As a local saying wisely goes, “Eating together appeals to all ages”. Without a doubt Majorcans love to eat and to take their time over it. The island’s climate certainly helps to stimulate the appetite. Discover Majorca; discover its delicious dishes and great restaurants! Majorca´s cuisine is very versatile: on the one hand good and hearty as a legacy of their poor, hard working, rural population, but also subtle and with the healthy style of Mediterranean life. Many people who have passed through the island in its turbulent past have left their influence on Majorca´s cuisine and its traditional ways of cooking.
One of the favourite dishes is arròs brut, or ‘dirty’ rice: a colourful rice stew made with chicken (but in the past made with game, such as rabbit) and lots of vegetables simmered slowly with lemon and saffron and served hot in a typical clay pot called a “greixonera”. This dish is traditionally served with fresh radish and slices of green pepper.
Indispensible to the island´s cuisine are also the sopas mallorquinas, a cabbage stew made with thinly sliced bread and small pieces of meat. In Majorca people are more likely to eat pork than beef, particularly the porc negre, which also adds flavour to another typical dish, the llom amb col (stuffed cabbage). The meat of the native black pig of Majorca is also used to make the island´s typical sausages, such as the delicious sobrasada, which is seasoned with red peppers. Of course lamb is another delicious dish, served either in the form of chops, leg or shoulder. Other very popular “wild animals” are snails in their broth flavoured with seven different herbs that provide many health benefits.
The most popular fish dishes are the cap roig (with lots of fried onions), doradas (gilt fish, best baked in the oven in a salt crust), sardinas (grilled sardines), molls (red mullet), llenguados (sole) or boquerones (anchovies prepared with flour and lemon). Seafood such as squid, cuttlefish, shrimp and lobster are also very popular.
Some of the other classic island dishes require no meat or fish. For example, tumbet, a delicious summer dish with lots of vegetables similar to ratatouille, or coca de verdura, the Majorcan vegetable pizza. Aceitunas (bitter green olives) and alioli (garlic mayonnaise) should never be missing from a Majorcan table. The traditional pan mallorquín (Majorcan bread baked without salt) tastes wonderful with olive oil, salt and tomatoes. Majorcans call it pa amb oli. Whether toasted or not, it is enjoyed at any time of the day either plain or with cheese, ham or sausage.
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Text: Bettina Neumann