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Food and Drink

Food and Drink

Food and Drink in Mallorca

Mallorcan cuisine has been exposed to various influences over the centuries. Although there are similarities to Spanish cuisine, the "Cuina Mallorquina" has retained its originality.

Olivenbrot Mallorca

Mediterranean cooking habits in Mallorca
Romans and Arabs both left their mark on Mallorcan cuisine. Today, influences from Northern and Central Europe are the main influences that are changing the cuisine of the island yet the cooking habits in Mallorca are without exception Mediterranean. It has always been insufficient to describe Mallorcan cuisine with attributes such as rustic or hearty. Fresh ingredients play a crucial role. Courgettes, peppers, garlic, aubergines and fresh fish form the basis of many dishes. As in mainland Spain, olive oil is used for cooking and frying. Barbecuing or flame grilling food has become huge on the island and you will find this is the preferred cooking style for fish and meat in most of the islands restaurants – look for the words ‘à la Plancha’ on the menu and eat like a local.

Mallorcan specialties
A typical Mallorcan specialty is "olive oil bread" Pa amb oli. The bread with a high proportion of olive oil, garlic and tomatoes is consumed for breakfast and as a snack. A form of sausage typical on the island is Sobrasada de Mallorca. This is a spicy and fatty sausage eaten raw or grilled and has more than a passing taste and smell of the more famous chorizo as it is made from raw pork, salt and paprika. The fig bread Pa de Figa tastes unusual for non-Mediterranean palates. Unusually the base of it is ground anise rather than grain that northern palates may be more used to. The anise is kneaded with dried figs and a dash of aniseed into a dough and then dried in the sun. A delicious snack between meals are Empanadas Mallorquina, which unlike empanadas in the rest of the Spanish speaking world are more reminiscent of a pie than a pasty and can be filled with a savoury or sweet filling and are then baked in the oven until crispy brown.

Olivenol Mallorca

Pots, pans, soups and stews
Soups and stews have played an important role in the dietary habits of the Mallorcan rural population for centuries. On the menus at coastal restaurants you will find specialties such as fish soup ‘Sopa de pescado’ and stew ‘Caldereta’. The latter has many different versions including lobster, seafood or fish pieces. Meat dishes in Mallorca are almost exclusively pork and lamb. Lamb chops ‘Costillas de cordero’ are a staple that can be found all over the country on menus. A tasty, traditional meat dish that is neither lamb or pork is ‘Conill amb Cebes’. These are rabbit pieces, which are cooked until tender in a bouillion of onions and other vegetables.

Island restaurants and cafeterias
If you want to discover genuine Mallorcan cuisine on your holiday, you should avoid the restaurants and pizzerias on the beach promenades at the resorts. On all the Balearic Islands, avoid the places popular with tourists and you will most likely find the most authentic of restaurants that cook the way that Mallorcans like to eat. In the island restaurants as well as in more informal cafeteria style eateries you will almost always find olives and bread on the table. You will be charged about 0.50 – 1.50 Euro for this when you get your bill. If you opt for a fine dining restaurant, you should pay attention to proper attire and wait for the waiter to assign you a table. The bill is usually served on a plate. You leave the tip on the plate before leaving the restaurant.