“Peix sec” (dry fish) from Formentera: what it is and how to prepare it

Peix sec (dry fish) from Formentera

One of the most well-kept secrets of the island of Formentera is the famous peix sec or dried fish. It is one of the most typical and popular delicacies, which is made completely by hand.

What is the peix sec from Formentera?

This fish recipe is born from an ancient culinary tradition that, today, is already part of the island culture of Formentera. This product became popular with the rise of tourism on the island, when residents began to share it with visitors.

Peix sec is obtained from cartilaginous fish, which are caught by hand using llaüts or xalanes, the island’s typical boats, just a few meters from the coast. Subsequently, these remain inside a brine for a period of time, so that they can be touched by the sun as well as by the breeze of the Mediterranean Sea.

How peix sec is made

The steps that fishermen follow to make peix sec are the following:

  1. Just after fishing it from the sea, the fishermen carve it and begin to cut it into pieces to later cover it with coarse salt.
  2. As tradition dictates, the fish is then hung on the juniper branches and left to dry under the sun.
  3. Once the expected level of dryness is achieved, the fish is roasted and crumbled.
  4. Finally, it is placed in glass jars along with olive oil, which allows it to be preserved.

Thanks to this fish preparation, a large number of dishes can be prepared that are among the most typical of the island of Formentera.

Famous dishes prepared with peix sec

Among these dishes, the well-known peasant salad stands out, which we have talked about on other occasions. Likewise, thanks to this fantastic culinary wonder, a large number of more avant-garde dishes can be prepared, as it serves as inspiration for many chefs who want to try other types of recipes.

Without a doubt, you should try peix sec on one of your visits to the island of Formentera, as it is the best way to understand the local culture and traditions first-hand. Whatever recipe you choose, we are sure you will love it.

And you must be clear that this fish is used to prepare several of the dishes that stand out the most in the island’s gastronomy, such as country salad or other recipes that you would never think of, such as croquettes, pizzas or even canapés.

The trick is simply to add this ingredient to any dish that, a priori, may seem the most typical or usual, in order to give it a unique touch and a most exceptional flavor.

And you, do you dare to bring out the chef inside you?

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