Something that is certainly appreciated by visitors and tourists who come to Spain to spend their holidays is its gastronomy, especially by its diversity and its price-quality relationship. In the Balearic Islands there are some excellent restaurants offering first class cuisine with authentic professionalism every day in summer … and throughout the year.
It could not be otherwise in an archipelago that receives many high earning tourists in summer, who demand this high quality in the many restaurants and beach clubs throughout the island of Ibiza. With such demand this high standard of cooking can be met, as it is essential for a restaurant that offers fresh produce to sell out what is bought daily in the markets.
Fish and seafood are the basis of Ibiza gastronomy, with which multiple dishes, paellas and stews are prepared. The Ibiza bullit de peix (fish stew) and arroz a banda (rice in fish broth) are among the most popular dishes. Not to forget all the ways there are to cook rice: black (in squid ink), blind (could be eaten with eyes closed), with seafood and lobster, clawed lobster or red shrimps. There are many recipes to enjoy daily in the many traditional and not so traditional cuisine restaurants in Ibiza and Formentera.
Also a great way to cook fish is baked with potatoes and vegetables of the day: the best way to taste a fish like gallo san pedro (sole) or a rotja (red scorpionfish)- also known as cabracho on the peninsula-, is medium rare. Some seafood is also very juicy when grilled, like Ibiza red shrimp, fished north of San Antonio or between Ibiza and Denia. Or chopped clawed lobster stir fried in a griddle and seasoned with garlic and parsley.
A typical recipe in Ibiza is fried stingray. It has an exquisite taste being battered and fried in olive oil, which allows detaching meat pieces leaving thorns easily aside.
It is highly recommended and common crossing to Formentera on a boat or yacht rental from Ibiza and go ashore to one of their beach restaurants to taste these dishes based on seafood.
The meats are also a valued and used product in Ibiza’s gastronomy, although to a lower extent. Game meats such as rabbit and partridge are very common, and also products from pork slaughter. Roast suckling pig is one of the most popular dishes. It is a small pig, months older than a piglet, which combines both factors fatty meat, but still very tender.
Although typical or not, it is amazing the quality and dedication Ibiza restaurateurs deploy at preparing all kinds of food, Mediterranean or international, Japanese or fusion, Italian and Argentinean … Wherever you go will enjoy a friendly and professional service and great quality food.
There are chefs who seek new flavours and dishes in the culinary tradition of the island, a land not very graceful for wildlife, but very rich in marine biodiversity. Some restaurants prepare snails dishes to the way grandmothers did, a rural stew with snails gathered one by one at stone fences after a summer rain and purged for a week to empty their bowels. Then, in the pan or casserole lots of olive oil, onions, peppers, tomatoes, chilli, bacon, ham, salt, pepper and a couple of kilos of snails with white wine to make a sauce for dipping bread.
If snails are the smallest resource on land, the smallest in the sea is the sand fish known as raón (pearly razorfish). It is a colourful little fish that lives between 20 and 50 meters above the sand, where it spends its life. Their meat is delicious, soft, white and with pearly reflections. It is so appreciated that the authorities have finally decided to put a ban during the annual stage of reproduction. When the ban on fish rises towards the middle of August, hundreds of boats, large and small are devoted to its capture.
Tens or even hundreds of minnows are removed one by one from the depths to, once ashore make a “raonada”. With no more than flour, salt and plenty of oil, just a small blow fry and these delicate fish are ready to be savoured. Their taste is so good and their demand so high, that when the ban is lifted, they might reach 100 euros a kilo, more than any other fish on Ibiza’s fish market. In restaurants, one serving of raones is one of the most expensive dishes of the season.
Nor missing on the table is the coveted bluefin tuna, which is caught in large numbers south of the Balearic Islands, one of the breeding sites in the Mediterranean for this species. But now the tuna fishery is highly regulated and controlled by the fishing industry, who come to the region to purse seine hundreds of alive specimens and take them to fattening areas near the coast of the peninsula.
However, there is also sport fishing of these large tunas, even if it means licences, boats and appropriate skippers to practice this high voltage sport. Please contact us to arrange a day of exciting fishing and great food reward on the hook, which would be snatched away at very high prices on the Tokyo fish market.