Balearic Island recipes are often mentioned in the same breath as those from Catalonia and Valencia. And while it is true that there are many similarities between the cuisine and culture of these regions, they each have their own identity that
should also be appreciated. This variation in identity extends to the Islands themselves which are made up of several popular tourist destinations inlcuding Cabrera, Formentera, Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca, each offering a very difference experience from the next.
Balearic Island recipes are typically very simple, celebrating the natural flavours of fresh ingredients to produce one of the healthiest diets in all of Spain. The cuisine offers a perfect combination of natural sweetness and salt that is naturally pleasing to the palate. The secret to this style are the high quality ingredients that the Balearic Islands has in abundance. Wonderfully sweet and aromatic Olive oil, the finest quality fruit and vegetables and prime Mediterranean seafood. Is it any wonder they like keep it simple?
A good introduction to Balearic cuisine would be the wonderful soups and stews which make use of whatever produce is available. Sopas Mallorquina is a stew-like soup that has its roots firmly in the countryside and is an incredible example of how the locals can extract maximum flavour from the simplest of ingredients such as vegetables and bread. More extravagant soups and stews are made using top quality seafood such as lobster and in Menorca, you can sample an endless variety of seafood soups prepared in large pots over open flames.
Other typical recipes include flaos, pastry-based tarts often made with sweet and savoury ingredients; cocas, similar to pizzas but without cheese and popular all over the islands and beyond; tombet, a vegetable stew similar to ratatouile; and ensaïmada, a typical Majorcan pastry.
Menorca is renowned for its cheese production, with Mahon being the most famous cheese from the island. This versatile cheese is sweet and fruity with a slightly sharp edge, and appears in all sorts of sweet and savoury recipes. It is also widely acknowledged that mayonnaise originated in the Menorcan capital of Mahon.
Region: Balearic Islands, Illes Balears (Catalan), Islas Baleares (Spanish)
Islands: Majorca, Mallorca (Catalan, Spanish); Minorca, Menorca (Catalan, Spanish); Ibiza, Eivissa (Catalan); and Formentera.
Balearic Island informationOfficial Tourist Information Website of Menorca