What food is there to eat in the Balearics?
If you’re a food lover and looking for a holiday that’ll tickle your tastebuds as well as tan that torso, then you can stop your search. The Balearics are chock full of incredible cuisine, fresh ingredients and traditional specialities, sometimes with modern twists.
The three major islands in the Balearics are Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca. Each of these have their own rolling landscape, rich farmlands, coastlines with fishing villages, and, of course, hundreds upon hundreds of restaurants. Chefs are gifted with local fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and meats, grown and reared under the beautiful Mediterranean climate. We’ve put together a run down of the best of the Balearics for you to sink your teeth into.
Breakfast – El Desayuno
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for us, but in Spain, it’s the smallest.
The Balearics offer a number of things to balance your morning and get those energy levels up. An Ensaimada is a typical spiralled pastry and a bakery favourite of natives and tourists alike.
Try a Cafe Solo – the Spanish form of an espresso – which will give you that shot of caffeine you need to get through the day. Next, make sure you take advantage of the juicy fruits that grow on these Mediterranean islands, because you won’t find anything so delicious back home. A glass of freshly squeezed Spanish orange juice will revitalise you for the day ahead.
Brunch – Tapas
We wouldn’t blame you if you still had a rumbling tummy after such a tasty, but small, breakfast. If that’s the case then you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s not uncommon to see the local tapas bars full before lunch. Many natives like to eat hard cheeses, breads and cured meats with wine before their midday meal, and you’d be more than welcome to join them in this tradition.
Lunch – La Comida
After all that tapas, you’re probably not going to want a heavy lunch. In which case your best bet is to continue with the sharing foods – perhaps a platter of seafood or a crisp, light salad. For a warm alternative, the Sopa de Pescado y Marisco – or fish soup – is absolutely stunning.
However, if you want to go the whole hog, you’ll be delighted to hear that for the Spanish, lunch is the biggest meal of the day, often with up to six courses. Typically, the meal begins with tapas and a garlic soup – Sopa de Ajo – before moving through mouthwatering dishes of fish, meat and paella. Sopes Mallorquines, a healthy vegetable and meat dish, and lobster stew are particular favourites of the Balearics.
For pudding, a classic custard and caramel flan is often served, with dessert wines to wash it down. After this monumental feast, you’ll undoubtedly stick to tradition and want to have a siesta. So you can eat and then nap to pass the hottest hours of the day in bed.
Snack – La Merienda
After sleeping off lunch, it is wise to have a little something, as dinner in Spain is often eaten quite late for British standards. This snack will usually be no more than a sweet bread like Panallets, or perhaps some chorizo.
Dinner – La Cena
Dinner is more of a social thing, usually with less food than at lunch. You’ll find most natives eat between 9pm and midnight on the islands, but you’ll be able to get food before that with ease. If you wait until the locals are out though, you’ll experience the buzzing atmosphere of dinner in the Balearics.
Traditionally, salads and omelettes do the Spanish people fine for dinner. Light dishes of fish, meat and rice are also served. Menorcan stuffed aubergines are a tasty vegetarian option for an evening meal.
Other prized creations from the islands are Majorca’s vegetable stew, Frit Mallorqui, and Sofrit Pages – an Ibizan meal which marries farm cooking with fish. There are also a range of incredible Spanish wines to suit your culinary adventure.
After Dinner – Churros
As if the feast was over! No, the last stop is Churros – a fried pastry dipped in sugar. These resemble straight donuts, but they come with a cup of hot chocolate. This isn’t hot chocolate like you’ve come to know it in the UK, mind you, as it’s thick, boiling and used as a sauce for the pastries.
You’ll find churros vendors work until very late at night, because they’re often used as a last port of call for those who have been out partying way past their bedtime.
It’s clear that the Balearics have an incredible range of dishes, many of which you may never have encountered before. The culinary tradition on the Balearic Islands is unique from it’s Spanish roots.
So, when you’re thinking about where to visit next on your taste adventure, don’t forget that a week of dining in Menorca, Majorca or Ibiza is essential if you’re looking to taste something brand new.