Mallorca, off the coast of Spain is the largest of the Balearic Islands, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. 10 million a year – many of them Britons – come to enjoy the beaches, sunshine and food. But how much do we actually know about the local food and wine traditions? There are lots of places in London that serve Spanish tapas, but what about some Mallorcan delicacies?
Spanish food consultant and chef Rachel McCormack says little is known in the UK about the island’s food, wine and culture, so she had an idea of organising the first Mallorca week in London when various Spanish restaurants offered Mallorcan specialities on their menu as well as wine by glass.
The week’s festivities culminated at Boqueria restaurant in Brixton, where the well-known Mallorcan chef Oscar Martinez created an entirely Mallorcan menu accompanied with local wines.
We chose a few typical Mallorcan tapas dishes such as Escaldum (chicken and almond stew with plums), lamb medallions stuffed with tumbet in honey and rosemary sauce, and cod glazed with puree of quince jam and sweet potatoes.
It turns out Coca – a typical Mallorcan pizza – doesn’t have any cheese. Delicious orange mousse with ground almonds on a base of white chocolate and tea for dessert put the final touches on our Mallorcan feast.
Rachel says Mollorcan wine has a distinctive taste, because wine producers use a lot of native grape varieties like Premsal and Callet. We sampled tasty reds – Som Fangos and an organic Butibalausi, Pla Levant 2011.
Mallorca is very well known as a holiday destination, but according to Rachel it’s time the UK realised it also has a rich food and wine offering too. You can find some Mallorcan dishes at Barrafina in Soho and Fino in Fitzrovia that often do Cocas (pizza with no cheese) or Frito Mallorquin (chopped up and fried lamb’s liver, hearts and kidneys with potatoes, garlic, pepper).
Boqueria serves scrambled eggs with Mallorcan chorizo called Sobrasada (£4,90) on their menu. When not hosting Mallorcan week, Boqueria is a simple, but cosy and reasonably priced neighbourhood restaurant, favoured by locals for its good quality tapas.
It serves traditional Spanish dishes, such as Patatas bravas (£3,90), Croquetas (£4,75), Pimientos de Padron (£4,75) and various hams and chorizo (£7,95 for a selection).
Rachel says Boqueria will introduce more Mallorcan specialities. We can’t wait!
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