Tasty Easter Treats

Easter treats with Mallorca HikingEaster is another excellent excuse to cook up some delicious traditional culinary Mallorquin favourites. Here are some great recipes for you to try for three of the most popular Easter treats: Empanadas, Rubiols and Crespells.

Empanadas (a personal favourite!) can be made with many different ingredients – the most popular being just meat or meat with peas.

These pies are typical dishes for both the Christmas and Easter holidays here in Mallorca. Grandmothers throughout the island prepare them before the holidays start, usually baking enough for several days’ consumption! You’ll find them in bakeries all over the island during the run up to Easter in normal, large and miniature versions – but they are so much more enjoyable when you make them yourself. Here’s your chance to try a chicken variation (but you can also make this with lamb, beef or fish):

Ingredients for 20 medium pies (go on have a party!)

For the pastry:

1 kg flour easter empanadas mallorca hiking
120 grams of butter or lard
2 cups of olive oil
1 cup of water

For the filling:

8 chicken drumsticks
500 g of peas
1 bunch of spring onions, chopped and cleaned
4 teaspoons paprika
4 teaspoons black pepper
Salt to taste
Olive oil

Preparation and Baking:

Put chicken pieces from the drumsticks in a bowl, add salt, 2 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons black pepper and a little olive oil over and then mix it all together. Put the peas in another bowl, add green onions, 2 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons black pepper and a drizzle of oil and then mix.

For the dough:  Put the flour in a bowl, make a hole and pour in the butter or lard, oil and water. Knead the mixture until the dough is manageable. Preheat the oven (if electric to 170 º C) and grease a baking tray.

Now sprinkle a little flour  on a table or kitchen counter (so the dough doesn’t stick) take a handful of dough the size of an egg and kneading it, form a round shape and then place your thumb in the centre; start to create a basket shape pulling up the sides.  Fill the “basket” with a slice or two of chicken add peas etc and pour over a little oil. Take a little more dough the size of a walnut this time and roll it out. Again make a circular shape and place it on top of the “basket” with the filling in it. Gather the edges of the dough with your fingers and seal the top of the pie, making a zigzag with the tip of a knife or fingers. Place it in the tray, and repeat the process until you have finished the dough and the filling. Bake the pies for one hour or less.

Now for those of you with a sweet tooth: Crespells and Robiols

Ingredients:easter crespells with Mallorca Hiking
50 g icing sugar
80 g butter
75 g orange juice
1 / 2 lemon rind
2 egg yolks
300-350 g pastry flour (*)

Preparation: Mix together all ingredients with a whisk, reserving about 100-150g of flour to add at the end by hand (* depending on how many people you are cooking for). This will create your dough.

Robiols with Mallorca HikingSpread the dough with a rolling pin. For the crespells, cut out your shapes using cookie cutters in different shapes. For robiols, use a small round dish or container to cut out a circle of dough. You can fill your robiols with jam, cottage cheese, pumpkin, chocolate … taking care to put the filling in the center of the circle, fold the dough in half and seal it using a small fork.

Place in a preheated oven at 180 º for 15 about minutes until they are a pale brown. Sprinkle with icing sugar when cool.

Buen provecho – enjoy!!

Mallorca’s Wines

wines of Mallorca

Today’s post is by Martin Ward from Wine Educators International, our partner in Mallorca Hiking’s walking and wine tours:

So, as we are well into summer and it’s been very hot, dry and sunny… the last few summers have given us record temperatures; spare a thought for Mallorca’s vines as they bake, rather than bask or bathe, in the sun.

We might think that vines, like us, love nothing better than a long hot summer but this is not actually the case as they are fickle, demanding plants.  If you contrast the arid dryness of Mallorca’s Binissalem D.O. with some other, cooler, classic parts of the wine world, for example – Champagne, Germany or New Zealand to mention but a few, we can be perceived as simply too hot.  It’s the same in many places on the peninsula and in Lanzarote, where it regularly exceeds 40ºC.

Thank goodness we are a small island and we have some counterbalancing breezes to cool things down a little!  So, our temperamental vines like summer ‘warmth’, a little rain (at the right times and not torrential), cool winters, just a pocito of frost, breeze (but not high winds)…. you start to get the picture.

Having said this, it’s amazing that we have quite dramatic differences in the microclimates of our vineyard areas.  We have the two official D.O. regions of Binissalem & Pla I Llevant but also vineyards that do not fall into either of the demarcated, geographic areas, like the lovely Son Puig near Puigpunyent (where of course we offer a very special Walking & Wine Excursion – Puigpunyent).wine growing in Mallorca

This means that the harvest for the charming Isabel, her father Raimundo and family at Son Puig can sometimes be several weeks later than that of say, Bodegues Ribas in Consell where Araceli and her family often pick as early as the end of August or beginning of September (and here at Ribas, we can even arrange for you to spend a day helping with the harvest – hard work but a very enjoyable day and a fantastic experience!)

Mallorca’s grapes may sometimes reflect those of the peninsula in terms of style with Tempranillo; quite often they are international in flavour with Merlot, Syrah (Sira), plus Cabernet & Chardonnay BUT we also have the wonderful, indigenous varieties that make the island special.  Why not try some of the wines that showcase these – Mantonegro, Callet plus Fogoneu and Gargollasa for the reds and Premsal for the whites….. My favourite white for this time of the year is Son Puig Planco, which is Chardonnay + Premsal and it just happens to have won a Silver Medal in the prestigious Concours Mundial Bruxelles!

Better still, come and join us on one of our itineraries in the vineyards, taste the wines with us, and maybe even meet the winemaker…

We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

Salt of the Islands – Flor de Sal

flor de sal mallorca with Mallorca HikingReturning to products Made in Mallorca, today we’re going to look at the incredible success story of Flor de Sal – naturally harvested sea salt from the beaches of Mallorca.

Flor de Sal is one of the highest quality sea salts in the world, and due to its scarcity it is also one of the most expensive. It is harvested by hand along the coast of Mallorca, and has become a popular ingredient in the kitchens of many of Spain’s top chefs. It is now produced in many flavours & combinations and exported from our little island around the world. The salt obtained is 100% natural without any modification (apart from the new flavoured salts that have, e.g. herbs & spices added to them).

The salt producing area of Mallorca is Ses Salines (named after its salt flats) in the south east of the island, and about 7 kilometers from the coast. Winter storms bring seawater onto the salt flats, which are then left to dry in the sun… The whole area has been designated an area of special scenic and rural interest, and it is a fascinating place to walk, as we observe its intriguing and unusual ecology. Watch this space – Mallorca Hiking has a few fabulous new guided walking itineraries in this area that we’ll be adding soon (and in the meantime of course you can take a look at some of our other fantastic walks)

Flor de Sal (or “Flower of Salt”) is extremely beneficial as it retains its natural moisture, many minerals and other essential elements from the sea – enhancing both its flavour and its health benefits. Because its crystals are so small, flor de sal dissolves faster than regular salt when used in cooking, so it’s best used by sprinkling it over food just before serving.

La Sal de la Vida with Mallorca Hiking

In the past salt was as valuable a commodity as oil is today. Many wars and treaties were declared over the trade of salt. Some even say the fall of the British Empire started when India objected to a tax on salt that escalated into a backlash against British rule.

Historically, the Egyptian’s were the first to discover the process of evapourating sea water to extract the salt and the Phoenicians brought the technology to Portugal where mass production and export was first started. The French introduced Fleur de Sel in around 1975 in Guerande, on the French Atlantic Coast. In Mallorca farming of Flor de Sal is relatively new with the first commercial production beginning around 2001.

The ancient process for harvesting salt is  still used today.  Seawater is left to evaporate in progressively smaller, shallower, and lower pools—or salt pans—until the salt is so densely concentrated that it can just be scooped out of the water. The salt is harvested every five to seven weeks, depending on the heat of the sun and the force of the drying winds.

Once harvested the salt can be enriched with other ingredients – this process has resulted in a star product of the Balearic Islands. Numerous awards have been bestowed on the companies now producing Flor de Sal from Mallorca. Flor de Sal d’Estrenc and Llum de Sal are the main producers here and have already earned an impressive list of awards.

Flor de Sal Awards with Mallorca Hiking

If you haven’t yet discovered this wonderful product, look out for it in the quality delicatessen outlets. If it’s made in Mallorca – you can be sure it’s a quality product! It’s great for a present when you’re travelling back home – but you’ll probably get hooked for your own use once you try it…

Don’t forget it’s always important to maintain your salt levels particularly when Walking and Hiking, so why not do it in style, with Flor de Sal…!!

Mushroom picking in Mallorca

Collecting mushrooms

Collecting mushrooms

One of the many things that we love about Mallorca is the island’s dedication to its traditions of foraging for local wild produce, such as mushrooms, asparagus and the like. When we’re out walking in the mountains at this time of year, we meet any number of Mallorcan families enthusiastically searching for setas, all equipped with their traditional wicker baskets to collect their mouth-watering harvest.

The Mallorcan mushroom season is usually late October to November, depending on the weather. The rains usually arrive in late August, but if like this year they’re late, the season tends to be a bit later.

 

Mushrooms or Setas in Mallorca

Mushroom varieties in Mallorca

Mushrooms are quite varied in Spain, with some very big varieties growing in the forest areas. Our weather is good for mushrooms – hot summers, high humidity and autumn rains all contribute to conditions that allow them to thrive.  Ceps, or porcini (in Spanish rovellos) are quite common, as are Chanterelles. Niscalos or lactarius deliciosus are also prolific, and are used in many of the local dishes. But here in Mallorca the real pick of the crop is the Esclata-sangs (Lactarius Sanguifluus – Bleeding Milk Cap) a large flat fleshy mushroom, which bursts with flavour when cooked…!

This island is not shy about promoting its local produce, and every year on the last weekend of November, the tiny Mallorcan village of Mancor del Vall comes alive with the Fira de l’esclata-sang i de la Muntanya. This delightful little place lies in the foothills of the Tramuntana mountains and this autumn fair is one of its annual highlights.

Esclata-sangs in Mallorca

Esclata-sangs in Mallorca

This wonderful fair aims to show and preserve traditional mountain activities and island traditions, but the main attraction is their prized mushrooms, which are showcased over the weekend in a variety of dishes offered by local bars and restaurants. You can snack on mushrooms on toast, freshly made at one of the many stalls, or visit one of the cafes or restaurants to try one of the many specially prepared dishes featuring these delicious mushrooms.

If you’d like to find out a bit more about the varieties of mushrooms you can find here (particularly the edible variety!), there is an excellent online catalogue published by the University of the Balearic Islands in conjunction with the Balearic Natural History Museum.

And then, why not “go local” and join Mallorca Hiking for a guided mushroom foraging walk. Our expert guides will take you to the best areas, talk you through the various species and keep you safe by making sure you don’t pick the wrong ones!  If you’d like to book a walk just for you and your family and friends, we’ll organise a tailor-made day out just for you… you can then go home and cook a delicious meal with what you’ve picked!

Do contact us for more information – we’ll be happy to help…

 

Mallorca’s gastronomy during hiking (Part 1)

When we go for a hike we need to eat the appropriate type and amount of food, due to the intensive physical exercise. Drinking is even more important especially if we are not used to the climate and to the type of terrain. Therefore, we must plan carefully our food and drink intake before, during and after the hike.

Mallorca’s hikes can be quite challenging, especially in terms of temperature and slope, as the mountain paths are often steep and with a limited amount of shadow. Temperatures at noon can go over 25ºC already in March-April, and until the end of October. From June to August temperatures can pass the 30ºC threshold, even reach 35ºC or more in extremely hot days. Many routes should be avoided when temperatures are so high up, while other routes (more shadowy and with sea access) can become a perfect option to enjoy an outdoor hot day.

Mallorca hiking food

Eating local food while enjoying the fantastic views

This article (divided into 2 blog posts) will try to introduce you to the typical Mallorcan food that can complement your hikes, while resuming the health benefits they have to offer. Since we are focusing on food that can be eaten during a hike, it must be raw food or previously elaborated food. Notice that Mallorca Hiking offers you the possibility to tailor made your activity and include local food, which we will select and bring in order to make your day even more special.

 

Fruit is a source of vitamins (especially vitamin C), vegetable soluble fiber, water (fruit provides fast body hydration), and it helps the digestive system and the drainage of liquids. The typical seasonal fruits produced in Mallorca are tangerines (November-March), oranges (November-April), lemons (November-May), grapefruits (December-April), strawberries (February-May), loquats (April-May), cherries (May-July), apricots (May-August), peaches (May-September), nectarines (May-September), plums (June-August), watermelons (June-August), melons (June-September), figs (July-September), pears (July-November), apples (August-January), pomegranates (September-November), grapes (September-December) and kakis (October-December). The sunny Mediterranean climate combined with the traditional tree varieties and low air and soil pollution; provide the perfect environment to grow very tasty and juicy fruit. However, you need to know where to get it, preferably from smaller shops or directly from countryside producers.

 

Local and abundant nut

The healthy energetic snack to bring on excursions

Almonds are the main nuts produced in Mallorca, since the cultivation of almond trees became a main economic rural activity during the late XIXth century, after an epidemic stage in the grapevine that led to the end of the traditional wine producing sector. Therefore, it is usual to see almond trees during your hike, as they have been planted almost everywhere on the island. Almonds are rich in vegetable oils, meaning that they provide a great caloric kick to our body. Moreover, they contain proteins, vitamins (B and E groups especially), minerals (iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and zinc) and fiber. They are a great healthy snack (not salted), helping us to gain some energy to continue doing some body activity. And they are so delicious!!

The natural salty snack

Olives are very appreciated both for macerating and for pressing to get oil

One of the oldest symbols of peace and goodness is the olive tree which grows delicious olives. In Spain it is said that “the one who grows olives lives a long time thanks their nutritional properties”. They are not a great source of calories, though they have high quantities essential oils (omega 3 and omega 6) which are beneficial to our body. Moreover, they are a source of vitamins A and C, minerals such as iron and sodium, and fiber. Olives are easily assimilated by the body, being a perfect and tasty snack. Since they have been previously macerated, they are normally salty which means we should not eat lots of them while we are hiking. You can also bring a jar of the flavourful Majorcan olive pâté to spread on a bread slice or cookie.

Next week we will intrduce you to more elaborated Majorcan food that is also suitable to bring for a walk in the nature.

Mallorca’s gastronomy during hiking (part two)

jamon serrano

In our last blog post we where talking about what to bring when you go for a walk and giving suggestions and tips on delicious local food and products. Here comes the continuation on the same topic.

Pa amb oli” is the way local people from Mallorca call a slice of bread with tomatoes, olive oil and salt. This is the local sandwich base, which can be topped with other food or eaten directly as the 4 ingredients are already very tasteful. The best thing to do while hiking is to prepare it during one of our stops: cut some bread slices with a foldable knife, cut some tomato slices (the tomato should be a big one!) and then add virgin olive oil (local gold) and salt. A fresh “pa amb oli” is something that all locals go mad about!!

Dry cured cuts of meat are among the best toppings to a “pa amb oli”. Typical dry cured meat from Mallorca is made of pork meat, salt and spices. The most popular types that are eaten without cooking are sobrassada (orange soft paste that can be directly spread on a bread slice or bread cookie), paté (orange soft paste made of pork libber that can also be spread on a bread slice or bread cookie) and camaiot (grey and white color, cut in slices). These are the fatty and “unhealthy” part of the meal, but in small quantities they are just delicious if you like meat. It is common to also complement the “pa amb oli” with other Spanish dry cured cuts of meat such as Jamón Serrano, fuet, chorizo, salchichón… We recommend you to buy from small producers in order to maximize quality and authenticity. Majorcan cheese

There are many cheese producers in Mallorca, bringing lots of different products to the market. Cow and sheep cheeses are the most usual, though there are some excellent goat cheeses as well. Native red sheep are farmed to produce excellent and original flavors. There are ecologic producers who use traditional methods and reach excellent results (normally a bit more expensive than bigger producers). Curing and aging processes directly affect consistence, texture and taste of each cheese. We do not recommend bringing fresh cheese when hiking unless you bring a well functioning/long lasting cold bag. Cheese is a source of animal fat, protein, vitamins from group A, B and D, as well as minerals like calcium and phosphorus (great for our bones). It must be eaten moderately, but when you are hiking it is always nice to cut some slices with your foldable knife and enjoy its fantastic flavors, alone or combined with a “pa amb oli”.

 

Bakery products from Mallorca, both salty and sweet, normally contain pork fat. They are not healthy products eaten on a regular basis but it can be interesting to bring some of them ‘cause they are delicious and provide a caloric boost that can be needed when you have a long way to walk. “Coques” (sort of cold pizzas with only vegetables on it) with paprika, onion, tomatoes or parsley are crunchy and oily. “Panades” are round pasties filled with cooked lamb meat or bacon, onion and peas. “Cocarrois” are long pasties filled with cooked vegetables, including raisins. These pasties use to be typical Easter food, but nowadays they are baked the whole year around; they are very convenient to bring to an excursion because they last more than other bakery products. If you like sweet stuff (or you are longing for a sugar kick), then you must bring some ensaïmada, a round spiral inflated dough powdered with sugar, sometimes filled with sweetened apricots or other ingredients (cream, chocolate, etc.). There are other typical sweet baked products like “coca de patata”, “bunyols”, “crespells” and “robiols”, but easy on the sugar and fat.

panades

In terms of drinking, we always recommend to drink mineral water (preferably from Mallorcan springs). Freshly squeezed natural orange juice can be sometimes acquired in some hikes as there are some rural houses which prepare them for you in the very moment.

Finally, we sometimes like to bring some local red wine to do a small toast and savor this traditional beverage during our lunch break. But the wine culture in Mallorca is interesting and rich enough to write another blog-post…

A different hiking concept

Mallorca Hiking has started collaborating with Mallorca Rural Experience, an enterprise from Artà that has launched a very interesting and different hiking concept.

Mallorca Rural Experience is a 4 hours guided activity (in English) that features several key elements:

Local food and wine

Picnic on top of the lookout

  • The circular route runs inside a private farm, which means that you don’t find other hikers than those who come with your group.
  • The path has got a great part of shade thanks to the majestic Holm oak forests, a distinctive characteristic of the farm considering its location next to the deforested Natural Park of Llevant and surrounding mountains.
  • A very original sensorial circuit lets you discover new sensations and definitely brings our body and mind to a new status, ideal to immerse yourself into a true natural experience.
  • Several human heritage remains (lime kilns, charcoal platforms…) have been restored in order to let you learn more about the rural traditions of Mallorca.
  • The path features an ascension to a marvelous lookout on top of a mountain, from which you are able to enjoy fantastic views over the East part of the island.
  • A delicious picnic consisting in local food and wine is enjoyed under the pines on top of the mountain, a very pleasant moment for the whole group.
  • Organic agriculture is nowadays carried out in the farm. During the walk we can see and learn about sheep ranching, fruit trees, almond trees, vegetables and a lot more.
  • The itinerary is not particularly hard and the paths are well kept, which means that the excursion is suitable for all ages, particularly interesting for children because there are dynamic activities and animals.
Alternative hikes

Sensorial circuit

The relaxing environment of this walk is impressive, as the farm is located in a protected area far from villages and crowds. During the excursion you might only hear sheep bleats, singing birds, moving treetops and your own footsteps. You can achieve a very special mood while trying the peculiar sensorial circuit, barefoot and blind over different materials and cold water, quite an amusing activity too. In the orchard and vegetables patch you are invited to try any available fruit or vegetable, if there are any (depending on the season). What can taste better than a freshly picked fruit? At the end of the walk, you almost feel like knowing this farm since a long time ago. But what it is for sure is that you will bring with you a wonderful and clear picture of the authentic rural Mallorca.

For all these reasons, this rural walking activity is suitable not only for those who want to get a deeper insight into Mallorca’s culture and nature, but also for those who want to evade themselves from the touristic side of Mallorca. The unique, modest and authentic element of this farm captures your senses in an unforgettable way.

 If you want to know more about this different hiking concept you can visit www.mallorcaruralexperience.es or email mallorcaruralexperience@gmail.com .

 

The Allure of the Almond

Almonds in MallorcHistorically Almonds became popular in Mallorca in the 18th century at the expense of the vineyards. Almond trees were planted in their thousands to replace the grape vines that had been devastated by the outbreak of phylloxera.

Today Mallorca has close to five million almond trees and the island’s landscape is at its finest when the almond trees blossom. The incredibly picturesque scenes of the almond blossom attracts thousands of tourists each year. Almonds are now one of Mallorca’s main crops. They cover a surface area of over 60,000 hectares in the Balearics, of which 90% are in Mallorca, and produce around 14,000 tons of this precious dried fruit.

The Almond nut is highly prized by chefs for both savoury and sweet dishes. Mallorcan almonds are particularly sweet and have a high percentage of oil – sometimes reaching 60% – compared to almonds from other countries. Their low water content makes Mallorcan almonds a great source of nutrients with high energy and protein levels, similar to the protein contents of meat and fish. Thanks to these benefits, Mallorcan almonds have become a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. They are especially well suited to baking.

Almonds are eaten natural, toasted or as an ingredient in many of the islands’ typical dishes, especially pastries. Almond products packaged in Mallorca are sold under the brand name, “Ametla de Mallorca”. We now even have beauty products made with almond ingredients that can be found in perfumeries throughout Spain.

Popular Mallorcan Almond dishes include the Christmas delicacy of Turrón, Amargos (almond pastry), Gató (almond sponge cake), ice cream, marzipan, almond milk, biscuits and a typical almond liqueur Flor de Ametla. Traditional cooked dishes range from almond soup to rabbit, chicken & fish cooked in almonds.

For the ultimate Almond treat you need to visit the famous Palma café lounge Can Joan de s’Aigo. It  is Mallorca’s oldest ice-cream parlour. In the 19th century Mateu Jaume used to make an exquisite almond and pine nut “horchata”. The price for a cup was set according to the amount of sugar in the drink. Today the almond “horchata” (which originates from Valencia) can be found mainly in Valldemossa – it’s a cool, refreshing almond milk drink.

The Almond is now so important in Mallorca that the Baleares government are producing guides and web pages highlighting its nutritional benefits and the best places on the island to view the almond blossom, as well as describing the many different almond products and popular almond recipes. More information can be found here: www.itineraris.org or www.balearsculturaltour.com

Walking at “almond blossom” time is fabulous, romantic and unique. Hence many hotels, tourist offices and walking associations on the island all feature their own version of walks to take in the spectacular countryside in full bloom. Our very own Almond Blossom walk is featured in a previous blog article, as is our Blossom Fever holiday itinerary.

Make sure you stock up with some almonds before coming on one of our walks – they’re a fantastic high energy and nutritional snack and they’re light to carry too!

Olive Oil – The Fruit, The Production and Oleoturismo

olive oil production mallorca walkingMallorcan Oil is an extra virgin olive oil made with the Mallorquina (Empeltre), Arbequina and Picual varieties of olives, using traditional processes conserving the aroma, taste and consistency of the fruit. These three varieties of olive allow producers to create olive oils which are of an extremely high quality and which have very unique flavours and aromas. The Arbequina olive gives the oil a fruity taste, the Picual a more bitter flavour and the Mallorquina a subtle sweetness reminiscent of ripe almonds. These flavours are created from a variety of processes ranging from pressing before full ripeness of the olive to blending different varieties.

The high quality of the Mallorquin olive oil is achieved from a combination of the soil characteristics, rugged landscape, irregular rainfall and the great age of Mallorca’s olive trees. The olive harvest is influenced by climate and Mallorca generally has an earlier harvest than other regions.

Mallorca has a long history of olive growing, as well as production and consumption of olive oil. Mallorcan olive oil has always been well acknowledged and popular among local residents but despite this, the amount of Mallorcan Olive Oil consumed on the island only accounts for 2.7% of total sales. The rest is exported, with Germany being the main consumer.

According to historical data, the Phoenicians and Greeks introduced olive trees to the Iberian Peninsula, and from there they reached Mallorca. It was in the 16th century that important progress was made in olive growing and oil production, and for many years this was the main source of income for numerous estates on the island, many of which had their own olive mills. Mallorcan olive oil continued to be the island’s leading export product until the first half of the 19th century. Today there are close to 402 producers of Mallorcan Olive Oil, covering a total of 1400 hectares of land, and using 7 Olive Oil presses. Recent records show annual production in excess of 100,000 litres of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, increasing year on year.

The Pressing of the Oil

Much of the Olive Oil production in Mallorca still uses traditional systems used over centuries. The olives are placed on a grindstone and crushed by machine-operated conical-shaped rollers. The grinder is a mechanical hammer type machine and the grinding process depends on the amount of olives in each batch. The golden rule is that they should never be ground for more than 6 minutes. The paste produced is placed between woven mats that are laid one on top of the other and pressed. In the olive press, by applying considerable pressure, a liquid is produced composed of water and oil. The liquid is left to settle and separates into two layers, with the oil on top and the water from the olive below.

This process is known as Continuous Flow which involves: Cleaning and Washing, followed by Weighing andolive-press mallorca walking holidays Classification and then the Grinding. The paste then goes through a Mixing (malaxing) process where the paste reaches a maximum temperature of 28ºC. This section of the oil extraction takes between 60 and 90 minutes. Now comes the Extraction of the oil using horizontal centrifugation. Separation is the final stage that is achieved by horizontal and vertical centrifugation, which then results in the finished product: pure Mallorcan Olive Oil with designated origin ‘Oli de Mallorca’ .

Storage & Bottling : The oil now moves into storage. After being classified, it is placed in tanks depending on its quality. The oil mills are located geographically, with building characteristics to ensure the oil can be stored at appropriate temperatures, not rising above 25ºC.

The oil is then bottled in conditions that protect it from the sunlight, preventing any possible alteration due to the oxidation of the oil’s fatty acids.

The next time you try the pure essence of Mallorcan Olive Oil, think of the process required to arrive at the golden liquid you are enjoying.

The popularity of Mallorquin Olive Oil both in Mallorca and importing countries, has resulted in a new form of tourism in Mallorca: Oleoturismo. Promoted as Olive Oil Tourism – The Art of Nature this initiative was created in order to introduce visitors to all aspects of the Olive tree; the oil and the additional products created from Olive wood with a series of highly original activities. You can find more details regarding these activities and the routes on the island here:

Made in Mallorca

made in mallorca hikingThere isn’t nearly enough information produced about the variety of products that are made and sold in, and exported from Mallorca. Mallorca has a history of producing a variety of products, which are all available here on the island for you to discover. Exploring the real Mallorca can start with sampling some of these products. They all contain an essence of the island, whether it’s liquer made from local herbs or perfume made from the flowers of the almond blossom…. Tempted? Then read on:

Many of the island’s products are known only in Spain, however some of them, such as Camper shoes, are now a global brand!

Here’s a sample of some of the ‘home-produced’ items you can buy in Mallorca.

Sobrassada and Botifarró

Pork products form a large part of the Spanish diet and these two delicacies are produced throughout the Balearics. They are well-known and well-loved across the whole of Spain. Essentially, Sobrassada is “sausage meat” made from good quality minced pork combined with spices like paprika, salt and red pepper (which gives it a lovely red colour), which you normally spread on bread. Every producer makes it slightly differently…

Botifarró is the name given to a sausage filled with coarsely ground pork, including liver, and spiced with salt, pepper, herbs and aniseed, which gives it its distinctive flavour. They are delicious, large chunky sausages and perfect for BBQ’s!

Ensaimada

You may have noticed Spanish holiday-makers walking around the airport with large hexagonal boxes. These are used to carry home the ensaimada which is a light, quite sweet pastry usually eaten for breakfast. The dough is made of flour, water, sugar, eggs, mother dough and reduced pork lard called saïm, and shaped into a spiral – it is quite unlike anything you will have tried elsewhere.

Sometimes ensaimadas are filled with angel’s hair (squash jam), custard cream, almond puré, chocolate, sobrassada, apricots, but normally they just have a light dusting of icing sugar – perfect for “dunking” in coffee at breakfast or a mid-morning snack.

Olive Oil

Excellent quality olive oils are produced from the olive farms on the island. Extra virgin olive oils with designation of origin are made from majorquine, arbequina and picual olives and have a wonderful, and very distinctive flavour. Olives and olive oil production will be the subject of a future article, so why not register to follow this blog…?

Wine and Liquers

There are two areas in Mallorca with D.O. – Binissalem (where a festival is held to celebrate the grape harvest every year) and Pla i Llevant. Wine produced in the island has consistenly improved over the decades and can now quite rightfully hold its own alongside the more well known Spanish names. See also our earlier article on Wines of Mallorca.

Two liquers are made on the island: Palo and Hierbas. Palo is a very dark (almost black), dense, thick liquid and made from infusing cinchona bark (quinine) and gentian roots, and caramelised sugar. It has been made in Mallorca since the 19th century. Hierbas, an aniseed drink, is made from infusing and distilling herbs gathered from the island. This is by far the most popular digestive on the island and comes in sweet, dry and medium varieties. Restaurants will often offer you a “chupito” when you’ve finished your meal and order the bill – and this is invariably Hierbas!

Don’t forget that liquids can’t be transported in your hand luggage so either buy your bottles after going through security or get them wrapped carefully in the shop and pack them in your main luggage.

camper shoes mallorcaShoes

The island’s shoe-making industry is based in Inca, Selva and Lluchmajor. These days some of the brands such as Camper and Patricia are well known across Europe. Modern, funky and traditional designs are all produced on the island and the quality of the leather used is well known.

Also made on the island are the canvas “rope” shoes or Espadrilles. Worn over the years by the locals and available in wonderful bright colours, they became popular across Europe in the ’60’s.

There is also another type of Mallorcan open sandal – ever popular with the locals – made from leather and recycled motor tyres! These also now come in funky colours, and with a number of variations on the theme…

Pearls

The imitation pearls made in Mallorca are famous the world over for their close similarity to natural pearls, which cost considerably more! The factory, established over 100 years ago and now producing over 50 million artificial pearls a year, is in the town of Manacor.Mallorca_Pearl_Bracelet

Mother of pearl and ocean substances are used to make the artificial pearl and the process is absolutely fascinating. Enjoy a visit to the factory where you can watch how the pearls are produced, and also take advantage of lower prices in the factory shop.

Don’t expect a bargain though – artificial pearls, such as those cultivated in Manacor, are almost indistinguishable from the real thing so they can be quite pricey.

Pottery and Glass

Pottery and ceramics have been synonymous with Mallorca for centuries. One of the cutest examples of the tradition for pottery is the ‘siurells’. These are little clay whistles produced as far back as the Arab times. Adored by children, they come painted in bright eye-catching colours and can still be bought on the island today. All over the island you will see many examples of Majorcan pottery for sale.

Glassblowing, which originated in Syria and was brought to the Balearics by the Romans, is a craft that still exists on the island to this present day. In places like Lafiore in Valldemossa you can still watch master craftsmen. In Palma there are many small Art Galleries where exquisite examples of this craft can be seen and bought.

Perfume

The perfume Flor d’Ametler (‘almond flower’) is made in Mallorca. The main ingredient is the almond flower, which gives it a distinctive scent. Make sure you look for the flower inside the bottle. Only the authentic perfume has that, copies won’t!

flor de sal mallorcaSalt

Salt is a relatively new product now being produced from salt “farms” mainly around Ses Salines in the southeast of Mallorca. There are 2 excellent producers – Flor de Sal and Llum de Sal – which use high quality sea salt in their products, as well as extracts and essences from Mediterranean plants such as mandarin orange, rosemary, rose and lavender, wine… As the most natural sea salt available, this is a very sought after product and is now exported worldwide.

From the earth..

Natural products like oranges from Soller and Almonds island-wide,  Olives & Olive Oil as well as growing Wine production have all been covered in previous posts, and these describe many diverse products made from these locally grown fruits.

Suffice to say there are some great shopping opportunities when visiting Mallorca – take some of these fabulous products home as presents, souvenirs or just treat yourself to a little Mallorquin luxury. So…. see you in Mallorca soon?