ground down to make a delicious chocolate substitute very healthy and similar to cocoa. The Ibiza Carob Company make delicious bars of dark chocolate for you to enjoy.
The buzzing Baleric bees produce wonderful honey from the plentiful Mediterranean flowers and “Miel de Ibiza” is a brand to look for on honey jars.
Locally grown aloe vera and rosemary are crafted together to create a huge range of organic cosmetics such as shampoo and skincare products. Ibiza Aloe and Wild Natural Ibiza are highly reputed brands to buy from.
The previously mentioned vineyard, Can Rich also produce a range of olive oils, vinegar and seasoned salts from Ibiza.
The best place to find all of these products is at local markets where you can buy directly from the producer. Most local shops will also have some brands for sale, failing that you can find a limited range of island products in the Eroski supermarkets.
That’s a lot of food for thought on your next trip but you don’t have to sample everything all at once. You can take the products home with you and even give them out as unique holiday gifts.
You’ll surely bring a smile to locals eyes by enquiring about homemade dishes and buying local not only means you’ll help the economy but it’s also a great way to show your respect for island culture.
Tanya can be found up in the northern hills of Ibiza. When she is not taking care of horses, she is usually scribbling away about nature, sunshine and all of the other wonderful things Ibiza has to offer