Saturday, November 18, 2017
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A guide to Majorcan cuisine

If you’re planning on travelling to Majorca sometime soon, now is the time to start picking things to do. One of my absolute favourite things about holidays is trying all the local delicacies, so I think you should get to grips with some Majorcan favourites before you go – that way, you won’t miss anything essential!

To help get you started, I’ve put together a quick guide to the destination’s cuisine below. Much of it is characteristic of the Balearic Islands, but there are also some fantastic treats that actually originated in Majorca that are well worth trying.

Meat and fish

Back before tourism really took off in Majorca, its key sources of income were fishing and agriculture. Today, this heritage is evident in its traditional dishes, so you can expect to see restaurant menus dotted with fish and meat specialities. Here are some of the most common:

  • Fish soup
    • Whitebait
    • Spiny lobster (this is a particular speciality and, when used in soup, makes for a really luxurious – and yummy! – starter)
    • Pork
    • Sausages

On the sausage front, you should definitely try sobresada. These raw cured sausages can easily be spotted by their reddish colour, which comes from a mixture of pork and paprika. A local speciality, they are named after the Majorcan area of Sobrassada, and some islanders believe they were invented by resident farmers. Their actual origin is a mystery, though.

Other staples

Of course, you can’t live on meat and fish alone, and Majorca has plenty of other delicious staples. A lot of these are simple delights that are used in and accompany an array of dishes, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to sample some during your stay.

These include olive oil, tomatoes, bread and almonds. In fact, almonds are used an awful lot in Majorcan cooking, thanks to the Balearic Islands’ ample supply of almond trees. So, if you’re keen to try something that’ll give you a really authentic taste of the region, it’s worth looking out for dishes that contain almond.

Sweet treats and desserts

While I love trying all kinds of food, sweet treats are the thing I get most excited about – and Majorca has some real gems. The one I think sounds most exciting, though, is ensaimadas de Mallorca (most locals just refer to these as ensaimadas, by the way). Delicate and delicious spiral-shaped pastries, they are always dusted in icing sugar.

They vary in size quite a bit, ranging from around 12 cm across to 35 cm. Personally, I’d go for the biggest possible, but that might just be me! You’ll find them at local markets, and there are a couple of different varieties to look out for. These days, a lot of them are filled with cream, but if you want to taste the most traditional version, keep an eye out for a filling called cabello de angel, which is pumpkin strands in syrup.

Other local desserts include coca de albaricoques (that’s apricot cakes to you and me) and baked cottage cheese.

Liqueurs

You’re likely to find liqueurs are either served after dessert or, from time to time, at the start of a meal. There are a fair few that are common in the Balearic Islands, but since you’re in Majorca, I reckon the one you should be sure to try is Palo liqueur, which comes from the island and is made from local carob fruit.

 

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