Last month I spent in Europe. Different places, cultures, different languages.
But, my real vacation was mostly planned to be in sunny, for me new and exciting place in the Mediterranean - Balearic island of Mallorca.
And I really had a sunny and maybe too hot vacation - the temperature was close to forties in Celsius every day. But if I knew that rain and hardly double digits are waiting for me in Vancouver, I would appreciate it more!
Mallorca/Majorca is an beautiful island in the Mediterranean sea, half way in between European and African continent.
Culture, lifestyle, food..it all spins around very rich history - the island was first invaded and influenced by Romans, then Arabs - Moors and finally Spaniards.
About foodThe food reflects all that, so you will find the mix and influence of all the cultures that went trough here. Which really made the gastronomy of Mallorca quite unusual and unique. Let's start with one of the characteristic dish that is every bakery and stores around here "coca" - direct relative of pizza that many says brought Romans on the island. Unavoidable are of course rice, nuts and dry fruits, and the most - type of pastry swirled as a Muslim pitas, thank to Arabs - ensaimadas. And finally, Spaniards brought potatoes, peppers and tomatoes with the unique local variety of tomato that does not need irrigation while growing and refrigeration after picking - ramellet.
Surprisingly, it is not these ingredients that distinct the Mallorquin cooking - it is the method of very slow cooking in shallow dishes - greixonera.
Most homes around here didn't have stove until recently so they had to invent the best way to cook large dishes over the open fire. Pork is the most important meat and any, absolutely any part, can be eaten here. Although, I have eaten the best and tastiest local lamb, veal, rabbit and free range chicken, that comparing to American "free range" is considerably superior in taste, which brings me again to the question what kind of organic and natural we eat here on the american continent and paying big bucks for something that even don't have a taste...??!!
|Prosciutto "sections" are in almost every bigger food store|
|John Dory I prepared|
Other dishes to mention are: bacalao, of course, sal cod prepared here special way with an amazing local "Tumbet" style, empanadas - pies with lamb meat and pastries, especially emsaimadas - swirl pastry that got its name since it has been made with pork fat.
Pa amb oli is a popular way of food party in Mallorca. The raw ingredients are piled on a table and everyone sits around. It involves rubbing tomato and some oil on slice of bread, then adding some meat and cheeses over.
Mahon - local cheese is very popular to use in this event. It involves rubbing tomato and oil on toasted slices of brad, and adding some meat and cheese. Olives and pickles on side.
|Almond milk - homemade is proudly served everywhere|
Where to shop for food
|This piece made of compacted dry blood is a specialty found on markets|
|Produsct of fresh and dry figs are something to taste|
|Locally made jams and preserves can be find in small stores|
|Orange trees can be find on many regular streets in the middle of towns like this one in Palma center with fruits fall freely on the street. I wasn't sure if you can eat them or not..|
Little History and Culture hunt
|Connection between Mediterranean islands is obvious. One of them are these little mysterious whistle figurines called Siurells, thousand years old and find also on Crete, Sardinia etc..|
Don't miss visiting Arabic baths in Palma - the only left remains of Arabic presence on the island
Prepare plan and some photos before you go. Even if you have the best maps you need to know Spanish, to find how to get somewhere. Maps are not enough to lead you, for instance, to Cala Deia, it can be realy complicated.
|wild beach around Banyalbufar area|