Yesterday I was running a private tour with a nice family from Oland. They really enjoyed the food during our tour and they loved to enter into a local bakery and to discover colorful cocas, and empanadas, perfumed gatò and ensaimandas…. I asked them if they already knew these products and, with my big surprise, they said no. For 5 consecutive summers, they had come to Mallorca but they had never tried anything typical from Mallorca. How has it happen? So, I promise me to write this post to help other people to enjoy our food!
Bakeries here in Mallorca are everywhere and they know how to make you happy! You can taste a really good local food without being at the restaurant. I recommend you the historical bakeries. They made the history of the Mallorca food tradition so I would advise you to taste the Can Joan de S’Aigo bakery in Palma; the Pasteleria Pomar which is in Palma and in Campos and Can Molinas in Valldemossa.
They cook delicious, the service is excellent and the atmosphere is magic and retro’. I love their style! There can try: Coca de trampo’ is salty fine bread cooked at the oven with vegetables on the top and seasoned with olive oil. It is simply delicious! This is the perfect snack in front of the beach, the appetizer snack before dinner or even the children (and not so children) snack whenever they get hungry! Coca has been invented by leveraging the bread dough that had not swollen. Instead of discarding this mass, the housewives baked it flat and they putted on the top what they had. In Balearic Islands we eat it salty with TRAMPO, which is a salad with tomato, onion and green peppers and of course, olive oil!
The empanadas are never missing in the Majorcan houses and bakeries because, like the Coca de trampo’, they solved the hungry from a snack to a dinner. The best time to make and taste these empanadas is during Easter time. The classical one are filled with sobrasada, peas and lamb. Meanwhile the dough is made with flour, eggs, salt and lard butter. Empanadas are perfect to bring at the beach because the filling is protected and you can easly put it in your backpack. Cocarrois, are similar to Empanadas but have a half moon size. They do not differ greatly in the composition of the dough. But they are filled with spinach and raisins, or with a mixture of vegetables including cauliflower and chards.
Gatò is a sweet dessert made using almonds from Mallorca. It is also eatable by celiac people because its ingredients are sugar, eggs and almonds! So simply like that and really teasty, believe me! You can eat it with the delicious Almond ice cream “Gelat de Ametlla”. The Almonds are typical from Mallorca where they have been cropped since the middle age.
The ensaimada de Mallorca (from the Catalan ensaïmada, Saim from the Arab, lard) is a soft delicious sweet dough, fermented and baked, made with flour, water, sugar, eggs, sourdough and….lard. Don’t panic about this last ingredient! You will love it! So soft and so delicious! You can try it alone or filled with custard. In some bakeries you will see it with some candy apricot or some sobrasada! These versions are as traditional and delicious as the empty ensaimada! I advise you to try all these versions. For the chocolate lovers you can also try it in its chocolate version but chocolate can cover the ensaimada flavor. So it is up to you!
It seems that this dessert was invented during the Arab period because we have written testimonies of a cake called bulema, shaped like a snail and the same ingredients as the ensaimada, except lard which was substituted by the sheep’s milk butter. Coca de patata has a delicate texture blends. It is made using potatoes but it is a sweet dessert. You can try it in Valldemossa and in some other bakeries around the island. The nice story to tell around the delicious Coca de Patata is that it was used to pay for favors or giving gifts. Maybe you could gift somebody in Mallorca with a Coca de Patata…romantic and original, isn’t so?
Based on the popular Mediterranean diet, the Mallorca traditional restaurants are called Cellers, there you really eat like a king! A lovely and stylish Celler is Celler Sa Prensa right in the city center of Palma. The food is delicious and the ambience with these big barrels around is amazing. They just come to change the owner so I hope they will maintain the high level they had until today! Some of the most representative dishes of the Majorcan cuisine are the Mallorquines Sopes, which are made with very thin slices of bread, scalded with broth and accompanied with vegetables and sometimes a little meat.
They are healthy and really tasty as they are a mix of a vary range of vegetables with some little pieces of meat. They come from the countryside tradition where they needed to recycle food. In this way they created very tasty dishes with few poor ingredients. The Trempó is the main salad gastronomy of this area and almost always accompanies any summer meal. They use it also in the Coca de trampo’. Do you remember? It is made with pieces of tomatoes, yellow peppers and some onion, all seasoned of course with olive oil, vinegar and salt.
Another popular accompaniment, especially in the summer is the Tumbet, made with very thin vegetables like potatoes, eggplants and peppers, all fried and topped with fresh tomato sauce. It is lovely but, remember: it is fried!
If you want to taste some finger food you should try the Pa amb Oli. It literally consists in slices of toasted bread with olive oil on the top. We also rub some “ramallet” tomato on the bread to give it more flavor and a little salt. This is the base. Then we add on the top local cheese, fish or any kind of sausage, which is also very appreciated in Majorcan cuisine. They normally serve three slices of Pamboli with three different food on its top like iberic ham, tuna sobrasada and cheese.
And of course: what is this Sobrasada? Sobrasada is the soul of Mallorca. It is a tasty pork sausage prepared with raw pork meat and seasoned with salt and paprika (that’s why it looks so red! The Sobrasada is aged for at least 4 months and it is a countryside tradition in which all the Mallorca people belong. Another interesting sausage is the Camaiot. The Camaiot is cooked. It is made with lean and red pork meat mixed with spices like black pepper, pepper, anise and salt. After mixing all, the filling is put into the crust of the pig leg. Once filled the leg it is cooked at length in the boiler. Then it is hung to dry. I love it!
As you have already understood the Mallorca dishes are more oriented to the land instead of the sea. The pork and the lamb meet have an important place in the kitchen of this place. If you like the meat you can try this typical second dish called the Porcella fregida amb alls. It literally means: fried pork with garlic. It is made by little pieces of pork meat fried with garlic and potatoes. It is very tasty but you have to work well with the little bones of the meat.
If you want to try some local Mallorca tapas you should taste the Frit de xot and the Frit de sipi as local tapas. In the Mallorca tradition we don’t have montaditos, which means bread with something on the top. Instead of that we have “Vatiats” which literally means: mix. It is typical here to sit at the bar with some friends and to order some beers and some “Variats” (Catalan) or “Variado” (Spanish)!
The bar will serve you what they have, for example meat balls, some green pepper called “pimientos de padrò” and some “frit de xot” and “frit de sipi”. The “frit de xot” means fried lamb, so it is fried lamb mixed with fried vegetables and potatoes. The “frit the sipi” means fried cuttlefish, so it is fried cuttlefish with fried vegetables and potatoes. If they have they can add some fennel leaves to add a local flavor. I love it! And if you want to try the Mallorca snails go to visit Sa Caracolera Snail farm in Binissalem because they have a master on that!
Es Brollador in Esporles village to try local Mallorca food
Ca’s Patro March in Cala Deia to try some local fish at the sea front!
Can Costa outside Valldemossa to try local Mallorca food
Es Verger Restaurant in the top of the Alarò hill near the Alarò Castle (Camino del Castillo de Alaró, s/n, 07340 Alaró, Illes Balears (Tel +34 971 18 21 26))
Celler Pagès in the center of Palma (Carrer de Felip Bauzà, 2 Palma de Mallorca (Tel +34 971 72 60 36))
Sa Caracolera in Binissalem is a snail farm where they cook exclusively their snails.
So, your following question will be…where should I go to try all these delicious food?! Here you can find a list of some of my favorite restaurants on the island! Enjoy your meal!