A new slow food map for Formentera

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.

Comments (6)

  1. Ted says:

    The slow food movement has taken some big steps forward over the last year. With so many of us working from home we’ve had the time to devote to our food. Formentara will find that there’s now a more appreciative audience for slow food. I’ve been known to prepare dishes at lunchtime and slow cook them through the afternoon.

  2. Lorraine Berry says:

    I’ve been to both Mallorca and Minorca but until I read this I wasn’t even aware that Formentara existed. Quite a big oversight! It’s a place that those of us who love our good should definitely visit. I’m one of those who live to eat, I’ve never really understood those people who aren’t into food and only eat to live.

  3. Grace says:

    Nice timing. After yesterday’s announcement from Boris about being on track for coming out of lockdown I’m beginning to feel a little more confident about flying somewhere for a holiday. The summer might still be a bit dodgy but I guess that Formentara will be beautiful in September and October. Not too hot and not over-crowded.

  4. Nick Dougill says:

    I’m very interested in the possible Gastronomic event in October.

    It would be good to see a follow-up event if dates are confirmed for 2021.

    I’ve been to Tenner Fest on Jersey and that offers fantastic food at great value prices.

  5. Giles says:

    A map is a great idea, but like an all day or all week tapas trail. A slow journey through Formentara’s slow food would be so much fun. I’d worry that when I found something really tasty I’d never get going again.

  6. Brad says:

    Pre-Covid the Spanish gastronomy scene really was on the up with some creative young chefs around. From reading this it seems that some of that daring and invention has found its way across to Formentara too.

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