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Mallorcan Food and Drink:

Mallorcan food is predominately based around pork, fish and vegetables and has generous use of garlic and olive oil. Some Mallorcan specialities are: ‘frit’ - a fry-up using meat, potatoes, onion and tomatoes; it will be found on most menus alongside ‘tumbet’ - a Mallorcan-style ratatouille of aubergines, potatoes and peppers in olive oil; plus other classic dishes including ‘llom amb col’ (pork wrapped in cabbage with pine nuts and raisins), and ‘lechona asada’ (roast suckling pig).

Paella is widely available but is not a Mallorcan dish; the local equivalent is ‘arros brat’ - saffron rice cooked with chicken, pork and vegetables. Seafood is also popular, especially lobster, prawns and sardines, a Mallorcan speciality is sea bass baked in rock salt.

Desserts are fairly limited in Mallorca, choices often consist of ‘helado’ (ice cream) and ‘flan’ (crème caramel); an interesting alternative is ‘gato de almendras’ - almond cake served with toasted almond ice cream.  Something Mallorcans are very proud of their ‘ensaimadas’ - fluffy, spiral-shaped pastries which are filled and dusted with sugar.

Wine was thought to be introduced to Mallorca by the Romans; records show that grapes were still grown during the Moorish rule, but drinking of wine and spirits was forbidden under the Islamic religion. It wasn't until the Catalan conquest, when wine became a staple accompaniment to any meal, this saw an expansion in its cultivation and production.

Phylloxera destroyed the French vineyards in 1882, so the owners signed agreements with Spain leading to many Mallorcan smallholders uprooting their cereal and vegetable crops to replace with vines to cash in. The emphasis was on quality rather than quantity, and by 1891 there were 30,000 hectares of vines on the island.

However, phylloxera also devastated the Mallorcan vineyards in 1891, wiping out most of the wines. Mallorca has never repeated such a degree of dependence on any one single crop. Although vine cultivation was re-introduced,

 

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