To help post-COVID visitors savour the best of Formentera, the island’s tourism board has launched mapa-slow-food-2020, highlighting its traditional cuisine, local products and distinct flavours. The smallest of the Balearic Islands, Formentera, has long been recognised for its slow and laid-back way of life. Thanks to a great variety of fresh seafood, organic produce and sustainable agriculture being deeply rooted in the island’s traditions, Formentera has also obtained the ‘Arca del gusto’ (translated as ‘Ark of Taste’) status, granted by the International Slow Food Organisation.
The map locates a number of locally owned businesses across the island where visitors (and locals) will be able to buy organic produce, taste local flavours and learn more about slow food in Formentera. From fruit and vegetable markets to vineyards and producers of olive oil made of locally grown olives, the map highlights the great gastronomic heritage of the island and its reliance on local products which is a result of the relatively isolated location of the Pityusic islands.
What to try in Formentera
Cooked, grilled, stewed or fried; accompanied with rice or on its own, fish is one of the staple products on the island. Dried salted fish, known as Peix Sec, has in particular become a characteristic of Formentera’s cuisine. In a traditional way, handed down from the Phoenicians, the fish is first soaked in ‘sal morra’, a solution of water and salt, and then naturally dried in the sun and wind while hanging from juniper trees. Once dried, it is kept in glass jars and served on lettuce, with bell pepper, onion, and crispy bread, making it a simple, yet full of flavour dish.
Besides savoury dishes, such as a farmer’s salad (which features the Peix Sec), fried octopus (‘Frit de polp’) and a fish stew with potatoes (‘Bullit de Peix’), Formentera offers also a full range of local snacks and dessert. From ‘Flaó’ (cheesecake with a hint of mint) to ‘Les Orelletes’ (a sweet pastry made of aniseed) and ‘Greixonera’ (a bread pudding), there’s plenty of options to explore for visitors with a sweet tooth and savoury food lovers alike.
When to visit Formentera
Although Formentera is known its slow vibe and relaxed way of life all year round, foodie lovers should consider visiting the island outside of the summer season. Every year during the first two weeks of May and October, with this year’s events still yet to be confirmed, Formentera holds its Gastronomic Weekends when the island’s best restaurants offer special menus at a set price. In addition to affordable prices, the event provides visitors to Formentera with a unique opportunity to taste traditional dishes with a modern twist.
Local restaurants, food markets and eateries across Formentera are adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols set out by the local government, ensuring that visitors remain out of harm’s way and able to enjoy the incredible culinary scene Formentera has to offer in 2021.