Nothing will teach you about the culture of a destination faster than a visit to a local farmers' market. Mallorca has daily and weekly markets in almost every little town, showcasing the best of local fresh produce. A slow walk through the daily market in Santanyi took me on a journey of Mallorca's cuisine and culture - and I just had to share some of those delicious photos from that journey!
For my 30th birthday, we took a trip to Mallorca - an island off the coast of Spain. I was excited for some sunshine and a little bit of relaxation, but I was not prepared for how much the food would blow me away. Everything we tried was so fresh and flavorful - the kind of flavor that can only come from using the freshest ingredients.
Farmers markets are a huge part of the culture in Mallorca and supply family homes as well as restaurants. In the summer months, wherever you are there will be a local market near you every day of the week. Our trip quickly turned into a game of 'how many different Spanish farmers markets can we visit in a week?' There are a number of popular markets all over Mallorca, but my favorite by far was here in Santanyi, in the South East of the island, about 45 minutes from Palma de Mallorca.
Santanyi is a gorgeous old town filled with beautiful old buildings, winding streets and comical local quirks. Even without the farmers market, the streets of Santanyi would be the perfect place for a stroll. But filled with colors and scents of the local vendors, and the hustle and bustle of the shoppers - it comes to life. It's a large market that takes over the whole center of the town, covering multiple streets in a maze of organic fruit, fresh fish, fresh products, fifty kinds of olive oil, Mallorcan wines, traditional tapas and other local products.
The food market itself is made of up streets and streets of all kinds of local produce and typical Mallorcan products. We enjoyed dozens of stalls filled with piles of plump and shiny fresh fruit and veggies, hanging cured meats that the region is famous for, beautiful baked goods that you could smell before you could see, and every kind of cheese you could imagine.
Many of the locals will do the majority of their weekly shop at these food markets, it is a part of daily life in Mallorca. But for a food lover like me, it was an absolute treat! Here is a glimpse of some of the mouth-watering food stalls.
Complimenting the food at the market, there were also bursts of color from different stalls belonging to local crafters and makers. Pots, clothing, handmade jewellery, local crafts and fashion accessories line the stalls, all hoping to catch the attention of all those who came for the Santanyi Food Market.
What surprised me is that there was no cheap tat like you often get at numerous markets in tourist destinations, but everything seemed to be high quality, hand crafted and absolutely stunning.
But the best part of all is the story that the market tells. The views, the smells, the tastes - everything paints a picture of life on the Spanish island of Mallorca. The foods that are sold - from the Iberico ham, to the juiciest tomatoes you have ever seen and mounds and mounds of plump olives - all fill you senses with the Mallorcan cuisine.
But also the people attending the market, the vendors themselves - the buzz of market day in Santanyi, it all screams one word - authentic.