The damp earth and country air, the fresh breeze in the early morning and the final hours of late afternoon, the smell of the chimney smoke that pervades the remote country villages, the almond trees that change their hue as, little by little they turn from white to pink, where gradually the days change from the shortest of the year, and slowly the afternoons lengthen. These are the unmistakeable signs that winter has arrived in Ibiza. It is a magical time for discovering the real island, a place of customs and tradition, popular fiestas, a gentler pace of life, nature and sport. This is an Ibiza that we invite you to discover in this blog post, through its cuisine and its produce that you are sure to love.
One of the most firmly entrenched traditions of the island is the annual pig slaughter: a celebration that is today held mainly among family or friends. It is not a public fiesta, and has become a yearly ritual, repeated annually in many homes in Ibiza. Although it might be difficult to witness this event, as these fiestas are mostly held in private, the results of the slaughter – or the matanza as it is known, can nevertheless be found in the dishes prepared in many restaurants that serve traditional local food and that are open all year round: the frita de matanzas (a mix of lean meat and offal fried with peppers, garlic, onion and Ibizan red potatoes) fried cuts of lean pork, or arroz de matanzas, rice with lean pork, chicken, mushrooms and spices. This last rice dish has as many versions as there are cooks, all of them fantastic!
But if there is one product that stands out from all the rest during the period of the Matanzas, it is surely sobrasada. To make an authentic Ibizan sobrasada sausage, only the choicest parts of the animal are used, loin, ham and shoulder. After deboning, the meat is minced or finely chopped and left to macerate with an exact proportion of fat, salt, freshly ground black pepper, paprika and natural preservative based on rosemary extract. It is then left to cure in the pig’s intestine.
You will fine Ibizan sobrasada in dozens of restaurants, cafeterias, bars and shops that sell typical products. You can find out where to taste it on the website of Sabors d’Eivissa (saborsdeivissa.es). There you will also find information on which restaurants remain open all year round, which products to taste when they are in season and which dishes you really should try on your winter trip to Ibiza.
The website also has a section listing the events where you can discover our traditions and our cuisine and which will enable you to experience life as it is lived by the locals, enjoying all kinds of secrets that you will never find in a guidebook and that make winter in Ibiza a truly magical time.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to book your holiday in Ibiza.