You know a place’s reputation as a gastronomic destination has spread when TV companies start flying in to record shows. And that’s exactly what’s happened here on Mallorca: both Rick Stein and Yotam Ottolenghi have been to the island in previous years with British TV production companies. In the past few days alone, the UK’s The Hairy Bikers – Dave Myers and Si King – have been on Mallorca filming for a new series. I’d hoped to interview them for my show on Mallorca Sunshine Radio but, alas, it wasn’t to be.
The popular Brit presenters weren’t the only ones making a food programme here. An Israeli company – Erez Dan Production – has also been on the island, filming for one of Israel’s most popular food programmes on a mainstream channel. Don’t ask me the Hebrew name of it, but the concept is to feature the top five dishes in major cities all around the world – as determined by social media.
The TV company was looking for a Mallorca food blogger to take part in the Palma edition of the programme and invited me to be involved in part of it. Quite a few years have passed since my time as a corporate video presenter, but the prospect of being back in the exciting world of filming for a little while was one I couldn’t resist.
The company’s social media research had revealed that one of the most popular foods here is the ensaimada – Mallorca’s best-known baked product – and we filmed at a place that’s famous for them. Ca’n Joan de S’aigo is in C/ Sanç in Palma’s Old Town; the business was established in 1700 and is also renowned for its ice creams and hot chocolate. Ca’n Joan de S’aigo is one of the oldest ‘chocolatiers’ in Europe and it’s still a popular tradition to come here for hot chocolate and ensaimadas after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve – when the place stays open late especially.
Nadav, the programme’s presenter, and I were first filmed strolling around the Old Town, talking about ensaimadas. Then we arrived at Ca’n Joan de S’Aigo, where the charming manager Pedro took us through to the kitchen to film some ensaimada production with the baker. Nadav even took a turn at rolling out the lardy dough and shaping it into a spiral, ready for proving.
Finally Nadav and I sat down to eat a baked ensaimada, which we both agreed was delicious and as light as eating a cloud – even though the quantity of lard in them means they’re surely heavy in calories. Not that the slim Nadav – who must eat a lot of food in the course of his travels for this innovative TV show – has any problems on that score…