International Journalists Take a Bite Out of Balearic Gastronomic Jewels
A dozen journalists enjoyed special products such as 'fleur de sel', black pork, Mahón cheese, and local wines thanks to a trip organized by #SpainFoodNation.
The 20th edition of Madrid Fusión Alimentos de España recently became a gastronomic hub for three days, from March 28th to the 30th. Journalists from countries such as Ireland, Germany, and the United States had the opportunity to attend the conference and, in addition, enjoy a 3-day trip to see all the gastronomy that the Balearic Islands have to offer.
On Monday and Tuesday, the journalists attended several sessions of The Wine Edition Wines from Spain, a space dedicated to tastings and oenological dialogue within Madrid Fusión Alimentos de España. They also attended presentations by top chefs like Dabiz Muñoz, and ate at restaurants in Madrid such as Coque (2 Michelin stars) and Corral de la Morería (1 Michelin star), the latter having one of the best sherry wine cellars in the world.
On Wednesday, they began their trip to the Balearic Islands by visiting the Treurer estate, where olive oil has been produced since the 17th century. Located in the center of the island of Majorca, the area's peculiar climate, with lower temperatures than in the coastal areas, gives its extra virgin olive oil unique characteristics. The journalists enjoyed seeing the olive groves extending over the 20-hectare estate where, along with the vineyards, a pine forest and scrubland have also been maintained, contributing positively to the island's sustainability.
The next morning, the day started in Ses Salines, at Es Trenc natural park, where the islands' famous 'fleur de sel' is produced. The journalists learned all about the process involved in harvesting this very special product, made possible by the environmental conditions, which include many hours of sunshine and low humidity. Harvesting is done by hand to preserve all of the qualities of a product that is highly appreciated by chefs and gourmets.
Following that visit, the journalists enjoyed a very surprising activity: interacting with the native breed of black pigs, which are not as popular as traditional Ibérico pigs but which provide the island's famous sobrasada. After seeing how these free-range pigs live at Finca Bosc Vell, the group had the opportunity to taste some of the products prepared with this animal, presented by Can Company. Xesc Reina, the brand's charcuterie maker and one of the sobrasada gurus of the moment, explained all the secrets of this authentic gourmet product and showed them his inventive creations, among them sobrasadas with curry and with blue cheese. They also enjoyed recipes such as chickpea hummus with sobrasada essence, and a sweet ensaimada made with black pork lard.
This was followed by a toast with Majorcan wine. In the town of Pollença is Can Axartell, a winery founded 800 years ago that was recovered at the end of the 90s by Hans-Peter Schwarzkopf and his family. There they produce wines which blend tradition and modernity with a firm commitment to local grape varieties such as Callet and Manto Negro, protected under the PGI Vi de la Tierra de Mallorca. The wines are different and surprising, with personality that piqued the journalists' interest about the production process, which includes gravity-based techniques, allowing for a smooth vinification process and for aromas and flavors to be maintained.
Last stop: Mahón
For the last day of the trip, the journalists traveled from Majorca to Mahón to learn about a very special product: Mahón cheese. At Agroturisme Son Vives, they were able to see the cows that give their milk to produce these completely artisan cheeses, protected by a DO. They also learned about the entire process by which these square cheeses with rounded corners are made. They tasted it on its own and in different recipes, providing an unforgettable memory of one of the islands' most iconic products.
This visit ended their 3-day trip to learn about some of the Balearic Island's gastronomic treasures. Additionally, during lunches and dinners, the journalists tried other important dishes from the Islands, from frito mallorquín, which is roasted meat with vegetables and spices, to tumbet, which is seasonal vegetables prepared in the oven and served with tomato sauce. And more than one of them will forever remember the greixonera de brossat, a cheesecake "made in Mallorca" that is both citric and aromatic and as seductive as the islands where it's made.