The gastronomy of Palma de Mallorca has been chiselled by its topography. A wide plain is surrounded by the Tramontana and Levante mountains, which has led to intensive pig farming and the cultivation of cereals and vegetables complemented by extensive fishing coastal.
Pig farming has allowed for the development of a sausage industry, in addition to the “ensaimada”, the bakery and the pastry, all of them originating from the 15th century and with a tradition in handling ovens that goes back more than 200 years.
A gastronomic paradise
After the conquest of the island in the 15th century, the Spanish discovered the immense culinary possibilities that Palma de Mallorca offered, both in garden products and in fishing and pig farming, as well as beef and wool.
The enormous coasts and its oceanic route have blessed the island with all kinds of fish and shellfish. Its wide plain allows for large-scale planting of aubergines, tomatoes, garlic, onions, potatoes, broad beans and artichokes. It is also an ideal environment for the production of fine olive oil and a large number of species including black pepper, chilli and salt.
Of all the meats, pork stands out in the Mallorcan diet. From it, exquisite sausages and butter are obtained.
A select menu
This immense variety of crops, fish and meat has allowed Palma de Mallorca to develop a select menu of delicacies. The famous “ensaimada” is undoubtedly the quintessential Mallorcan export.
It is a much-appreciated sweet made with a circular paste and is at least 15 centimetres in diameter. It is sprinkled with sugar and then cooked with pork fat. It is such a popular pastry delicacy that it even has a designation of origin.
The spiced rice and broths served in Mallorcan cuisine are made with the traditional elements of the garden, as well as sausages such as “butifarra” or “sobrasada”, of the highest quality.
Another delicacy is the famous “sobrasada”, a sausage with a designation of origin and protected by the European Union.
It is made with lean pork, ground paprika and butter and is so versatile that it can be served fried, raw, roasted, sweet, salty, cold or hot.
Majorcan “cocas” is another very popular dish. It is made of various vegetables, but there are also tallow “cocas” made from fresh “ensaimada” dough and roasted paprika cocas.
“Frito” is a succulent dish made with offal, meat, liver and the cooked blood of sheep, pig, kid or even turkey, all of it fried in olive oil together with tomato, onion, potatoes and peppers. It is an ancient dish of Jewish origin that appeared in recipe books before the 14th century.
The gastronomy of Palma de Mallorca was greatly nourished by the traditional peninsular cuisine. That is why you can find the famous Mallorcan bread with oil, which is simply Andalusian bread with tomato. Its quantity and content were adapted to the circumstances of the island and included sausages, cheeses or fish.
Little Mallorcan treasures
In addition to its delicious entrees, Mallorcan cuisine abounds with a large number of typical dishes that have become mandatory for tourists and visitors.
“Wind fritters”, whose recipe is originally Arabic, are an example of how Mallorcan cuisine has spread to reach places as remote as Catalonia and Valencia.
The Mallorcan “empanada” is also highly appreciated, as is “tumbet”, a dish made from stir-fried vegetables that can be eaten hot or cold.
Another very popular typical dish is “Inca cookies”, which can be served with anything.
Sweets include the sugary rosary, which is usually the delight of little ones, as well as “rubiol”, a sweet empanada resembling the Catalan “casqueta”.
All these delicacies of Palma de Mallorca constitute, in addition to its beaches and pleasant climate, one of the reasons for its immense worldwide popularity.