23 Feb Lobster and red shrimp, the most exquisite seafood in Ibiza
Despite its small territory, the island of Ibiza offers an extraordinary variety of gastronomic products (meat, fish, vegetables, mushrooms, game …). However, it is in the sea where the most valuable treasures are found and, in this environment, two varieties of seafood reign: lobster and red shrimp.
In Es Torrent we always have zero kilometre lobsters, which we keep in our nurseries. It is such a tasty variety that it can be prepared in many ways: in stew, flambéed, grilled, sautéed with garlic and chilli. Lately, however, our customers ask us with fried eggs, which are prepared in the same oil in the frying pan, and potatoes.
Both the food and the habitat that the red lobster enjoys on the island give it unique characteristics and flavor. Therefore, it is always labeled with the brand Sabors d’Eivissa. This seal of guarantee differentiates it from those caught in other Mediterranean areas and the world. It usually has a good size (up to 60 centimeters) and has a robust and bristly carapace, with strong spines.
They live in areas of algae, where they feed on organic remains, although they also capture worms, mollusks and small crustaceans. It is in summer when they approach the coast to reproduce. Its roe is the color of coral. About twenty boats in Ibiza are dedicated exclusively to catching lobster when the ban opens.
For its part, the red shrimp of Ibiza (Aristeus antennatus) stands out for the power of its flavor. Therefore, it is worth enjoying it in all its splendor, without too many condiments, although it is also used in rice and fideuás. It stands out for the intense red color of its shell and for the size of the head, which is larger than other varieties. It usually reaches up to 22 centimeters in length.
Its greatest virtue, however, lies in the extraordinary intensity of its flavor, much more concentrated in the part of the head. This quality is a consequence of its habitat, since it lives on sandy bottoms, about 600 meters deep, safe from predators. It feeds on algae that do not perform the photosynthetic process, which contributes significantly to this characteristic flavor and its higher concentration of fat, which provides a juicy texture unique in the world.
There is some controversy when it comes to establishing a difference between the red shrimp of Ibiza and the red shrimp of Denia, in the Spanish Levante. It’s just a matter of nomenclature, since the product is exactly the same. Regardless of the fish market where it lands, the crustacean is caught in the so-called “Canal de Ibiza”, between the coast of Denia and the west of the greater pitiusa.