16 Aug Watermelon, an icon of summer agriculture in Ibiza
It is surprising that in a territory as limited as Ibiza we can enjoy a pantry as complete, varied and seasonal as the one we have on the island, which at every moment of the year provides us with a wide selection of products that we can enjoy on the best optimal ripening. Due to the subsistence economy that was practiced on the island before the arrival of tourism, Ibizans have always worked as farmers, fishermen, ranchers and gatherers. In the houses they have always produced everything they need to support their families and that has fostered a huge cookbook, which combines vegetables, greens, legumes, meats, sausages, fish, shellfish, mushrooms, fruits and a long etcetera, all homemade and fresh.
Among these products, we can mention three from the summer garden that stand out for their extraordinary quality and intensity of flavor, and that usually leave those who taste them for the first time with their mouths open: the juicy and fleshy Ibizan tomatoes that in Es Torrent we use in our salads, and melon and watermelon, fruits that we serve to refresh after a copious lunch whenever customers ask for it.
The Ibizan watermelon, which we are dealing with today, stands out for its striped skin, which alternates light green, sometimes almost white, with a darker one. It stands out for four essential reasons: first of all its size, since it is common to find them between 15 and 20 kilos. Secondly, the intense red color, with an unusual vividness compared to the other varieties, usually paler. Then for its crunchy texture and, finally, for its sweet and concentrated flavor.
Good fans of this fruit recognize the best ones for their weight and the sound to the touch, although the reality is that almost all of them come out exquisite if they are bought at the right time of ripening. There is no greater feeling of having hit the mark with the quality of a watermelon than starting to open it with a knife and it crunches and begins to crack on its own.
To achieve this quality, good farmers plant them in very sunny places and, although they water them, they do it just enough to make the fruit thirsty, especially in recent weeks, since in this way the fruit concentrates a greater amount of sugars. It is a very common plant in homes and there are extensive crops throughout the island, which allow it to be purchased easily in all commercial areas of the island, throughout most of the summer.
As we said at the beginning, in Es Torrent we recommend it to anyone who asks us for a bit of fruit for dessert or after hours, to hydrate after bathing in the sea. We like to offer it always very fresh and ripe in its proper measure.