The ABC of Nutrition leaves the peninsula and enters the Mediterranean Sea to talk about the gastronomy of the Balearic Islands, with the nutritionist Laura González, from the microphones of ‘El Bisturí’. Meats, vegetables, sweets and, above all, seafood and fish, are the foods that characterize the Balearic archipelago
The Alphabet of Nutrition skips the “puddle” and visits the Balearic Islands to talk about the traditional recipes of each of the islands of the archipelago, located on the east coast of the peninsula.
The head of Health and Nutrition at Nestlé, Laura González, defines these dishes and flavors as “pure Mediterranean essence, which has certain similarities with Catalan or Valencian gastronomy.”
For many years, the islands were invaded by Arabs, French and English, and this, González explains, has left a mark and a legacy in the island’s cookbook.
Sausages with “exquisite” flavors
Although fish and shellfish are relevant in the archipelago, the nutritionist highlights in the first place the sobrasada from Mallorca. A sausage, she indicates, is made from Mallorcan pork, minced and seasoned with salt, paprika and pepper. Then, it is stuffed into a casing that is allowed to mature “very slowly”.
“The aroma and flavor is exquisite, and with it we can do almost everything. From a sobrasada and cheese sandwich to a pizza. Although, in Mallorca, the most traditional thing is to bake and roast it. And in Menorca, fry it and serve it with honey “, she details.
In the case of not knowing which appetizer to take to a meal with friends or family, the nutritionist advises the sobrasada tartlets, ratatouille and quail eggs. “It is a delicious recipe with which you are sure to succeed,” she adds.
In addition to sobrasada, there are also other sausages such as camaiot and cuixot, typical of the pig slaughter in winter, “much more exclusive than sobrasada”.
“It is made from pork, mixed with different spices, then stuffed into the skin of the thigh, sewn and cooked for hours to finally let it dry. It only remains to cut it into slices and taste it raw or roasted “, he describes.
Likewise, the expert also points out the botifarró as one of the essentials in the kitchen of many Mallorcan people. Made with pork, “also with a good part of organ meats, and the taste of both is delicious.”
In Spain, says the nutritionist, in general the consumption of pork and, especially meat derivatives, is extremely important.
However, beyond pork, in the Balearic Islands game meat and poultry are also consumed. With them broths, stews or roasts are cooked, such as arròs brut (dirty rice), “one of the most symbolic dishes of the islands and typical of the colder months”.
“It is a soupy and spicy rice, made with game meat, such as hare, rabbit or pigeon, which sometimes included their blood,” she explains.
The supply and variety of native fish “is enormous,” says Laura González. Within this group are the raó, ray, scorpionfish, grouper, monkfish and rockfish, which are the “most emblematic”.
Similarly, seafood also has a wide offer: mussels, cockles, squid, cuttlefish, prawns, crayfish, snails, lobster … “endless.”
In the words of the expert, with all these treasures soups, broths or stews such as guisat de peix, made with grouper and very typical of Ibiza and Formentera, are cooked.
“Or the succulent lobster stew – he continues – with an intense sea flavor that constitutes one of the star dishes of Menorcan cuisine”.
With these ingredients, in addition, rice, cocas and dumplings are made, such as spinagada coca, “typical of the San Antón or Sa Pobla festivals.”
“Espinagada is based on chopped eels and marinated in a mixture of spices, which is then added to spinach, leeks or peas”.
For the dough of these cocas, González explains that a wheat pasta is made with lard or with salt, “widely used in Balearic recipes.” Once done, it is filled with vegetables and eels, closed “like a case” and cooked for an hour.
In the case of not having eels, the nutritionist recommends trying the sardine and onion coca.
An orchard by the sea
Laura González describes these islands as “a small garden next to the Mediterranean Sea” where “practically everything” is grown.
With these vegetables, she explains, one of the most famous cocas is made: the coca de trampó, typical in Mallorca.
Leaving aside the cocas, the nutritionist talks about other dishes full of vegetables, such as the Majorcan tumbet.
“Basically it is a recipe made from vegetables, in which potatoes and aubergines are fried, with a sauce of ripe tomatoes, oil, garlic and salt, all in a clay pot”, she lists.
Likewise, the Mallorcan frit also stands out, which is made with a mixture of vegetables, but, the expert warns that it is not suitable for vegetarians, as it usually includes pieces of seasoned and roasted lamb.