The Balearic Island of Majorca is known for its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and party locations. It’s the ideal destination for a relaxed holiday to enjoy the local culture and cuisine, while also being provided with any entertainment a tourist could hope for. Here are the regional dishes and food items that originated in Majorca and should definitely be experienced right there.
Gourmet travelling to Majorca
Food is as good a reason to travel as any other. While we might find good foreign cuisine in our immediate vicinity, typically nothing beats authentic local food with ingredients sourced directly from the area. This is especially true for dishes that use fruits, vegetables and other elements that rely on a warm and sunny climate.
If you love Mediterranean cuisine, you should spend some of your holidays where it originated. Services like Holidu.co.uk make it easy to find a high-quality and affordable holiday lettings just about anywhere, even if it’s an otherwise unspectacular village that just happens to be the origin of a specific type of food.
Ensaïmada de Majorca
Food type: cold sweet pastry
We can find mentions of the Majorcan ensaïmada as far back as the 17th century, where it was baked for festivals and celebrations. Today it can be found on the Balearic Islands, southwestern Europe, Latin America and the Philippines.
It is made with flour, water, sugar, eggs, saïm (Catalan = pork lard), and yeast, or alternatively a fermentation starter.
There are several variations of the ensaïmada that use different fillings or toppings, for example:
- Llisa – A plain ensaïmada with no extra ingredients.
- Cabell d’àngel – Filled with Angel’s Hair, a sugary custard made with the stringy strands found in pumpkins.
- Tallades – Sliced ensaïmadas covered with pumpkin and sobrasada (Majorcan pork sausage).
- Crema – Filled with a sugary egg custard.
- Other variants – filled or topped with apricots, sweet cream, chocolate or turrón (white almond nougat).
Sobrasada de Majorca
Food type: savoury sausage
The sobrasada is not a dish itself, but an ingredient in many. It is a sausage made with ground pork (loin and bacon), paprika, salt, pepper, and other spices filled into pork intestines and cured for some weeks. They are divided into dolça (literally sweet, in this case meaning mild) or coent (spicy) variants. Hot sobrasadas are typically marked by a red or red/white string and contain additional ingredients like cayenne pepper.
They are a traditional product of the matança, festive pig slaughters in the autumn and winter on Majorca. The high humidity and mild cold of the late autumn on the island create the perfect conditions for dehydrating and curing the sausage.
Food type: savoury vegetarian dish
The tombet, sometimes tumbet, is a traditional vegetable dish from Majorca. It uses potatoes, unpeeled aubergines and red bell peppers, which get sliced, fried in olive oil and layered. Afterwards, the layers are topped with tomato sauce with garlic and parsley. You could compare it to a ratatouille.
Aceite de Majorca
Food type: olive oil
The Aceite de Majorca is an extra virgin olive oil made from Majorcan olives. The characteristics of the soil and climate on the island give the olives, harvested from olive trees with a high age, a sweet, almost almond like taste without the often-present bitterness or pungency in olive oils. Alternatively, when green olives are used, the resulting oil is fruitier, spicier and a little bitter.
Palo de Majorca
Food type: alcoholic beverage
The Palo de Majorca is a dark, heavy, and sweet herbal liqueur. It is made with cinchona, gentian, and caramelised sugar, resulting in a sweet taste of caramel and something resembling woody liquorice.
Almendra de Majorca
Food type: sweet cake
The almendra de Majorca (in other places known as a flan almendra) is a cake made from almonds, honey, lemon, milk and/or condensed milk, eggs, and sugar. This sweet and chewy dish is often used as a dessert and served with almond ice cream.
Pa amb oli
Food type: savoury appetiser
Pa amb oli literally means “bread with oil” and that’s pretty much what you get. It’s a typical dish that can be found all over bars and restaurants on Majorca. It’s a bit of a mix and match of dark bread, local ramalett tomatoes, native olive oil, salt, and garlic. This base can be combined with a variety of local specialties, from ham to codfish.
Food type: semi-hard cheese
Queso Majorca (formatge mallorqui) is a cheese exclusively made on Majorca. It is made from the pasteurised milk of cows, goats and/or sheep living on the island. There are different maturity grades. The youngest cheese is semi-cured and has matured for 20 days. Cured cheese has matured for 45 days, and the aged cheese for at least 100 days.
The older the cheese gets, the more intense the aroma is. It is slightly salty and acidic, smelling of butter or yogurt, and tasting peppery for the older variants. The texture is firm and dense, but still elastic.
Food type: savoury rice dish
Arròs brut means “dirty rice”. The name comes from the colouration the rice in this famous dish gets after being submerged in the meaty broth made from pieces of rabbit, chicken, pig and sometimes even pigeon . Olive oil, onions, garlic, and cloves are used to season the stew.
Majorca has these and many more original dishes to offer. The island culture has cultivated these dishes and the used ingredients for centuries. If you want to experience authentic Mediterranean cuisine, make sure to take a trip to Majorca and enjoy all the food and drinks it has in store.