Peix sec: The artisans of the sea
|From Puerto de la Savina to Sant Francesc, these artisans treat the fish like no other, offering an ingredient to cook with the Mediterranean breeze.|
In the kitchen, there are a number of ingredients that will become the quintessence of the cuisine. Products telling of their origin and the landscape in which they were born. These ingredients speak with their own language and are food for the soul. This is the case of Peix Sec (dried fish), the jewel of the seas of Formentera.
The port of La Savina in Formentera is the starting point to discover one of the most important flavors of the cuisine of this island paradise. From here start the traditional boats (llaüts) in search of the best rays of the Mediterranean. The coveted peix sec is prepared with them. It is the main ingredient of the famous ensalada payesa salad typical of the Pitiüsas Islands, which is now appreciated all over the world as the most important element of haute cuisine.
Peix sec is consumed in Formentera since the many centuries. The process of preparing it is absolutely handmade and is nowadays maintained in the main artisan factory of Peix sec in Sant Francesc: fresh cartilaginous fish caught in the waters of the island, wrapped in brine and hanging outdoors, facing the sea, so that the sun and the sea breeze do all the work. Subsequently, it is roasted and crumbled and is ready for use in the kitchen.Until recently, the payeses (farmers) on Formentera bought it in slices, which they then plucked at home, but for some years now the peix sex comes in glasses with organically grown olive oil.
|The Formentera wines, the blood of La Mola|
The long wine tradition of the islands is reflected in the barrels of the winery in the La Mola are.
Terramoll is one of the two wine cellars of Formentera, which are part of the Vinos de la Tierra de Formentera protected designation of origin. Since 2000, its vineyards have been producing wines of great character, intense taste and unique aroma, which harmonize perfectly with every dish.
To understand the variety of flavors of Formentera it is essential to know the Terramoll wines. A selected product because of its short production and its independence, the wines of this small cellar tell about the island, its inhabitants and its customs as no one else.
Every sip of these wines is like a meeting with the little winery that brightens these sandy fields of the La Mola area with their green color, a gathering with all those who cultivate these fields and watch every bottle as if it were the last.
The wines are intense, full-bodied and with a flavor that permeates everything, a product of intensive care of the grapes. The Terramoll Winery is characterized by the fact that it protects and promotes the indigenous vines (Malvasía and Monastrell), and because it elaborates its wines in a sustainable way.
|The wines of Cap de Barbaria|
The sandy soils of the area around Cap de Barbaria give the wines of this cellar a unique touch.
The Cap de Barbaria lighthouse gives its name to one of the two wine cellars of Formentera. In this case, the winery specializes in the autochthonous Monastrell and Fogoneu grapes. The vineyard harvests a short but high-quality selection each year, with slightly fruity red wines full of color.
Since the wines of Cap de Barbaria are part of the Vinos de la Tierra de Formentera denomination of origin (approved in 2005), they are the product of a select variety of grape varieties under which the autochthonous varieties stand out, and are blended with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
The annual output is limited, as is the area of vineyards; the vines grow on stony soils and are particularly well resistant to high temperatures, which sometimes prevail in Formentera.
The grapes are harvested by hand, each variety separately, always at the moment of their full maturity. The grapes are stripped in the cellar of the Cap de Barbaria winery with the wonderful lighthouse in the background.
|The salt mines of Formentera: tradition that innovate|
The liquid salt is the new juice of the Ses Salines de Formentera Natural Park: richer and healthier than normal salt.
The philosophy for the production of the revolutionary liquid Ses Salines de Formentera salt is the innovation of ancient products and the production of new culinary experiences preserving the natural flavor of the Mediterranean. A unique product.
It is created in Formentera, in the Salines de Formentera factory in Plaça de la Sal, and you will see it in the most exclusive kitchens of the world as one of the key elements when it comes to dressing the most exotic dishes.
The liquid salt retains all the properties of the traditional Formentera sea salt and offers essential minerals and trace elements in large quantities. Iodine, calcium, magnesium and potassium of the Mediterranean, served in a revolutionary format: small drops of flavor. And very healthy: this salty liquid is low in sodium and chlorine and without artificial preservatives.
To elaborate it, the typical salt that is extracted in the salines of the island and, in the same Ses Salines Natural Park, it is mineralized little by little and is filtered and then kept in cold storage at 20º C below zero.
|Na Blanca d’en Mestre, the millenary fig tree of Formentera|
The island is famous for its figs, since up to 12 different varieties are cultivated here.
The fig tree is one of the symbols of Formentera and Na Blanca d'en Mestre is the oldest. Its multiform silhouette, its shadows that seem to come to life and its magnificent fruits, are a basic element in the island´s life and a flavor that never fails in their recipes.
Beyond the beaches and the sunsets, there is a paradise hidden to the eyes of the common traveler. Strolling through the fields of fig trees like Pla d'en Mestre, with La Mola in the background, enjoying the freshness of its shade and the aroma of its fruits, is one of the secret pleasures of Formentera.
Fig trees are one of the most characteristic trees of Formentera. They are part of its landscape but also of its gastronomic culture and its oldest tradition. Many stories about the island´s people have been forged around these fig trees, and their fruits are pure honey that is born from the earth, seasoned with the breeze of the sea.
Nowadays, the island has countless varieties of fig trees, of which more than a dozen are native; the most famous fig tree is Na Blanca d'en Mestre, which is located on Km 9 of the road that links Sant Ferrán with La Mola.
|A sip of frígola, the liquor of Formentera|
The classic of table talks in Formentera is a spirit full of flavor, related to the herbs of Ibiza.
Frígola is a liqueur made with thyme (farigola) that has always been present in the kitchens of the island. It can be savored as a digestive after meals or used as an ingredient to make homemade desserts.
Formentera offers a unique range of green and purple tones in its fields: it is the Sant Joan's frígola, a variety of thyme grass native to the Pitiüsas which is also the basic ingredient of its traditional liqueur. Sweet and aniseed and with excellent digestive properties, the frígola is a classic in all the payeses (farmers) homes.
In past times, the families prepared their own liqueur based on brandy, thyme leaves and flowers, distilled water and sugar, as well as touches of other typical Mediterranean herbs. This blend was soaked in still, and the spirit is still served with the dessert.
In 1880, in the Es Caló area, Joan Marí Mayans opened the first distillery in which this autochthonous liqueur was prepared in a professional manner. Nowadays, a street with its name is preserved but the headquarters of the Marí Mayans factory is located in Ibiza.