Tag Archives: Food

La Vida Ibicenca

I recently returned from sunny Ibiza and everyone I have told about my trip is shocked to learn that I did not go to a single club. (WHAT?) I know, it seems absurd to visit the party island and not party.  There were two factors that led to my early bedtimes:  first, I was there with my parents and had no one to be my partner in crime, and second, I was sick as a dog.  The day I flew to Europe I came down with terrible flu symptoms to the point where I was afraid I would not be allowed on the plane (and this was before Ebola struck the US).  Not willing to lose my beach holiday to aches and fever, I raided my medicine cabinet and woke up in Spain.  A few hours of bloody noses later, I was on the beach and enjoying three-hour lunches every day.  I had no gourmet ambitions for my trip (six months in Madrid had tempered my expectations), and even though canned white asparagus is still considered a delicacy, I was delightfully surprised by the quality of the food.  Our main meal was lunch, which we ate at a different chiriniguita (beach cafe) every day, and we always had several bottles of rose and our server would bring us hierbas Ibicencas (“Ibicencan herbs”) as a digestive.  As I learned, hierbas Ibicencas is the local aguardiente made from whatever herbs are growing on the island (mainly anise) that are fermented with sugar.  One bar we went to served homemade hierbas Ibicencas (see photo below).  As for the actual food, fish, of course, was a staple.  I live in a land-locked state so when I’m on an island I go a little overboard with the seafood.  Hands down the best dish I ate was an octopus scramble with potatoes and blood sausage.  It was not a visually appealing dish, but I’m posting it anyways because, my god, it was outstanding.  A salt-baked fish (very ubiquitous) is also posted below:

Home-Made Hierbas Ibicencas

Home-Made Hierbas Ibicencas

View from a chriniguita on Playa Es Caballet

View from a chriniguita on Playa Es Caballet

Grilled calamari at one of the chiringuitas on Playa Es Caballet

Grilled calamari at one of the chiringuitas on Playa Es Caballet

Hierbas Ibicencas served at the chiringuita on Playa Es Caballet

Hierbas Ibicencas served at the chiringuita on Playa Es Caballet

Salt-baked fish

Salt-baked fish

Pulpo! Drool... my octopus scramble that I still dream about

Pulpo! Drool… my octopus scramble that I still dream about

In sum, it is possible to have a wonderful time in Ibiza without raving at the clubs until sunrise.  Stop and taste the octopus.  Salud 🙂

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