When you think about a holiday in Ibiza, the first thing that springs to mind is not usually the quality of gastronomy and cuisine. However, this typical Mediterranean fayre is slowly becoming a force to be reckoned with on an international stage, epitomised by local restauranteurs and equally in the luxurious settings of 5 star hotels such as Aguas de Ibiza hotel in Santa Eulalia and other, top notch high end restaurants .
Traditional and modern Ibizan food is rich in both cultural heritage and local, fresh, simple ingredients. The quality of raw produce derived from land and sea under a Mediterranean climate go a long way towards producing food sought after by even the most refined of pallets and global fine dining critics.
Some of the key ingredients include shellfish, fish, game, poultry, eggs and vegetables. Favourite fish on the local menus include Bacalao (Cod), Merluza (Hake), Emperador (Swordfish), Raya (Skate), Lenguado (Sole), Rodaballo (Turbot) – and also delicious white meat fish not usually found on menus in the UK, such as the ever so delicately tasting Dorada, which when baked tastes similar to lobster. Ibiza also produces an excellent selection of sausages “sobrasada” and “botifarró”, alongside sheep and goats cheeses, a plethora of locally sourced herbs and spices, honey, local bread, olive oil, wine and spirits. Pure heaven for foodies!
Below are a few examples of mouth watering Ibizan classics which feature in menu’s all across the White Isle.
An Ibicenco dish of lightly spiced lamb and chicken with local sausages ‘Sobresada’ and ‘Butifarra’, whole, sweet garlics, sun dried tomatoes, peppers and potatoes, all cooked in their own rich juices and sautéed with cinnamon, olive oil, parsley, saffron and cloves. This festive dish was traditionally enjoyed by farmers during holidays and special occasions and lives on in the heart of Ibizan culture.
A unique, impressive dessert made from goats cheese, mint and herbs. A classic Balearic twist on the cheesecake.
Arroz de Matanzas
An irresistible speciality enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. This dish traditionally used to be a way of preparing the days kill in times gone by and thanking and sharing with those who made the kill. Arroz de matanzas is usually made from meat – typically chicken, pork or home made sausage, tomatoes, onions mushrooms, garlic, saffron and parsley. Rice is then added to scrumptiously absorb all of the flavoursome juices of this iconic dish.
Greixeonera is named after the type of dish it is traditionally cooked in and can be likened to the infamous British bread and butter pudding. A type of bun (Balearic croissant) soaked in milk, egg, sugar lemon zest and cinnamon. Simplicity at it’s best but not to be missed, preferably whilst watching a sunset with your feet up listening to classical Ibizan tunes.
Here are some useful references for eating out in Ibiza: