Eat & Travel Weekly Mallorca Food Tour – Episode 1
It was Saturday and I was up at the crack of dawn to begin an assignment with Hong Kong Eat & Travel Weekly magazine, a travel and food magazine which is running a feature on Mallorca and its gastronomy. My task was to accompany the team on some of their visits to Mallorcan businesses and act as their interpreter between local Mallorcan business owners and themselves (I do not speak Cantonese; I would be translating from Spanish to English and vice versa.)
For our first assignment we went straight to the Fish Market, La Lonja, in Palma to see the fresh fish being auctioned – the catch had been brought in hours before, routinely checked and was then auctioned off to buyers (mainly market stall owners and restaurant groups, although Eroski was also bidding). The lobster season has just begun so we were able to see some of them, as well as a huge array of fish caught within the areas of Mallorca’s eleven fishing ports. All the fish auctioned at this market is caught within Mallorcan waters, at one of Mallorca’s eleven ports and is therefore labeled ‘Local Produce’ or Producte Local.
By 5.30 am we had taken plenty of photographs and quizzed the manager of the market, Armando and were ready for some caffeine to keep us going. So we followed a random tip off and ventured up to the Mercado de Santa Catalina, to the only bar open in the vicinity, one inside the market itself. It was a truly unique experience. The only other customers were workers such as cleaners, builders or stall workers and it was difficult to tell in some cases whether they had just finished their working day or were just about to start it, (some were even enjoying tapas and red wine!). The atmosphere was magical. Everywhere around us was quiet and here we were inundated with the sound of the coffee machine steaming milk and the laughter of the punters surprised at having their photo taken by a Chinese photographer. It was a great opportunity to introduce the team to Café con Leche and fresh Ensaimadas, we could never have planned it better.
Our next stop for the day was the Forn de Sant Miquel Bakery, to watch ensaimadas being made from scratch…