Gastronomy and Mallorcan cuisine

Mallorcan cuisine is genuinely Mediterranean and is enjoyed in homes throughout the island or in cellers – the name given to traditional Mallorcan restaurants, which are often housed in the cellars which were used for wine production in the past. There are many cellers in the island´s villages and in Palma de Mallorca, though the most well-known are those in Sineu, Inca and Petra.

There are many characteristic dishes within Mallorcan cuisine, such as Mallorcan Soups made with fine slices of bread in a hot broth and accompanied by vegetables and, sometimes, a bit of meat. Trempó is a salad par excellence; it accompanies most meals in summer and consists of pieces of tomato, red pepper and onion, with a dressing of olive oil, vinegar and salt. Tumbet is another typical accompaniment in summer; it is made from finely-sliced potatoes, aubergine and peppers, which are fried up and covered with a tomato sauce. Pa amb Oli (bread with oil) is sliced bread with local ramallet tomato squeezed over it along with a dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt; it is accompanied by cheese, grilled meat or cold sausage meat.

The most highly-appreciated roast meat on the island is Porcella (pork) and Mutton, with young animals selected. Arròs Brut is a broth of rice with an abundance of meat and some vegetables. Paella, though originally from Valencia, is also cooked on Mallorca, where it is also known as arròs sec; it is normally made with vegetables, meat and seafood. Albergínies Farcides (aubergines stuffed with meat) are lightly fried with olive oil and then baked in a tomato sauce. Frit Mallorquí, also known as Freixura, consists of offal fried with potatoes and vegetables. Caragols (snails) are elaborately cooked on Mallorca, with aromatic herbs used in the preparation. This is possibly the dish which people find most exotic, once the initial reticence caused by these molluscs has been overcome, as they are really very tasty.

The Mediterranean offers a wide variety of fish, which are delicious after simply being grilled. One of the most elaborate ways of cooking fish is Peix al Forn (baked fish) with an abundance of vegetables. Calamars Farcits (squid stuffed with meat) is a typical dish, as is Llampuga amb Pebres (dophin fish with peppers) – this fish is caught in autumn and served fried with peppers and potatoes. Peix Escabetxat is a fish which is fried and left to cool in a sauce of oil and vinegar with a bit of onion.

In the bakeries we find pa mallorquí (Mallorcan bread), which is a round loaf made without salt that forms a part of all meals. We also find ensaïmada, which is a spiral-shaped pastry made with flour, sugar and animal fat that forms a part of all celebrations on the island. Gató is another typical pastry; it is made with almonds and often accompanied with ice-cream. Coques de verdures (vegetable pastries), some with parsley, others with grilled peppers or ingredients from trempó, are typical and are found in every bakery. Cocarrois have a half-moon shape and are made with different vegetables or onion covered in pastry. Robiols are made around Easter; these are half-moon-shaped sweet pastries which are stuffed with curds or jam. Crespells (sweet pastries) and panades (round pastries stuffed with meat and peas) are thought to be Jewish in origin. Greixonera is a sweet pastry which isn´t found in bakeries; it is made with a sweet pastry and egg base which can also include curds.

The most well known type of sausage meat is sobrassada, which is made from pork, fat and paprika. Botifarrons (black pudding) and pork offal are also made on the island. Camaiot is made with a similar process to black pudding, but it is larger.

Finally, also popular are Mallorcan and Maonès (from the town of Mahon on Menorca) cheese, the latter of which is made on Menorca and is highly-appreciated on Mallorca.

http://www.illesbalearsqualitat.es Information on quality foodstuffs from the Balearic Islands.

Wines and spirits of Mallorca

There is a long tradition of wine production on Mallorca, which is kept alive and which represents an important activity in rural Mallorca. There are currently two denominations of origin – Binissalem and Pla i Llevant de Mallorca – with a series of bodegas which produce quality wines, some maintaining old artisan processes. Information on Mallorcan wines and bodegas can be found at the website www.illesbalearsqualitat.com, as can information on other products, such as cheese.

Herbes is the most well-known liqueur on Mallorca; it is made with aromatic herbs and sweet or dry anis. Palo is another sweet liqueur; it is black and has a thick texture.

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