Blessed with bountiful, locally grown produce, Mallorcan cuisine is rooted in the mouth-watering flavours of a typically Mediterranean culture. Naturally, its food is similar to mainland Spain, yet it draws on African and Roman influences as well. With its sun-ripened lemons, shiny Padrón peppers and freshly caught seafood, the Balearic island is abundant with tasty organic ingredients that lend themselves perfectly to simple, delicious food. Here, we guide you on a journey through true Mallorcan food.
What to eat
For breakfast, Mallorcans love ensaïmadas. In fact, they’re one of the island’s signature eats. A sweet or savoury swirl of pastry rolled into a coil—much like Moroccan m’hanncha—ensaïmadas are perfect for dunking in your morning coffee.
Wherever you travel on the island, you won’t be far from the simple pa amb oli. A local staple since the 18th century, a slice of fresh crusty bread is rubbed with garlic, drizzled with olive oil and topped with plump, juicy slices of tomato. It’s the most versatile offering in Mallorcan cuisine, serving as breakfast, a snack, or a more substantial bite when layered with sliced meats or cheese.
Unlike the French, who serve their snails baked with garlic butter, typical Mallorcan food embraces caragols cooked in a blend of fresh herbs such as mint and fennel, garnished with a generous helping of aïoli.
The scenic roads that traverse the island are lined with endless almond trees, and it’s their freshly harvested nuts that make their way into the island’s desserts, like moist almond cake or chewy turrón; a sweet nougat candy. Be sure to purchase some raw almonds from the market as a souvenir.
What to dine
The island’s noteworthy dining spots offer an ideal vantage point from which to savour the best local food. At Cap Roig in Port de Sóller, your meal comes with dramatic clifftop vistas over the azure Balearic Sea. Indulge in the island’s freshest delicacies such as octopus, red prawns or fish from the morning’s catch.
For tasty tapas bites to share with family or friends at dinner, Es Fanals serves piles of Padrón peppers, classic Spanish patatas bravas with saffron aïoli and a fine selection of local cheeses. The fall-off-the- bone lamb shoulder is a must.
A friendly husband-and-wife team runs Finca Es Serral, preparing its menus with homegrown organic ingredients and locally reared lamb and goat. Meals are wonderfully simple and traditional, served on the romantic outdoor terrace to give an authentic insight into Mallorcan cuisine.
Where to shop
Palma is a great place to pick up some foodie souvenirs. Its Mercat Olivar is a well- stocked market hall where you can shop for dried fruits and herbs, cold-pressed olive oil and local nuts. Pause for some tapas on your saunter around the many stalls. Mallorca’s gourmet sea salt is internationally renowned, harvested from Flor de Sal on the east of the island. Find it at Santa Catalina Market in Palma along with seasonal fruit and vegetables, pickles and fresh, warm pastries.
On Thursday mornings locals and tourists alike flock to Inca, Mallorca’s largest market. Weave around the many stalls and peruse the artisanal deli products as well as pretty craft items and souvenirs.
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