The island of Ibiza is not very big, about 570 square kilometres and about 150,000 inhabitants. But its history and the people who have passed through these lands have rewarded us with a very rich and specific, cultural legacy. Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Aragonese, Vandals and, of course, pirates have left their mark on Ibiza, infusing its traditions in a unique and extraordinary way.
Tradition, a part of the everyday Ibizan dish
For example, Ibiza's gastronomy has just as much personality as the events and the usual Ibizan nightlife. Ibiza is in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, in the past one could even say that the island was a meeting point, or a place of disagreement, between civilizations. On the other hand, the need for self-sufficiency and, above all, the need to preserve food has for centuries driven the development of processes and customs that today we enjoy in the form of exquisite typical Ibiza dishes.
The Santa Gertrudis Church Square.
Both in larger cities, such as Ibiza, San Antonio or Santa Eulalia, and in towns or rural areas such as Santa Gertrudis, Santa Agnés or San Carlos, gastronomy and good food are not only experienced in their restaurants and bars but also in the homes of their inhabitants. Eating good food is not a necessity; it is a pleasure!
Sweet and savoury in Ibiza's cuisine
Ibiza's cuisine can boast of both sweet and savoury flavours. The quality of its fish, in typical Ibiza dishes such as “bullit de peix”, is unquestionable, exactly the same as the “sobradas” and “butifarras” that the farmers prepare after the traditional slaughter when the cold weather begins on the island and it is time to prepare for winter.
And if we focus on the sweet flavour... “greixonera”, “salsa de Nadal”, “orelletes” and, of course, the “flaó”, is the most typical desserts of Ibiza's gastronomy that we find on the menus of the restaurants, cafeterias and in every oven of every home in Ibiza.
The island's sweetest desserts
We can currently find them, and enjoy them, all year round. But the origin of practically all of the dishes of Ibiza's gastronomy tells us exactly what time of year or day they used to be enjoyed, always surrounded by family and friends in celebrating a special moment in good company.
“Flaó” is the typical Ibizan version of cheesecake. It is made with fresh cheese, sheep's or goat's cheese, and its peculiar taste is given by the peppermint ingredient. The Ibizans prepare it for big events and family celebrations, but it was originally a special Easter Sunday dessert, and today you can find it every day on menus and counters in bars and restaurants!
Flaó is a fresh cheesecake with peppermint, typical of Ibiza's Easter celebrations.
Another of the most characteristic sweets of Ibizan gastronomy is the “greixonera”, a pudding that is loved by “ensaimada” enthusiasts, and the most sugar-addicted members of the family. We don't know who invented it or when, but we do know what the objective of its elaboration was: to take advantage of the remains of “ensaimadas” from the previous day. In a casserole made of clay, which in Ibizan is called "greixonera", they added egg, milk, cinnamon, sugar and grated lemon. The finishing touch after a delicious meal of rice and seafood.
The greixonera is a pudding that was made with the leftover ingredients of the ensaimada.
We could continue with the "orelletes", the Christmas cake, the "ensaimada"... But the best option if you want to know well Ibiza's gastronomy and especially the typical sweets of Ibiza, is to go to any bakery or coffee shop on the island and enjoy the recommendations of the locals on what to taste first. Take a moment and revel in the rich culinary history of the White Isle.