14 Mar Popular Fiestas In Ibiza: An Approach To The Genuine
The island of Ibiza is internationally known for its party atmosphere, its nightclubs and its leisure offer 24 hours a day. Although they come and go, the Ibicencos, however, enjoy their own fiestas linked to popular tradition. These are special days in which the patron saint of the town or village is celebrated, and where they dance, laugh and, above all, eat.
The popular festivities of the rural Pitiusas are closely linked to the Catholic tradition, as they are based on the festivity of the village’s patron saint. The usual thing is to start the day in the church, to take the images of procession with the ringing of the bells and then to enjoy an exhibition of ‘ball pagès’, the island’s traditional folkloric dance, in the village plaza, which surprises many foreigners due to its primitive roots, energy, and the costumes and jewelry of the women: the so-called ‘emprendada’, which is usually made of gold or of silver and coral.
Once the dance is over, it’s time to enjoy the typical sweets that every festivity has. They change in every village, but there’s always ‘buñuelos’ (sugared fritters) of potato or pumpkin, ‘orelletes’ (sweet cakes) and, of course, ‘flaó’, which is the most hearty and genuine dessert of the island, made with cottage cheese, eggs and mint. These sweets and desserts are accompanied with ‘vino payés’ (homemade Ibizan red wine) or homemade sweet wine.
In the old days people went out to the village practically all day long and enjoyed the fair, where sweets and trinkets were raffled. Today, artisans and craftsmen usually gather in the village and set up their stalls in the morning and in the afternoon, because in between everybody goes to the family home or a restaurant to enjoy the typical cuisine. The usual dishes are ‘sofrit pagès’ (a typical stew of with different kinds of meats with vegetables, potatoes and sausages), paella and ‘bullit de peix’ or ‘guisat de peix’. Then at night, it’s the time for the young and the music, with live concerts, usually of rock, blues or jazz of local and national bands.
It is easy to see how the popular festivities inspire much of Es Torrent’s menu. Many of our dishes are recipes that convey the joy of living and the intensity of the foods and products from Ibiza. For those who are reading these lines while celebrating their village festivity, ‘molts anys i bons!’