This chilled, refreshing tomato-based soup dates back to Roman days although it has evolved into quite a different dish through the years. While today you will find this delicious soup on the menu of some very sophisticated restaurants all over the world in the past it was very much peasant food. The workers in the fields would pound their bread with water, olive oil and whatever vegetables they had to hand. In the heat of the summer this soup is a light and delicious starter. It is usually served with a side garnish of cubed cucumber, peppers and red onion to add trexture to this smooth soup.
Possibly one of the most iconic of Spanish dishes, this rice dish comes with varying combinations of meat, seafood, spices and vegetables. While there are countless variations it is always cooked in a dimpled, flat bottom 2-handled frying pan and it invariably includes saffron, both for the taste and the colour. We suggest you order Paella Ciega or Blind Paella if you prefer your seafood already shelled and your meat with no bones.
Another ubiquitous and much loved Spanish food is this Spanish omelette or tortilla and you will find them in almost every bar. Again there are variations however all include thin slices of potato that have been slow cooked in olive oil to which egg is added, creating a thick omelette, like a frittata. This is served in wedges, sometimes between two pieces of bread to make a bocadillo (sandwich) alongside a handful of local green olives.
Gambas Al Ajillo
Simple, but delicious these are one of our favourite tapas. With the freshest of gambas (small prawns) lightly cooked in a clay dish in olive oil and with the additions of plenty of fragrant garlic and a hint of fiery fresh chilli the smell is tantalising and the taste sensational. And in its simplicity it is also a very easy dish to recreate, so you can take some of the memories of your yacht charter home with this one.
Another very popular tapa that you will find in almost all bars a good croqueta is a delicious treat. Their base is a béchamel sauce that has some flavourings added. These small fingers are then breaded and fried. One of the most popular flavour combinations is with bacalao (Atlantic cod fish) while another is with jamon (cured ham). Less common but equally tasty are when they are made with a spicy black sausage (morcilla) or with a Spanish cheese such as the blue queso do Cabrales.
Empanadas are a delicious snack found all over Spain and Latin America. They are fried or baked pastries or breads stuffed with savoury fillings such as meat or cheese, although sometimes they are also sweet. The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. In Mallorca the local empanada speciality is called a cocarrois which is a light shortcrust pastry stuffed with chard, spinach, almonds, raisins, currants, pine nuts or onion. This sweet/savoury combination makes a delightful snack served in many of the traditional bakeries.
Spanish meatballs or albondigas are legendary. They are a spicy mixture combining minced meat (usually beef, although sometimes with pork) and paprika, red onions and garlic, usually served in a flavourful tomato sauce. You will find them as part of the tapas menu in many restaurants and cafes. The word albóndigas is a derivative of the Arabic al-bunduq (meaning hazelnut, or, by extension, a small round object). They are believed to have originated as an Arabic or Berber dish brought to Spain in the sixth century during the period of Muslim rule.
When talking about Spanish food special mention has to be made about tapas, one of the most exported of food concepts in the world. Originally a little something to nibble on top of a piece of bread while drinking (it was used to cover the glass to keep the flies out, hence tapas is literally cover or lid) it has evolved into a wide variety of of small taste sensations to enjoy while having a drink prior to a meal, or a collection of small plates that make up a meal in itself.
And of course one always needs a dessert to finish on:
Similar to a Creme Brulee this rich egg-yolk custard is topped with a thin crust of caramel giving a perfect juxtoposition between the creamy soft texture underneath and the hard candy surface above. Crema Catalan is also known as "burnt cream" or simply "cream" in Catalonia (an area of Spain that includes Barcelona and the Balearic islands of Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza) and was traditionally eaten of the feast of St Joseph or Father's Day. Reference to this treat dates back to cookbooks of the 14th century making it one of Europe's oldest desserts. It is seen on almost all restaurant menus in the Balearic islands and we do recommend that you don't leave the islands without trying it.
Without a doubt food is an important part of a luxury yacht charter and while you will have a superb chef onboard we hope you enjoy some of the local delicacies when you are ashore. Buen provecho as they say in Spanish!
Further details about the Balearic Islands
For information about the luxury charter yachts available in the Balearics please contact the specialists at the Luxury Charter Group.