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In the village of Sant Ferran de Ses Roques (San Fernando) on the Island of Formentera, somewhere in the Mediterranean, north of North Africa and east of Spain.

I wanted to take my friend Bernadette Mundy out for a pre-birthday dinner and I followed my nose to Restaurante Can Forn in the village of Sant Ferran de Ses Roques (San Fernando) where I met Bernadette in the Fonda Pepe bar back in 1973 as a young hippie. You can read that story on my website at under the Blues Woman of Appenzell.

Tonight though I was hungry and I managed to score a table without a reservation because this place is always crowded.

They specialise in regional food from the island and I was excited. I was hoping this was not like the other tourist traps on the island.

The cuisine of the Balearic Islands can be grouped as part of the wider Catalan, Spanish, or Mediterranean cuisines. It features a lot of pastry, cheese, wine, pork, and seafood. They share many recipes that each Island seems to claim it as its own! These include.

Caldereta de Langosta (Lobster with peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and local herbs. It can be expensive at €140 per kilo!) It is one of their most sought-after dishes, attracting even King Juan Carlos I to the islands.

Sobrassada (a local raw, cured sausage made with ground pork, pimenton, salt, and other spices. It can be spread on toast like a paté)

Mayonnaise is said to originate from the Menorcan city of Maó (Mahón)

Local pastries include Ensaimada, Flaó, and Coca.

Cordero as ado al estilo de Mahón (a slow-roasted lamb dish)

Rostit (roast pork with liver, eggs, and apples)

On all of the islands, you will encounter coques, small tartlets of meat, fish, or vegetables.

I made the mistake of asking about the Sobrassada sausage and she launched into a gory tale of when she was invited many, many years ago to a farmer lady's finca to take part in the killing of the pig and the making of the sausages. She told the story sombrely, as befitting a vegan. I literally blanched at the details and changed the subject quickly.

I perused the menu and made the choices. Bernadette is a vegan so it can get difficult. I chose a plate of grilled vegetables and aioli, first questioning the ingredients, and a mixed salad and calamares en su tinta (squid cooked in its own ink) with potatoes and Sobrassada, the local sausage prepared on this island and a wine of rio tinto

This was one of the best meals I have enjoyed on the island. Everything was cooked with love and you cannot get better than that. There was an attention to detail and the food was fresh as fresh can be.

The mixed salad, which in most places is an ordinary affair shone forth with its immediacy. The aioli was properly made with the right hint of garlic and served with brown bread which won points from the particular Bernadette.

The calamari was a dish of an ethereal quality and the potatoes and Sobrassada proved a delight as it melded into the dish. My only regret was there was not more because I wouldn't have minded eating on and on.

The grilled vegetables were executed perfectly with a char and laid out in a pleasing fashion. Details were paid attention to and this is a moderately priced restaurant.

Then came time for dessert which I hardly eat but one thing peered out at me and beckoned. A homemade ice cream made of cheese with local rich honey and walnuts and figs.

This was a standout as I sat in the open-air courtyard people watching and listening to a woman singing opera over by the plaza at the church next to Fonda Pepe. The night took on a suffusing glow with each drop.

After we ambled down the street saying hello to friends we meet on the way like Paco the flamenco guitarist who gets a quick hug and Eric the longhaired Dutch musician who used to hold court in La Mola Market for years and Brenda an old friend of Bernadette's for many years who sells in the market her jewelry.

We watch a trio of young women who are the best act on the island and perform songs from Catalan and jazzy French numbers. By the end of the night as we drove home we were full and content.

Words © Jonathon Lipsin.

If you wish to read more about Jonathon's travels and adventure's please go to his constantly updated blog at

You can find Jonathon's other Formentera adventures here:

Returning to the Island made Jonathon relive some of his early favourites in music the mixes below have some of them. Jonathon's music picks can be found here:


Carrer Major 39, 07871 Sant Ferran de Ses Roques, Formentera. +34 971 32 81 55

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