Landing in Ibiza, I was surprised by the amount of tapas bars we found as we travelled around. Previously on our travels throughout Spain, we had driven from the french border, all down the east coast as far as Almeria but had only come across a few. Whether or not that was just bad luck – or where we stayed they just weren’t that popular. I don’t know. I left the country feeling a little disappointed by the luck of not having the joy to satiate my desire, to keep eating this rather fanciable appetizer.
Tapas – for those of you whom have never eaten it, is a mixture of dishes – served up snack size. They can be hot or cold. I have eaten both. They are not a full meal but you can combine them and turn them into this if you wish.
Where we stayed in Ibiza – at Can Pujolet – an agrotourism hotel. Our nearest village Santa Angnés, housed a little cafe situated on the main street but I didn’t fancy the look of this one and so we made our way a little further out, driving back onto the main road and down to San Rafael on the PMV – 812-1 we came across Can Tixedo situated on a road junction, opposite a dusty car park. The place was buzzing. The tables in its little courtyard were full, and the menu boards – in both spanish and english – were frequently being used.
As it was very busy, it did take a little while for the waitress to bring us our drinks I’d ordered at the bar but we could only make out two bar staff and both were run off their feet so decided to forgive the delay.
Eventually the blackboard stood in front of us and we both run our eyes the full length of the menu. Interestingly enough it was very continental, with a mixture of Spanish and Italian dishes and so we decided to mix and match and try a little of what was on offer. Mainly sticking to the spanish foods. We noticed that the food lovers at the little tapas bar were mainly spanish. I would like to start with what turned out to be our number 1 tapas. The others are in no particular order, as they were all delicious.
1. Iberico (Pork) Cheeks. These were tender and succulent and served in a chunky ragu sauce. As soon as I placed my fork in the meat it fell apart. It was sweet tasting, juicy and delicious. Definitely one to try in the UK.
2. Tuna and Prawn Salad. The bitterness of the green peppers complimented this oily seafood dish. I wanted to be really brave and eat the octopus but I just couldn’t do it. Especially since I’d seen one with my own eyes when I was scuba diving with Scuba Ibiza. Seeing them living sometimes kills the desire in me, to eat them when they’re dead!
3. Sweet Red Peppers Stuffed with Goats Cheese. For some reason, when these little mouthfuls of heaven, reached our table I expected them to be hot. Which would be my preference when eating this tapas dish. The sprinkling of salt, combined with the goats cheese made them, well, quite salty really but this didn’t detract from their deliciousness.
4. Pork Rissoles. The dish below was handed to us with our cool refreshing glass of Cerveza outside a little cafe we discovered in Talamancha on the Calle de Jésus. If you can find a parking space here – they weren’t to easy to find. Walk down to the promenade and take a moment to absorb the stunning view of Dalt Vila (Ibiza old town), across the Mediterranean blue. The rissoles were served cold and sitting atop a slice of cut baguette – Is it right to call it bocadillo? I don’t know but served with the green olives and cold beer as we sat in the lunchtime sun as it burned down on our foreheads and they became a scrumptious, tasty treat.5. Mashed Olives in olive oil served with breadsticks. Although not technically tapas, the mashed olives tasted salty and green. I know it’s not the ultimate explanation of their taste but to me – if I could taste the colour green. It would taste like these Ibizan olives!