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HOLD THE TAPAS Mallorca’s food revolution

The culinary scene on this beautiful Balearic island is in full bloom, with a new breed of chefs embracing local flavours and innovation like never before. Kathryn Tomasetti indulges in a food-lover’s tour of blowout proportions

hungry traveller.

Sunset over Port de Sóller

Mallorca is shaped like a diamond atop a glistening blue Mediterranean. Just 250km east of mainland Spain, it’s a microcosm of its big Iberian brother, with each corner celebrating a special ingredient, flavour, cooking style or dish. Where to start?

Above the northern Tramuntana Mountains sits Sóller, a village so renowned for its sweet citrus it’s said France’s King Louis XIV refused to eat oranges from anywhere else. Further east is Pollença, the winter training ground for Tour de France cycling teams, where olive groves roll down to the sea. The western port of Andratx is a seafood mecca where giant tuna are still hauled onto the quay. But it’s the island’s capital, Palma, that’s the culinary epicentre. Here, berries, wines, cheeses and crustaceans can be nibbled, stored, picnicked upon and toured – with more to see now than ever before.

Two thousand years of colonisation have inscribed an edible mark on the island’s menu, too. Romans left the capers that are scattered on dishes such as coca mallorquina, a local red pepper tart. Arabian Moors gifted the spices that infuse arròs brut, a rice dish seasoned with saffron and cinnamon (see p118). Admiral Lord Nelson’s British fleet paired both with a hefty splash of gin, which is distilled by small producers across Mallorca today.

The culinary scene is burgeoning, blending new ideas with island ingredients. A new breed of chefs, some from the island, some from further afield, are showcasing the sublime ingredients Mallorca so effortlessly cultivates. From local canoneta oranges and manto negro wines to pa moreno, the bread typical of this island, the lure of an eating extravaganza in the sunshine is impossible to resist. And so my appetite-whetting tour begins…

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About delicious. Magazine

The September issue of delicious. is packed with great cooking: there’s a Ukrainian feast from Olia Hercules, a relaxed Persian menu from Sabrina Ghayour, Bruno Loubet’s incredible mushroom burger, Richard Bertinet’s end-of-summer pudding and Thane Prince’s foolproof jam-making feature. Our bigger midweek section is also filled with inspiration for exciting and healthy meals that are simple to cook but deliver on flavour. Plus improve your kitchen skills with our guide to sourdough, making a pastry lattice and step-by-step biryani.