The island

The “bullit the peix”

Following the thread of one of our previous posts, today we’re diving back into Ibiza’s gastronomy, and there’s no better way to start than by talking about the island’s most iconic dish.

Undoubtedly, if Ibiza has a star dish, one that both locals and tourists visiting the island are familiar with, it’s the “bullit de peix”. A dish that speaks volumes about the roots of the people who inhabited Ibiza before it became a globally renowned tourist destination.

For a long time, Ibiza was home to fishermen. Being an island, the sea was the primary source of sustenance for its inhabitants, and thus, many of the recipes we now consider traditional were simply ingenious methods developed to turn the ordinary into a moment of enjoyment.

According to some historians, the origins of “bullit de peix” trace back to the fishing boats themselves. The fishermen, using the fresh catch they had and some basic provisions they were able to preserve well (potatoes, garlic, paprika…), gradually developed through trial and error the magnificent recipe we now know as “bullit de peix”. In the island’s language (Catalan), it simply means “cooked fish”.

Today, “bullit de peix” has become an attraction in itself, a ritual that every visitor to the island should experience before leaving Ibiza. The opportunity to relish a “bullit de peix”, accompanied by its aioli, a good wine, and the paella made with the broth in which the fish was cooked, is priceless. All of this while enjoying the magnificent views offered by the beaches surrounding the numerous restaurants that serve this delicacy in Ibiza.

We strongly recommend all visitors to the island to make room in their schedules to savor this wonder of Ibiza’s gastronomy during their holidays. It’s a sign of the island’s roots and an identity marker that still today retains traces of Ibiza’s fishing origins.

Ibiza, The Connection Between “Payeses” and Hippies

Ibiza served as the meeting point between modernity and tradition in the 1960s. During that time, many Americans chose to migrate to escape the call of the Vietnam War, which did not align with the ideals of these young people of that era. The Americans who belonged to the counterculture of the time called themselves hippies. They fell in love with the island, its customs, and the freedom that permeated Ibiza. Thus, a strong connection was formed between the “payeses” of Ibiza and the American hippies, a connection that would forever mark the island’s culture.

The “payeses,” dedicated to agriculture and craftsmanship, have been the keepers of the island’s tradition and culture for generations. Their way of life revolves around agriculture and the production of local foods such as “sobrasada,” “camaiot,” and “pan Pagés.”

Ibiza’s gastronomy is enriched by the presence of the “payeses” and their production of local foods. One of the most notable culinary treasures of the island is “sobrasada ibicenca.” This is a variation of “sobrasada,” a typical sausage from the Balearic Islands. “Sobrasada ibicenca” is a delicacy made from pork meat, paprika, salt, and spices, slowly cured to develop its distinctive flavor. It is a smooth and spiced delight enjoyed in sandwiches, rice dishes, and tapas.

In the 1960s, Ibiza became a haven for the hippie community seeking an alternative lifestyle. The hippies were drawn to the island’s natural beauty, relaxed atmosphere, and the hospitality of the local population. Many of them settled in rural communes and mingled with the “payeses,” leading to an intriguing cultural fusion.

The hippies influenced the island with their appreciation for natural and organic food. “Sobrasada” and other local products became popular ingredients in their kitchens. The combination of the island’s culinary heritage with the ideals of the hippies gave rise to a unique fusion of flavors and lifestyles that is still evident on the island today.

The Salinas of Ibiza, From Nature to Luxury

Today, we would like to talk about a very special place on the island of Ibiza: the Salinas de Ibiza, an extensive system of salt flats located in the southwest of the island. This ecosystem is a refuge for diverse wildlife, and its ecological importance is immeasurable.

The salt ponds are interconnected by channels, creating a perfect environment for waterfowl and fish. It is a crucial resting place for migratory birds, home to flamingos and storks, forming a protected natural reserve.

One of the most notable aspects of the ecosystem of the Salinas de Ibiza is the pink salt, a natural phenomenon that occurs due to the presence of microorganisms thriving in the high salt content of the water. The sight of the pink ponds is truly impressive and a worthy photographic spectacle.

The Salinas de Ibiza is the birthplace of one of the gastronomic gems of the island: Sal de Ibiza. This high-quality salt is harvested manually and processed in the salt flats’ facilities. Its flavor is unique, and its texture, crystal-clear and delicate, makes it a perfect flavor enhancer.

But the relationship of Ibiza’s cuisine with the salt flats is not limited to salt alone. The island’s restaurants have incorporated the influence of this ecosystem into their menus. Fresh fish and seafood caught in the vicinity of the salt flats form the basis of many culinary delights, such as the famous “bullit de peix” (a fish stew) and “arroz a banda” (rice with fish and fish broth).

Furthermore, Salicornia, a plant that grows on the margins of the salt ponds, has gained popularity in local cuisine. This crispy and salty vegetable has become an essential and very special ingredient in salads and fish dishes, adding a characteristic touch to many high-end dishes.

Continuing our journey towards the sea, we can find the famous Salinas Beach, a wide white sand beach with countless beach clubs where you can enjoy the island’s cuisine from the comfort of a hammock under the shade of your umbrella.

The Salinas de Ibiza are a must-visit if you want to enjoy one of the most beautiful natural pleasures of the island.

The gastronomy of Ibiza

With our blog, we aim to reveal the hidden details to those who are already familiar with Ibiza, as well as introduce those who have never visited to the delights of this magnificent island, which is our home, and one that we strive to continue discovering every day.

In today’s post, we intend to showcase the gastronomic richness of Ibiza. Despite being a small island and currently influenced by international tourism, it still boasts a rich repertoire of dishes, a result of its history and the influence of the various cultures that have inhabited it.

Ibiza is now a place where you can enjoy a good paella, the best sushi, a pizza capable of competing with the finest, or even savor the best meats, carefully selected and imported from renowned corners of the world. However, this was not always the case; its gastronomy did not always revolve around tourism, excellence, and exclusivity. For many years, it was the home of humble farmers, fishermen, and growers who had to develop their own cuisine with the ingredients available to them… Giving rise to dishes such as the well-known ‘bullit de peix,’ ‘frita de polp,’ or ‘flaó,’ as well as lesser-known ones like ‘greixonera,’ ‘calamares a la bruta,’ or ‘sofrit payes.’

As representatives of the highest-level gastronomy and private service, we feel a moral obligation to unite both aspects, striving to bring to our customers’ tables a cuisine born from a combination of the best products (whenever possible, locally sourced) with the most coherent blend of local and foreign gastronomy. We are fully aware that very few of our clients live on the island, and we understand that we all like to get to know the most characteristic features of the places we visit, while maintaining a minimum level of comfort in what we already know. Therefore, we always aim to present the essence of local cuisine applied to the best products we can find on the island with our dishes.

Stay tuned to this blog, where we will be posting detailed articles about different preparations on the island, their recipes, history, and more detailed curiosities, as well as where to find them in their most authentic version when you visit next year.

Exploring Dalt Vila – History of Ibiza

At Bersion, we are pleased to share our enthusiasm for the wonders of Ibiza. In this blog entry, we invite you on a journey through Dalt Vila, the historic heart of the island, to discover its fascinating history and the culinary delights it offers.

Dalt Vila: Historic and Architectural Gem

Ibiza is much more than sandy beaches and vibrant nightclubs; it is a treasure trove of history and culture. Dalt Vila, which translates to “high town,” is Ibiza’s old town and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its cobbled streets, centuries-old walls, and medieval architecture will transport you to another era. Visitors can stroll through its narrow alleys and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Mediterranean.

Exploring the areas of Dalt Vila

Wandering through the narrow streets of Dalt Vila means traversing more than ten centuries of history. Here are some of the key points of the historic heart of Ibiza:

  1. Portal de Ses Taules: The Portal de Ses Taules is the stunning entrance to Dalt Vila. This historic area immerses you in Ibiza’s rich history, and you’ll feel a touch of luxury amidst its centuries-old walls and medieval architecture.
  2. La Marina: In La Marina, you’ll find a wide range of restaurants serving delicious Mediterranean dishes. From authentic Ibiza flavors to high-end culinary options, this area is perfect for a great gastronomic experience.
  3. Sa Penya: Sa Penya is known for its bohemian and relaxed atmosphere. Explore its narrow winding streets, discover unique local shops, and immerse yourself in the laid-back vibe that characterizes Ibiza.
  4. La Catedral de Ibiza: The Cathedral of Ibiza, perched atop Dalt Vila, is an architectural wonder offering panoramic views of the city and the sea. It will leave you speechless.
  5. Plaza de Vila: The Plaza de Vila is the heart of Dalt Vila and the perfect place to unwind. Its open-air restaurants and cafés allow you to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere while sipping coffee or dining.

These areas of Dalt Vila offer you a complete experience that combines history, culture, gastronomy, and the luxury you seek during your vacation in Ibiza.

Puig Des Molins, The Phoenician Necropolis in Ibiza

The Necropolis of Ibiza is one of the best-kept historical treasures on the island. Located in a peaceful corner of Ibiza, this ancient cemetery has a rich history dating back to Phoenician times. Its tombs, caves, and mausoleums, carved into the island’s stone, offer a breathtaking view of the oldest Ibicencan culture.

Adjacent to the necropolis is the Archaeological Museum of Puig des Molins, where some of the most valuable Phoenician and Punic remains are preserved. You can find the pantheon of the gods Tanit, Baal Hamon, and Eshumn, all linked to love and fertility.

The Goddess Tanit and the Ancient Private Chef

The bust of the goddess Tanit is the most significant: she was the Carthaginian mother goddess to whom sacrifices were offered in antiquity to ward off adversity. Today, she is one of the symbols of the island of Ibiza, a source of inspiration for artists and craftsmen of the Pityusic Islands.

Tanit was not only a religious figure; her influence transcended the temples. She was attributed to the protection of Phoenician kings, and her connection to royalty was undeniable. Phoenician monarchies relied on their devotion to Tanit to ensure the well-being of their territories and their prosperity.

In the context of ancient Ibiza, the best cooks of the time played a crucial role in the lives of Phoenician royalty. These “private chefs” were responsible for creating banquets fit for a king, using fresh and exquisite ingredients to delight the palates of the Phoenician elite. Their culinary talent was essential to impress the rulers and, at the same time, honor Tanit, the goddess of abundance.

Today, when we enjoy a private chef service in a luxury villa in Ibiza, we are continuing a culinary tradition with ancestral roots. This connection between the divine, royalty, and cuisine reminds us of the profound history behind each delicious culinary creation.

Exploring Forada Market

From Bersion, we want to introduce you to Ibiza from the perspective of those who know this dreamy island as locals, spanning from Portinatx to Es Cubells. This entry is dedicated to the Forada market, perhaps one of the lesser-known markets in Ibiza, but one that preserves all the charm of the hippie magic of the ’70s and ’80s.

It’s true that Ibiza is currently well-known for its nightclubs, nightlife, luxury villas, and increasingly exclusive tourism, much like many other destinations around the world. However, it’s also true that the reason it has gained all this fame is that it has always been, as it is now, a paradise of calm, relaxation, and tranquility—a place of magnificent beaches, beautiful sunsets, and many wild places that have allowed magical spots like today’s Forada market to develop. This market maintains the essence of what Ibiza was in its early days, before becoming a globally recognized tourist destination.

Taking a stroll through the Forada market, which is held every Saturday throughout the year from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. near San Antonio (although it’s most crowded during the summer season), you can find all sorts of handmade products created by the island’s residents, which can become wonderful and exclusive souvenirs. Additionally, you’ll discover Ibiza’s gastronomic products, also crafted by local artisans exclusively for their market stalls. This means you can find some exclusive “gems” that Ibiza has to offer, if you know where to look. As you do so, you can imagine yourself in a hippie barter market from the ’80s, searching for the best product to trade for your own handcrafted goods, just as the locals of the White Isle describe. As they say, “the magic of Ibiza can happen in the most unexpected places.”

When you visit Ibiza, don’t forget to reserve a Saturday morning to leisurely explore the Forada market and let yourself be infected by the spirit of exchange, tranquility, and craftsmanship that still resides in some corners of the “Isla bonita”.