Food and Drink in Majorca Mallorca Travel Destinations Spain

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Bars and restaurants drift in and out of fashion, so the best guide to Majorca's food will invariably come from the people who live on the island. It is a cliché, but if in doubt you should go to the restaurant, café or bar where all the locals are eating.

In Majorca, what they will often be eating is tapas. More Spanish than specifically Majorcan, these bite sized nibbles traditionally whet the appetite before a fully fledged dinner, but it is perfectly possible and socially acceptable to turn your tapas into a meal.

Majorcan food tends to be quite hearty and is often bread and pork oriented. Pork is the staple meat on the island: king of the pork dishes is roast suckling pig, and there are some fantastic local chorizo sausages called sobrasada. Game is more common than beef, unless you're in one of the resorts where they serve English food.

Fish, understandably, forms a substantial part of the islanders' diet, although the waters around Majorca have been fished dry and much of the fish comes from elsewhere in the Mediterranean. Monkfish and bream are quite common on Majorcan menus; lobster stew is more of a treat.

Any guide to Majorca has to pay homage to pa amb oli, the island's archetypal bread dish. In its purest form it consists of bread and olive oil, but variations often involve tomatoes and garlic, creating a dish that ends up like bruschetta.

Vegetarians are also well served by tumbet, a dish with potatoes, aubergines and courgettes, and the various soups with which Majorcans often start their meals.

All these Majorcan favourites are invariably washed down with a glass or two of wine. The guide to Majorca wine invariably puts Binissalem at the top of the list. Viticulture was brought to the island by the Romans in the second century BC and the central plains of Majorca have proved very suitable for grape production. The village of Binissalem is the centre of the island's wine industry, and the local manto negro grape produces an excellent red, named after the village. The most famous Majorcan wine, Jose Luis Ferrer, is created from vineyards here.

Mallorca also produces a couple of local brandies, while there is some good gin made across the water in Menorca.