A TASTE OF IBIZA

By Nicola Corfield, Photography by Fernando Valencia September 2015 LIFESTYLE Read in PDF format N8/2015
A TASTE OF IBIZA Ibiza’s gastronomic heart and soul can be found in its local produce – much of which is still created in the same way it has been for generations. Its incredible variety, quality and flavour are the key to the island’s best-loved Mediterranean dishes. From deliciously fresh vegetables to sweet honey and piquant olive oil, we round up some of the island’s top artisanal producers.

ORANGES Some of the island’s most delicious oranges can be found tucked away in a small camino just off the Sant Joan road, opposite Es Caliu restaurant. A favourite with locals and expats, as well as buyers for nearby restaurants, this beautiful grove of 300 trees was planted around 25 years ago by Mariano Tur Torres. Now 80 years old, Tur Torres nurtured the trees from seeds, tending to them full-time once he retired from his work in the chef and hotel trade. The orchard is open all year round, selling Valencia Late oranges from May to November and Navel oranges and clementines from November to May. Sweet, juicy and seriously addictive, they’re not to be missed.

LA GRANJA Founded in 1973, La Granja is renowned for producing some of Ibiza’s finest-quality meat and dairy. This idyllic space in Santa Gertrudis – now owned by the Matutes family – is home to around 450 Wagyu, Black Angus and dairy cows and 55 pigs, producing 1.2 million litres of milk and 35,000-40,000 kilos of meat every year. La Granja’s dairy products are a favourite in supermarkets and shops all over the island, while its butter and cream are supplied to numerous ice-cream parlours. A special pressed version of its fresh cheese is also used by many pastry shops to create the local delicacy flaó. Its premium meat products include steaks, burgers and sobrasada and can be found in many of Ibiza’s top dining spots – including all of the Ushuaïa restaurants, Malibú Beach Club, Coco Beach, Beachouse and El Chiringuito. granjasantagertrudis.com

TOMATOES Rows of tomato trellises lining the side of the road are the only marker of the unassuming Can Ribes farm, on the route from Santa Gertrudis to Sant Llorenç. Low-key it may be, but this spot is well worth seeking out for its incredible tomatoes, which are supplied to Palladium Hotels’ restaurants, as well as to other wholesalers who supply numerous eateries on the island. This family-run farm was founded around 40 years ago by the father of the current owner, Pedro Torres Torres, and also grows delicious aubergines, peppers, basil, cucumbers and watermelons. But it’s the tomatoes that are the real star of the show, with around 15,000 plants producing four different types of tomato – cherry, Canario, plum and salad. For a true taste of the campo, we highly recommend dropping by and picking your own.

OLIVE OIL A much-loved Mediterranean staple, olive oil is a must-try in Ibiza – and one of the very best is by the acclaimed producer Can Miquel Guasch. Every year this family-run oil mill produces between 3,000-4,000 litres of ecological cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, in four different varieties that range from subtle to slightly spicy in flavour. All can be sampled at its atmospheric Ses Escoles restaurant and oleoteca on the Sant Joan road, situated just in front of the olive grove, which specialises in traditional Ibicencan dishes created using this delicious oil. Can Miquel Guasch can also be found in small traditional grocery stores in Ibiza and is supplied to numerous restaurants, including Destino, Hotel ME, Club Nautico and Restaurante Port Balansat. canmiquelguasch.com

FISH Every morning before the sun rises, Antonio Tur Serra takes his fishing boat and sails around Ibiza’s coastline in search of some of the finest seafood in the Mediterranean. Tur Serra is one of many professional local fishermen working in Ibiza, all of whom bring in their catch to one of the two cofradias (fishing fraternities) on the island, which weigh and check their haul before it is sold on to buyers from Ibiza’s supermarket chains. Ibiza Town’s cofradia monitors 35 small boats such as Tur Serra’s and four big boats – in one year, a small boat brings in around 3,000-4,000 kilos of fish, while a big boat brings in around 20,000-40,000 kilos. From cuttlefish to lobster, denton and calamari to name just a few, these tasty local fish are among the island’s finest culinary treats.

HONEY In the tranquil setting of Sant Mateu in the north of Ibiza, José Ramon and Maruja Bufi have dedicated a beautiful rustic space to their passion for beekeeping. Ramon has been an apiarist for 30 years, while Bufi has been involved for around 15 years, and together the couple now produce 100% natural and ecological honey using traditional methods. The duo’s bees feed off wild cactus flowers, orange trees, carob trees, frigola and rosemary, creating a fragrant honey that the pair harvest twice a year and supply to friends and locals. There are a number of beekeepers in Ibiza – more than 5,000 kilos of honey are produced here every year – and many delicious varieties can be found in stores and markets all over the island.

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