If you’re visiting Mallorca between now and the end of July and are interested in food and drink, the following traditional fairs may appeal to you. Each is dedicated to some type of local produce. There are fairs or firas (as they’re known locally) like these throughout the year and many also feature traditional music, dancing, handicrafts and more. They are very much events for local people, but visitors can enjoy them too. Attending any of these gives you a great flavour (pardon the pun) of traditional Mallorca.
Fira del Vi i el Formatge – May 1st
This wine and cheese fair takes place in the village of Estellencs. I must confess that we haven’t visited this one – it does fall rather close to another wine event that we have supported every year since we arrived. But wine and cheese? What’s not to like?
Fira del Vi – May 3rd and 4th
Around 40 of the 70 or so wine producers on Mallorca come to the town of Pollenca, in the north of the island, to showcase their wines. This event, first held in 2004, is an unmissable opportunity to try wines you may not know, without the expense of having to buy a bottle. The setting is the beautiful Cloister of Santo Domingo. Entry fee of 10 euros gives you a tasting glass and the chance to taste as many wines as you like.
My tip: Visit during the day (it’s open 10:00-20:30h on Saturday and 10:00-14:00h on Sunday), as the place is jammed with local youngsters enjoying a pretty cheap night out on the Saturday evening.
Fira del Caragol – May 18th
Snails aren’t my personal favourite food but, if you’re a gastropod gourmet, this annual fair in the village of Sant Jordi, close to Palma’s airport, may tempt you. Mallorcans love eating snails – even more so if they’ve been able to forage for them. After any decent amount of rain, the locals are out with their buckets, scouring the countryside for a free lunch. We once saw an elderly lady in our lane with snails crawling up her arms. She’d forgotten her bucket, so The Boss gave her an old carrier bag in which to carry her slow-moving booty.
Fira de ses Herbes – June 7th & 8th
The herb fair takes place in the village of Selva, just a couple of kilometres from Inca (but feeling a world away). Anything to do with herbs can be found on the colourful stalls that line the small village square.
Fira de l’Albercoc – June 21st
The small town of Porreres is famous for its apricots and this fair celebrates that fact. Fresh or dried, the apricots from Porreres are a delicious and healthy fruit – although they can also be used in not-so-healthy, but tasty, pastries and other sweet treats.
Fira Gastronòmica del Pop de Portocolom – June 27th-29th
Pop is the Mallorcan word for octopus – which gets its starring role in this three-day gastronomic fair each June (this is the third edition of this particular fair). Restaurants and cafes offer special dishes based on octopus during this time.
Jornada de Cuina Marinera – July 14th
2014 sees the 14th edition of this popular evening seafood event, taking place in Porto Cristo. This one’s always on our calendar. Restaurants and cafes in the locality set up outdoor kitchens/stalls in an enclosed area on the seafront (where the market is usually situated) and sell taster portions of their key seafood dishes (and non-seafood desserts) for a couple of euros. Long trestle tables and the ubiquitous (in Spain) white plastic chairs are set up in a central ‘dining’ area, where visitors can sit (if they can find a space) having bought their food. There are always local winery stalls, soft drinks and coffee stands.
Enjoy . . . or as they say on Mallorca before you start to eat or drink, bon profit!