Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Taste of Tradition; on Mallorca, Retro Local Cooking Is Back in Style

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Taste of Tradition; on Mallorca, Retro Local Cooking Is Back in Style

Article excerpt


ABABY pig," says my friend Ricard, fulltime gastronome and part-time lecturer in nutrition at Mallorca's University of Palma, "needs a good stuffing. You mince together kidney, liver, heart, apples and apricots, and fill the cavity. Then you roast it for six hours, preferably over an open pit." Groovy, I tell him, but will it catch on?

Apparently, it already has. Suddenly, the new, must-have cuisine on Mallorca is - guess what? - Mallorcan (or " Mallorqucn"). With excellent livestock and island-grown fruit and vegetables to equal that of Mediterranean France or Italy, the rediscovery of traditional Mallorqucn cooking was waiting to happen.

Now, in the island's country inns it's adis to the fried calamari rings of the chiringuitos (food stalls) of Pollenca and hello to slow-cooked kid with tumbet, a casserole of warm peppers, potato and pumpkin. The smart money no longer wants to be eating beside the seaside, it wants to be "tasting" up a mountain.

Ric is taking me on a culinary tour.

We are having dinner at Son Net, a 20-minute drive from Palma, above the village of Puigpunyent. A fine 17th century mansion converted into a 24-room luxury hotel, Son Net is the flagship of Mallorca's new rural tourism.

I don't much care for the ornate Italian gazebo at the entrance to the car park, but I do care for L'Orangerie, its restaurant specialising in "retro" island cuisine. Young chef Francesc Martorell comes from the nearby town of Sller and cooks a braised rabbit with ceps that I still dream of.

In the Fifties, Ric tells me, long before the Sller tunnel was built, it was cheaper for islanders to take a boat to sell their produce in Marseille than make the dangerous, weeklong round trip over the Tramuntana mountains to the market in Palma. Is this why Mallorqucn cooking draws its inspiration from France as much as from Spain?

Absolutely, he assures me.

At Bens d'Avall, on the other side of Sller, Benito Vicens, another inspired young chef, makes a stunning dish out of nothing more than just picked spring vegetables decorated with a swirl of local olive oil. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.