A Gastronomic Holiday in Mallorca

A Gastronomic Holiday in Mallorca

Mallorca, a sunny little island off the coast of #Spain, certainly qualifies as a popular holiday destination. Think beyond its #beaches, resorts and nightlife and you'll find that a trip to the Balearic Island is worth it, even if just for the #foodanddrink.


Cuisine is always a major draw for me when I am visiting any part of Spain. In the case of Mallorca, it was no different (also, I wanted to daydream about the improbable chance of spotting Rafael Nadal!)

My friend and I chose Alcudia, a resort town in the north of Mallorca, as a base from which to explore the area. As with the majority of the island, information in English and German, as well as pizza places are in abundance here. It is indeed hard to escape the crowds, especially near Mallorca’s coastlines. I would assume this could easily be the case throughout the year.

My friend and I chose Alcudia, a resort town in the north of Mallorca.

We stayed at Aparthotel Ferrer Maristany, a comfortable place within walking distance to the beaches, and reachable to most other places of interest by public transport.

from  $84

Aparthotel Ferrer Maristany

 Calle Madre Perla 1, Puerto De Alcudia, Spain
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Breakfasts were an easy affair everyday– an ensaimada, Mallorca’s own sweet coiled pastry bread, with a coffee. Ensaimadas are widely available in most bakeries. I particularly like the one from Corro’s in Alcudia’s Old Town. Apparently, the lard they put in this pastry is what makes it so addictive.

Breakfasts were an easy affair everyday.

While the Old Town is not worth spending a full day in, it is definitely worth visiting for hearty and homely meals, however. For lunch, choosing a restaurant that serves a menu del dia (menu of the day) is a good bet, to taste the local recipes. The cheapest and the heartiest lunch we had was at Es Celler de Ca'n Joanet.

Arroz brut (literally "the dirty rice") could be Mallorca’s version of paella, but not really. It is more of a spicy rice broth prepared with seasonal vegetables and meat. Something similar is Mallorcan soup, but without the rice and served with the local bread instead. I found tumbet (a vegetarian dish very akin to ratatouille) to be a nice side dish to go with heavy meat dishes.

For tapas, Sa Portassa turned out to be my favourite place. I must mention, Mallorca’s version of pa amb oli (toasted bread rubbed with a special variety of local tomatoes and olive oil, sometimes with garlic too) tastes superb, despite its simplicity. I had it with sobrassada, the spicy Balearic sausages.

But for me, Bistro del Jardin takes the cake. It is situated away from the Old Town, near the coastline of Alcudia. I had the lobster and prawn prepared in the traditional Mallorcan way. I later found out the Mallorcan chef here had earned a Michelin star, no wonder it was pricier, quite modern, definitely different, and extremely well plated.

Almonds are grown in plenty on the island, so for desserts, gato d'ametlla (Mallorcan almond cake) is a must try during any visit. I like it served with almond ice cream.

Alcudia

To explore the countryside of Alcudia, we had booked a rural tour with No Frills Excursions. We visited a village market to buy the local produce and also visited a typical wine cellar. The highlight of the tour was making pa amb oli and trampo, a typical Mallorcan summer salad of bell peppers, onion tomatoes, and barbecued meat. We washed it down with plenty of local wine. Speaking of wine, Herbs de Mallorca is an anise seed based herbal liqueur and works as well as a swig of grappa does after a meal.

from  $31

Rural Mallorca Excursion

Food & Drink
 Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
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Other than its culinary offerings, we wanted to hike around the Formentor peninsula with Mallorca Hiking, but I had a nasty fall just a couple of days before the hike, so we "settled" for a sunset boat trip to the Cape Formentor with Click Mallorca. I would spend my time in Formentor Bay any day, rather than lie on the beaches.

from  $12

Sunset Boat Trip

Food & Drink
 Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
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We "settled" for a sunset boat trip to the Cape Formentor.

Before leaving the island, we had a good time in Palma, the capital of Mallorca. We made swift trips to Mercat de L’Olivar, one of Palma’s food markets, and Toque de Queda, a nice place to have light tapas and drinks.

After several days of exploring and eating to my heart’s content, I was left with the feeling that Mallorca’s history and mixed cultural influences is typified through its culinary traditions more than any other aspect, evolving into delicacies that are quintessentially Mallorcan today.

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