My youngest daughter Catarina and I have just spent a few days in Majorca. We were in the north of the island, at Playa de Muro, far away from the party beaches down south – very, very far away – in distance as well as state of mind. We spent one long, lovely day in rural Majorca, outback Majorca – shopping ingredients at the market, sampling local produce, then cooking lunch outdoors. Just a fab day all round.
Our guide is Michael, a Brit, and island resident for 12 years; passionate about everything Mallorquín.
First stop of the day is the Thursday market in Inca, third largest town in Majorca, and home of Camper shoes. No shoe shopping for me today alas, but there’s time for a browse. The market is huge and just about anything is for sale: basket ware, sunglasses, and an impressive assortment of bras.
And then, of course, there’s bunyols, (buñuelos in Spanish), fried dough balls topped with sugar; doughnuts, really.
An abundance of colours, textures, flavours…
We buy mild, white onions, equally mild green peppers, large beef tomatoes, and for the pa amb oli, the smaller tomàtiga de Ramellet, firm on the outside, soft on the inside, with a more intense and slightly bitter taste; perfect for rubbing on fresh bread.
We stop in Binissalem, a sweet little village in the rolling hills of Majorca’s wine region. Binissalem… sounds Arabic, no? Means sons of Salem, if I remember my Arabic correctly. The Moors once ruled this island, as they did much of Spain. More than 1 000 years before the Moors, however, the Romans lounged about here, occupying the island and drinking wine. As far back as the 1st century AD, Majorcan wine is mentioned in Roman manuscripts.
Well, certainly can’t break such a long and prominent tradition, now, can we? The only thing to do is sample the local products. We wander in through the doors of a small bodega, home of Ca’n Novell wines, sold from the barrel for next to nothing.
Our little group try six different wines, beginning with young whites and reds, then moving on to an older red, and then sweet dessert wines, one yummier than the next. (Of course Cat, like most 11-year-olds, fails to see the charm of a country wine tasting and uses the opportunity to check out yet another show jumping vid on YouTube).
Cooking in rural Majorca
Finally, we’re off to the finca, our cooking venue for the day. In the garden of this curious house, we hand over meat – pollo y cerdo – to Juan, barbeque chef extraordinaire, then get on with chopping ingredients for a trampo, a traditional Majorcan salad…
…and making the pa amb oli, also typical of this region – and one of life’s simple pleasures: delicious, healthy and, as a bonus, very easy to make: you take a hefty piece of fresh peasant bread, rub it with half a tomato, drizzle on some very good local olive oil, then sprinkle on salt. That’s it. Even I can do it. And that’s saying something…
Stay tuned for more on Majorca in the weeks to come. Horses will feature prominently.
Disclosure: In Majorca, we were guests of Viva hoteles and No Frills Excursions. Of course we’re free to write about anything we want, as ever.
What a wonderful day all the way around. I love that blue sky in the first shot. I’m going to try your bread (that is, if I can find some half decent bread…not that easy in Korea!) I do have some olive oil that I brought back from Spain.
Just have to bake it yourself, then 🙂
Love the “bra tree” – I guess there is no trying them on! Oh and the tomatoes and pimentos – I want to eat them. A lovely idea shopping at the market and and then eating at the finca.
Yes, I think it’s a good excursion when everyone participates.
This is my kind of trip! What a great mother-daughter trip for you ladies! Who wouldn’t enjoy shopping, food and wine. That pa amb oli sounds delicious for something so simple. Looking forward to the horses posts 🙂
We’ve usually travelled together all three of us, but I’ve made a point of taking the kids along separately, too. And these days, with my oldest all grown-up, they’ll even take off without me…
I’m testing to see if my comment will go through. Delicious island.
Looks like there’s been a bit of a tech glitch all around for a few days. Hopefully sorted now. Thanks for stopping by.
I had never seen photos of this part of Spain: interesting! Really love that photo of the small house, up in the hill and behind the palm trees. It’s a different angle, very real 🙂
– Maria Alexandra
PS: now you got me craving wine, Manchego cheese, and Serrano ham! I want to go back to Spain…
It’s a lovely – and diverse – part of Spain.
Beautiful photos – love the colourful market pics! A few years ago, British friends of mine reluctantly agreed to go on a trip to Majorca with extended family. They were reluctant because they imagined it to be nothing but party beaches. They left everyone behind at the beach to go exploring though and discovered much like you did that rural Majorca is charming and beautiful.
So glad to hear that 🙂
Looking forward to reading more of your impressions of Majorca! This is definitely more the side of the island that I was able to experience – beautiful old windmills, local markets, and really awesome cheap wine! When we get away from the beaches, Majorca can have such an old-world vibe. And I love pa amb oli – it’s so simple, but so delicious.
You’re right, it’s old-world, in the very best way.
Those tomatoes look luscious and delicious. I would have probably come home with some of those baskets in your picture but left the bras behind. I spent a day in Palma de Mallorca as a port-of-call on a Mediterranean cruise. The odd part of my visit is that my husband had literally missed the boat when it departed the previous day from Barcelona, so I was solo and hoping he would catch up with us that day.
I quite like Palma – a bit like Barcelona, only samller and with much less traffic.
You’ve painted a picture of Majorca that I really haven’t seen before. I’d love to follow in your footsteps there. Very enticing photos!
Great photos 🙂
Such gorgeous colors! And the food looks fantastic!
It was. Simple and fantastic.
What a gorgeous place to visit – you always introduce me to places I have never even heard of!! A perfect spot to daydream about – now, can I have some of those donuts to top off my daydreamin?
Thanks for linking up!
My daughter didn’t want to leave…
Mmmm – fresh country cooking – just what I like! Such beautiful surrounds too!
Fresh country cooking, indeed – and taking part in the work makes it even better.
Wonderful photos, the colors are amazing!
Wow! Gorgeous photos. Love the colours and yes.. I love the food photos too 🙂
Bunyols – I think my family would love them
Thanks. And bunyols are very popular. 🙂
Sounds like a very fun day. I do understand an 11 year old not being too interested in wine – yucky at that stage, Sounds like she has taken to horses though.
Fun bra photo – all sizes of bras by the looks of things too.
Bras everywhere – and every size. And yes, Cat loves horses above all else.
I understand your enthusiasm. Maybe it’s about time I start revising some of my own prejudices.
Do go and have a look, Mette. I think you’d like it, the quirky villages, the simple and delicious country cooking, the wine…
Thank you Sophie for sharing your experience. We are happy to read you had a good time. This excursion is for us very special because there is nothing similar in Mallorca, and it allows us to do what like which is to show how beautiful our island is.
Any time you will be more than welcome to coma back, as this trip is even better in Summer season.
Thanks for hosting us, Toni – we had a wonderful time.
Your photos are beautiful. wish my family vacation photos were that artful. Looks like a nice trip, and not your typical family adventure.
I think trips that require a bit of participation are the best, especially for kids.
How colourful! Must have been a wonderful experience…
It really was.
My friend’s family has a villa in Majorca and a group of us almost made it there last year to spend time in the villa. I’m still kicking myself for not going, even if the plans fell through. I was told it has great snorkeling. But, it’s good to see some cultural activities are there as well. I’m excited to read more about you and your daughter’s adventures.
Thanks. Hope you get another opportunity to see the island, Sherry.
Great pictures, looks like an outstanding day to spend. I have been in Mallorca and I loved it. So beautiful!
What amazing colors in those pictures! I wish I could be in Mallorca too right now! I was actually in Barcelona a few days back but the weather was just awful!! Will surely try to explore the rural side of Majorca next time i visit!
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