The islands of Ibiza and Formentera are called "Pitiusas", from latin pitus-i that means pine, because of their vast and luxuriant pine forests. These islands are very different from Majorca and Minorca, as tourists began to flock to them lured by the picturesque lifestyle that they offered and the excellent cuisine, based on seafood and countryside.
Fish and seafood are the most traditional foods in Ibiza. A very typical fish entree is ray with almonds, "bullit de ratjada". Another popular recipe is the bullit with fish, a rice with fish that is eaten backwards: first the boiled fish and then the rice. Try the anglerfish casserole, the bonito casserole with fennel and capers and the bull d'anfos, made with grouper's entrails and vegetables. As for the seafood, try the lobster, "Caldereta lobster", or by itself or with squid. The "guisat de marisc" is another one of the delicious seafood dishes that we can find in the island.
As in the rest of the Balearic Islands, in Formentera emphasize lamb and pig meat. From pig principally every year in autumm, they make a pig slaughter (matanza del cerdo), a family tradition, where these days they eat a special rice, "arroz de matanzas", and they also made sausages, like "sobrasada" or "butifarra". You will also find the delicious "coques", which are square pasties filled with meat, fish or chopped vegetables.
The "salsa mosona" is a very typical sauce in the islands, made by grinding almond, hazelnut and pine nut with hen liver and cinnamon. It is served with meat (like "Sofrit Pages", typical stew with differents meats and potatoes) or fish stews, but it is really good with bread as an appetiser or as hors d'oeuvres. We also emphatize the "Salsa de Nadal", special at Christmas, chopped almond, different meats and their stocks, cinnamon...a recipe which varies and goes by generation after generation. Figs, "figues", are very popular, normal or dry. The goat cheese produced in Formentera is also of great quality, delicious with grapes and bread, especially if it is home-made bread. And the excellente dry-fisch or "peix sec", dried under the sun, then flaked, it's used in salads. They are some of the secrets of the local gastronomy.
It's known that Pitiusas were producers and exporters of wine during pre-Roman times, which leads us to think that its wines were very good. At present, these wines have the designation of Vinos de la Tierra, (Wines from the Land). Like "matanzas" families are producers of its own wine, "vi pages", own consumption.
Ensaimadas and other delights
A meal is never complete if it is not finished off with one of the splendid local desserts. There are many to choose from: the very traditional "ensaimadas" (spiral shaped pastries ) which are famous world-wide; "Flao" or flahon, a special cheese cake with mint, and "Greixonera", a special cake-pudding made from the rests of ensemaidas or bread, milk, sugar and cinnamon.
Keep in mind "FRIGOLA", a sweet liquor from this island, made of a special thyme, "farigola". To come with desserts or even like an aperitif.