I am a very very lucky lady. This weekend past, my wonderful husband whisked me away for a weekend vacation to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Suffice it to say we did a lot of eating, and washed all of the amazing food down with a lot of beer. And red wine. And sangria. Upon arrival at our hotel in Palma the girl working reception took out a map and oriented us to where we could catch the bus into town, how we could get to the beach, and started telling us about some of the local restaurants – she was launching into a description about a very good local Italian restaurant when we interrupted her and told her that what we wanted was tapas! I’m a big believer in eating the local cuisine, so there was no way I was spending my first night in Mallorca in anything other than a tapas bar. Off we went.
Paul and I have been to Spain before and we have learned that the tapas in every region is a little bit different. What we found in Mallorca was totally different than the tapas we’d previously had in Barcelona and San Sebastian, but every bit as good. Mallorca had less of the individual bites of things you pay for by the piece, (pieces that either you’ve got a pile of toothpicks from to prove how many of each you ate, or the bar keeper just mysteriously seems to just know exactly what you ate) and more of the little dishes of things you’d order to share at your table, or by the bar side, as we more often found ourselves.
These pimientos de Padrón were some of our favourites; bowl full of little green peppers fried in olive oil, and topped off with some coarse salt. Most were mild, some had some heat, and the odd one packed a furious punch – to the extent that my husband, who is the kind of guy who will pile wasabi on his sushi until tears are literally streaming down his face, had to step outside to get some fresh air after eating one of the few really hot ones. The little bowl of peppers, which you would pop in your mouth whole and eat seeds and all, discarding only the stems, really hit the spot with a frosty mug of San Miguel or Estrella Damm. We were big fans of these (as you can see below) and ate them each and every day we were in Mallorca. If I can get my hands on some of these little peppers, I’m going to try to make my own version of them. Yum!
The sangria was awesome, as you’d expect in a little Spanish island in the Mediterranean. When we got sick of beer, we’d make the switch to sangria. It’s always a little bit different in every bar, and always tasty. We were particularly charmed by the little slices of banana in this one. This bar also had friendly staff, and a great life musician, who was there each night we went (and we went each night we were there).
I seriously could not get enough of these olives. We had a few different kinds of olives while in Palma, but these showed up at most bars. They were buttery and salty but not too briny, and they went down fantastically with beer or wine. I wish I had some right now.
Patatas bravas. Hot little potatoes cooked in oil, sprinkled with coarse salt, and topped with a spicy sauce. Delicious. Another one I want to try and make at home – especially since the little local potatoes in Sweden are so amazing right now.
Paul had these sardines the third night we were in Palma, when we went to Boveda’s, a famous tapas bar. I’m not a fish eater myself, but these looked interesting, and went down quickly, complimented by a Spanish beer, some olives, bread, a plated of mixed Spanish cheeses, and a great bottle of 2004 Rioja Reserva. I had all but the sardines.
I don’t drink coffee because it makes me feel crazy, but somehow Spain makes me want to drink cappuccinos. The last one I had was in Barcelona in 2008, so more than 2 years between them! It was dang tasty.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2010