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Destinations Europe Spain Mallorca Food & Drink / Restaurants
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Mallorca: Food & Drink / Restaurants
Mallorcan cuisine combines several culinary styles and even simple dishes
need elaborate preparation
In spite of appearances, Mallorcas cuisine is not identical to Spanish cuisine.
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Certainly, paella and gazpacho, rioja wines and sangria have long since
conquered the islanders palates, and olive oil is of course a great staple of
Balearic cuisine. While the majority of hotel kitchens, cafeteras and restaurants
offer more international dishes than traditional regional ones, a separate cuina
mallorquina does exist; it has however always been exposed to foreign
influences, and still is.
In the past this was owed to the Roman and Arab presence, today northern
Europeans are contributing to changing recipes and eating habits. One thing is
certain: the islands cuisine cannot be reduced to simple or hearty fare, as is
often said. The cooks of 18th century feudal lords in particular created
capricious, delicate little dishes; their recipes are now being rediscovered and
cooked by enthusiastic restaurateurs. The only problem is that even the more
rustic cuisine of farmers and fishermen is fairly labour-intensive.
Mallorcan cooking means using fresh produce and taking particular care in its
preparation. This type of cuisine doesnt like being chivvied along, least of all
using ingredients from tins or the deep freezer. This means of course that the
1000-bed hotel with all-inclusive deals where meals are eaten in shifts in huge
dining rooms cannot remotely do justice to the islands cuisine. Another keen
competitor is the barbecue. Its triumphant progress through the islands
restaurants seems unstoppable, as not only foreigners, but more and more locals
too love their meat and fish done la planxa/plancha.
Grill restaurants are full both summer and winter. In places where VIPs, the
smart set and status-conscious nouveaux riches settle, renowned chefs are not
far behind. A handful of Michelin-starred restaurants on the island stand for
international haute cuisine, for example Gerhard Schwaigers two-starred
Tristan at Puerto Portals, and the local cook Tomeu Caldentey Soler at Es Moli
den Bou in Sant Lloren des Cardassar.
Foreign chefs are increasingly striving for an imaginative light cuisine using
natural produce. This doesnt come cheap, nor do the fashionable catering
services that pamper holidaymakers who are tired of cooking their own meals in
their rented finca (such as www.privatecooking-mallorca.com). This does not
mean, however, that you have to pay a lot of money to eat well: given the large
number of restaurants and other places to eat, normal visitors to the island will
also find value for money and tasty food, without stretching the holiday budget
unduly.
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