Eating and Drinking in Majorca

Unlike my Ashram visits of energetic fasting, my recent trip to Majorca was one of passive feasting.

There were some bouts of exercise, most notably a long hike reminiscent of the Ashram but fueled very differently.  Our group meandered along the coastline from Port de Soller to Deia for several hours, basking in the sunshine and appreciating the seaside views.

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Along the way, we passed an old finca nestled in the hills.  We were lured by fresh squeezed orange juice and a luscious lemon meringue tarta that Jeff couldn’t resist.  This snack was a definite improvement from the three almonds and one fig that usually keep me going on the trails!

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We wove through the craggy cliffs and ended our hike at the glorious horseshoe bay in Deia.  Here the rocks define a small swimming area of crystal clear water that was still warm enough to tempt a plunge.

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Overlooking this bay is a lovely restaurant perched on the hillside.  Here our group of 10 adults managed to polish off 8 bottles of rosé wine, the perfect beverage to wash down my fresh filet of local fish.  The last steep hike back to the hotel was definitely lethargic as each step felt leaden and the food and wine set a lazy pace.

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Jackie and I ventured into the charming town of Valdemossa for lunch one afternoon.  It was a market day, and we explored the local textiles, sweet delicacies, and tourist trinkets in the open stalls.  We wound our way through a maze of small cobbled lanes that led to a large piazza outside a ancient stone church.  It felt as if we were transplanted to a hillside village in Tuscany.  However, I knew we were in Spain when the menu displayed various tapas, heavy on the manchego and jamón!

An evening visit to Palma introduced me to the urban center of Majorca, a bustling city of energetic nightlife and old world beauty.  The majestic cathedral was stunning, set off against the azure blue sky.

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Here we dined on too many tapas to recall, filling our long table with endless little plates of Spanish delicacies.  A little goes a long way as we managed to eat too much even off tiny plates that look like they are meant for a child’s tea party not an adult dinner.

But, the finest feast of the weekend was held on a hilltop overlooking the town of Deia.  Donkeys carried up provisions as we dutifully followed behind on the dusty trail.

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A steep path led us to a little oasis carved into the hill top.  We arrived to find a beautifully set table adjacent to an old stone hut that housed an open hearth for rustic cooking.

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The tables were adorned with local olive oils, course salts, fresh tomatoes, crusty bread, ripe olives, and the ubiquitouts cheeses and hams.  Everything tastes better al fresco and accompanied by this view.

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Our cook, Lorenzo, made the most delicious bruschetta by toasting sliced bread over the open fire and then rubbing fresh tomatoes across the crusty surface.  Then he poked thin slivers into the bread with a knife and spread olive oil across the top allowing it to soak through.  Last, he dusted the bread with course olive-infused salt.  Divine!

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But the best was saved for last: a dessert that looked like a deep dish pizza.  However, it tasted like crème brûlée set on top of a rich cake.  The outer surface was glazed in a burnt sugar crust that shattered with each sweet bite.

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I was the only one brave enough to drink the green liquid that Lorenzo poured at the end of the meal.  It was a Majorcan specialty, Tunel, a drink that resembles Italian Sambuca with a strong black licorice flavor.  It is, in fact, an herbal liqueur produced from the distillation of an aniseed mixture that incorporates local Majorcan plants.  It sounds lovely, but the apple green color looks more like a witch’s brew of poison that a sweet post-meal treat.

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The winning combination of good friends, bright sunshine, turquoise sea, great food, and copious drink made for a perfect October getaway.

We left Majorca sated in every way. 

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