Often referred to as ‘peasant food’, Mallorcan fare is frequently simple and always tasty. One of the most popular dishes served at breakfast is a coiled sweet pastry with a light and flaky texture, called an Emsaimada, which has been made on the Island since the 17th century and is usually accompanied by coffee or a hot chocolate drink. Ensaimadas are available from most cafes and bars and can be served plain with a light dusting of powdered sugar or filled with a selection of tasty treats including custard, almonds, fruit or sliced sobrassada sausage.
Mallorca is famous for its locally made Sobrassada which is similar to a cross between a sausage and a paté. It consists of good quality chopped pork combined with cayenne pepper, salt and paprika. The ingredients are stuffed into a skin and then hung and left to cure with a result that it resembles a sausage but has a smooth paté like texture. It can be eaten plain, fried or simply spread on the local bread, delicious!
Pa amb Oli consists of brown Mallorcan bread, sliced and rubbed with a garlic clove and layered with a Ramallet tomato which is very tasty and a native of the Island. This simple dish is then drizzled with local olive oil and is used as a base for other ingredients such as anchovies or olives.
Tumbet is a dish very similar to ratatouille and eaten alone is popular with vegetarians. It can also be served as an accompaniment to fish or meat. Fried aubergine, bell peppers and potato are layered on to a dish and topped off with tomatoes fried in garlic and parsley.
Caldereta de Llagosta is a stew made from lobsters caught between Mallorca and Menorca, believed to be the tastiest to be found anywhere. The base of the stew is a fish stock produced from rockfish, peppers and picarel (a local ray-finned fish) with a large dash of brandy. Onions, tomatoes, peppers, garlic and parsley complete the stew which is normally served in a soup bowl accompanied by locally baked rustic bread.
Not for the squeamish, Frito Mallorquin is a conglomeration of potatoes, peppers, chillies, garlic, artichokes and just about any other vegetable which takes the chefs fancy but the main ingredient is offal, always with liver and sometimes with kidneys and black pudding as well. All the ingredients are chopped and fried in a large pan and can be eaten at any time of the day. It really is a typical Mallorcan dish and is extremely tasty. For those who are not lovers of offal try Frito Marinero which is made using fish or Frito Matanzas which substitutes the offal with pork loin.
Mallorcan Empanadas are a typical lunch dish readily available throughout the Island although they were originally a meal eaten around Easter. They are similar to a pastie (although not in shape) and consist of a pastry encased filling of diced pork or chicken with peas, spring onions and paprika. Occasionally the empanadas are filled with fish instead of meat; ideal comfort food!
Originating on mainland Spain, Paella has been enjoyed on Mallorca for a long time and the original Valencian recipe has been altered to suit the tastes of locals. The dish is often produced in Mallorcan homes using left-over meat and fresh fish combined with a fried onion sauce and Mallorcan sausage meat. Added to these ingredients are green beans, peas, peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, lemon and of course rice. The fish normally consists of prawns and king prawns, squid, crab pincers and mussels.