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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Where to eat authentic Mallorcan cuisine

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If Mallorcan cuisine is known for anything outside of the island, it is for its two most emblematic symbols: the sobrasada and the ensaimada, a souvenir gastronomic products sold in octagonal boxes that many travelers take to the airport as hand luggage. Although undoubtedly there are many more and these are not the products that Mallorcans consume on a daily basis. The local gastronomy is appreciated for its preparations with extra virgin olive oil, almonds and sea salt, closely linked to its land and its roots. Mallorca is absolutely Mediterranean and its cuisine reflects the different cultures that have inhabited the island, where fruits and vegetables have traditionally been consumed.

When he arrived boom Tourist restaurants traditional food became popular, the so-called cells, which have become a requirement for those visitors who want to know the most traditional local gastronomy, for which “both tourists and residents come together as guests in these places”, according to the Mallorca Tourism Foundation. They were also reference points for travelers who moved around the Balearic island with their animal-drawn vehicles on mules or horses, stopping at these establishments to eat or spend the night, which is why they are mainly scattered around the center of Mallorca. “Some are also in the room where the wine was made and aged,” they add from the foundation. Or are they new openings?

One of the most famous places to try Mallorcan food on the island is Ca Na Toneta, in the town of Caimari (Carrer de s’Horitzó, 21), the charming and well-known restaurant of the chef María Solivellas, a great defender of traditional recipes, at the foot of the Serra de Tramuntana. When this self-taught chef started the profession 20 years ago, she didn’t know where to start, so she decided to focus on traditional Mallorcan recipes, which weren’t very present at the time, and went across the island to meet the women meet and understand their recipes and how they relate to food.

Chef María Solivellas’ Ca Na Toneta restaurant in the town of Caimari is one of the most famous places to taste Mallorcan cuisine on the island.

Solivella’s account The Traveler that through the recipe book he understood that his ancestors ate balanced and healthy, the famous Mediterranean diet that he decided to put into practice. His eatery is open all year round and the menu changes with the seasons, always using local varieties that he has helped revitalize as an integral part of the island’s culinary heritage. For example, when he opened the restaurant, he discovered that some farmers were still processing the traditional wheat xeixa blah, which is very present in gastronomy today, but was very complete back then.

One of his most famous creations is his reinterpretation of the Tramp Cola, the counterpart to Mallorcan pizza, traditionally only sold in the ovens. It is prepared with a flatbread dough and salty (the coca) and a selection of onions, peppers and tomatoes as toppings (the cheated). When preparing the dough, the chef substituted olive oil for the lard, playing with the opacity and the shape, preparing it in the shape of a tongue rather than rectangular. It’s their most popular dish, and some of its ingredients change with the seasons. One of the cocas that we can find among his recipes is octopus with onions.

Red shrimp fishermen in Palma city fish market.
Red shrimp fishermen in Palma city fish market.

In the Lonja district of Palma, three generations of the same family have been working since 1956 the Celler pages (Carrer de Felip Bauzà, 2), another well-known and simple restaurant where you can taste Mallorcan dishes. Always betting on the familiar and close treatment of restaurants of all times, they offer in their menu the most popular dishes of local gastronomy: fried Mallorcan soups, tumbet (similar to chanfaina) and two preparations with sobradada: baked eggs and octopus, family recipes to which they have given a more modern twist.

One of the characteristics of traditional cuisine is that it includes many dishes that have their version in meat and fish, like the Mallorcan fried, the delicious one tumbetwhich can be accompanied by meat, fish or eggs, or the traditional spinach, a type of empanada, the filling of which can also vary and which can be prepared with loin or eel, they share from the Mallorca Tourism Foundation. The Llampuga Fair, which takes place on the fishing pier in the town of Cala Ratjada on the second weekend of October, is one of the most outstanding gastronomic events on the island. The fishermen catch more than 2,000 kilos of this blue fish to prepare different tapas and very varied dishes.

One of chef Santi Taura's gastronomic proposals at his Dins restaurant in Palma.
One of chef Santi Taura’s gastronomic proposals at his Dins restaurant in Palma.

In general, if we want to eat fish in Mallorca, the best idea is to go to the coast. Ca n’Eduardo, at 3 Contramuelle Street in the capital, it is a good place to eat seafood. Here they prepare their dishes with fresh produce from the neighboring fish market, where the daily catches are auctioned each morning. Among many other options from the sea, they serve Mallorcan prawns and cod Mallorcan style, with great views of the bay and cathedral.

If we talk about meat, scalds with kid or snails Mallorcan style, a subsistence food elevated to haute cuisine, are other suggestions dinner, also in Palma (Plaça de Llorenç Villalonga, 4). At the helm of the restaurant is Santi Taura, a chef who has been awarded a Michelin star and two Repsol suns in the 2021 Guide. That scalds They’re usually made with turkey or chicken, but his suggestion is a stately home recipe, combining Mallorcan produce with techniques from the great French cuisine of the 19th century. The place is located in the Sa Calatrava neighborhood, in the heart of the old city walls, and shares a building with the Hotel El Llorenç Parc de la Mar. A gastronomic experience here involves interacting with the chef and his team at the bar and observing, as you prepare each dish or enjoy a more intimate atmosphere at the restaurant tables. Taura is so passionate about his work that he even handcrafts the dishes in which the food is served.

A selection of Mallorcan empanadas.
A selection of Mallorcan empanadas.

With his Origens tasting menu, the chef wants to tell little gastronomic stories of the island from a contemporary point of view, along with a selection of the island’s wines. Four different grape varieties are mainly grown in Mallorca alone, there are more than 70 wineries, more than 500 wine brands and two own designations of origin: Binissalem and Pla i LLevant.

Majorcan cheeses, cured meats and desserts are also recognized in the gastronomic culture. Besides the ensaimada, one of the most popular is the almond sponge cake (the Cat), which is usually accompanied by a scoop of ice cream. Other specialties are fourth (a sponge cake), the cockroaches (cake) and robioles (pastry candies filled with jam or cottage cheese). One of the most famous places to try them is at Can Joan de S’Aigo, whose oldest premises date back to 1700. In some places they also have their peculiarities: the Valldemossa potato coca, the Cardenal de Lloseta cake or the Manacor sighs. Sweet temptation.

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Source elpais.com

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