Ibiza has a long and fascinating history. Due to its strategic position it has attracted visitors, traders and invaders for more than 3000 years. The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans and Moors have all influenced the Island’s local culinary traditions and recipes; and the climate, local seas and soil influence the unique flavours to be found in locally grown, reared and caught produce.
Spotlight on Fish and fresh seafood:
One of the jewels of the Ibizan sea is its fresh rock fish and deep-water fish. Fish is prepared in many different ways – many look to incorporate Paella into their culinary experiences whilst in Ibiza, and we agree – it is always enjoyable to sit back and eat this traditional dish with a chilled glass of wine or a few. However, our favourite way to enjoy local fish is also very traditional - when whole fish are gutted and cooked in a salt crust. If you fancy trying this at home - this method is stunning to serve, very easy to prepare and cook yourself and the fish retains all flavour and moisture.
Then, no visit to Ibiza is complete without trying Bullit de Peix – one of the most typical Ibizan dishes and is on the menu in many restaurants. This is a two-part dish: first fresh fish from the Ibizan coast such as rotja, grouper or John Dory is cooked in a fish broth and served with a sofrito sauce of fried onion, tomato, peppers garlic and parsley with a good splash of olive oil and diced Ibizan potatoes. When the potatoes are almost done pieces of fish are added. This dish is served on a tray with the fish served without its broth. It is then dressed with a blend of allioli and fish broth.
This same fish broth is then used to prepare part two of the ensemble “arròs a banda” (rice in fish broth). A two-part ensemble with a delicious finale.
For Calamari fans try the very traditional Sobrasada Stuffed Squid. Buy clean, and ideally small calamari – pan fry some onions and garlic along with anchovies and local sobrasada sausage, breadcrumbs, some chopped roasted tomatoes and chilli flakes (unless your sobrasada is the spicy kind and you have enough spice in your filling). Season with salt and pepper and stuff tight into the calamari using a toothpick to secure. Brush the calamari with oil and grill or griddle making sure the squid is golden and the stuffing cooked through. Serve with a roasted tomato sauce. For the full recipe turn to the Ibiza Cookbook – Eivissa – by Anne Simonsbergen (available to buy with ID).
For a simple supper buy local Ibiza prawns – expensive but incredibly flavoursome, marinade them simply in some lemon and garlic and BBQ or griddle them whole - served with aioli and bread.
The most popular local varieties of fish include: Rotja (scorpion fish), mero (grouper), gallo San Pedro (John Dory), sirvia and rape (monkfish). Other smaller yet equally tasty varieties include sarc (banded bream), raors (razorfish), salmonete (red mullet), besuguete (sea bream), arañas (spotted weaver), serranito (painted comber) and gerret.
To identify the origin and authenticity of local products the fish caught around the island of Ibiza were brought together under one brand known as Peix Nostrum. This hallmark guarantees product, proper catch, sustainability and proper procedures for sale. Look for fish on our website with the Local Produce label.