Father's Day is June 16

By Marta Bernal Valencia

Last month, my English friend Elaine and I agreed to meet in Tarifa, a small town in Cadiz, Spain. It’s the southernmost point of continental Europe, very famous for its amazing beaches. If you are keen on wind and kitesurfing, this is your place! We drove from one beach to another, enjoying the small bars, restaurants and nightlife.

When I’m visiting this zone with friends from abroad, there’s something that we never miss: the tuna! The Romans set up a fish salting factory that you still can see at Bolonia beach in Tarifa, the ruins of Baelo Claudia. One of the bestselling items was an aphrodisiac tuna sauce called garo, -- rich Romans loved it. You can tell they are forever experts on tuna over here!

We had a few drinks and ordered some ortiguillas, a must if you come! It’s very difficult to find this dish if you are not in the coast.

As you can see, they don’t look very attractive; they are a kind of sea anemone that is usually served fried, which is a nice contrast with its gelatinous inner texture. The sensation is like biting into the sea, delicious!

We moved on, eating here and there, Spanish style. We love drinking and eating while moving to different places, that’s why ordering tapas is our favorite way to enjoy meals and meet locals.

We found this nice restaurant called La Pescadería where we ordered this amazingly fresh and simple seared almadraba tuna that made us cry of happiness!

They served it with a creamy red pepper sauce, little guacamole and soya. Local fishermen use a fishing net called almadraba, make sure you order tuna captivated this way! We also enjoyed tuna with onions, lemon fish, wine… I was so excited I forgot to take some more pictures!

We wanted some more raw tuna and the friendly waiter of La Pescadería recommended that we go to another restaurant called Lola and try their tuna tartare. We went and found our niche! It was served with sliced strawberries, wasabi, caramelized onions and soya syrup -- what else would you ask for?

Grilled veggies with a mint and a touch of black pepper, yesss.

And then, we were ready to enjoy a night in Tarifa!

Bolonia Road
Tarifa, Cádiz
T: +34 956 68 85 17 ‎

Paseo de la Alameda s/n
Tarif,a Cádiz
T: +34 956 62 70 78

For Tapas y flamenco
Calle Guzmán el Bueno 22
Tarifa, Cádiz
T: +34 956 62 73 07

*Marta is from Andalucia, Spain and loves the sea, travelling, photography and anything that stimulates her curiosity — like having conversations over good food! And of course, siesta. She will be based in Edinburgh for the next two years, eating lots of “tatties” (potatoes).
Column: Iberian Tattie


  • This makes me want to go back to Tarifa time and time again. A wonderful place to have fun, see beautiful landscapes and beaches, relax, eat mouth watering food and savour delicious wines. A place to escape, made all the better when shared with friends. This is such a lovely narrative of our visit and its made me long to return as soon as I can!!

    Elaine Jamieson on

  • The “almadraba” style of catching these magnificent sea beasts is wild, cruel and ancient. It is however infinitely more eco-friendly than the cynically unsustainable “kidnapping” of tuna from this region, with the express collusion of spanish fishermen, to be imprisoned in Japanese factory farms and fattened up. From the factory to the deep deep freeze. And when the tuna has gone Mitsubushi will sell it at the price of caviar. Insist on almadraba tuna. Insist on line caught fish. Fish for the future. Check out TheBlackFish . org

    Graham Hogg on

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