Mallorcan winters are admittedly mild, but as days get shorter and temperature sstart to drop things get serious in the kitchen and the typical fare served up in homes and restaurants is hearty, rib-sticking stuff. While it is true that traditional “matances” or pig slaughtering, where families would gather to make sobrassada, botifarrons and other cured meats, are gradually becoming a thing of the past, the dishes associated with this ritual continue to be popular with town and country dwellers alike.
Several specialities, such as “sopes mallorquines” (cabbage and chard soup, thickened with bread), “frit mallorquí” (finely chopped lamb or pork sweetbreads sautéed with potatoes and peppers) or “arròs brut” (soupy rice with game) all have “de matances” variants, where leftover meat and offal are added to the original ingredients, or substitute them altogether. One of the best places to eat ‘frit’ is the village of Sineu, traditionally on Wednesdays (market day).
Other cold weather dishes to watch out for are “llom amb col” (pork loinwrapped in cabbage leaves), or “porcella”-delicious roast suckling pig normallyserved at Christmas. As for fish, we can recommend two seasonal specialities: “llampuga” (exotically named mahi-mahi in English), which has a distinctive flavour and is traditionally served with stewed red peppers, and the tiny “jonquillo” (transparent goby) whose short season starts in December.
Autumn means mushrooms, and the most sought-after variety in Mallorca is the“esclatasang” which roughly translates as “bloodburst” due to the reddish colour of its flesh. With its firm texture and earthy flavour it is served grilled with a sprinkling of garlic and parsley. During these final months of the year we can still enjoy local grapes, while the first citrus fruits start to appear from September onward, as well as pomegranates and quince.
As you can see, although we tend to associate Mallorca and its cuisine with summer and warm weather, there are plenty of mouth-watering options to sample in the colder months too.