If finding unique gastronomic experiences in Mallorca is something you enjoy, you’ll love Terragust. Their experiences – uniting agriculture and gastronomy – take place in the fertile agricultural land just outside the town of Manacor, where the company Terracor grows its fresh produce. (Terracor and Terragust are sister companies).
Before the event, the Terragust organizers had sent us a Google map, which directed us one Saturday morning at 11.30 to an orchard, at the end of a long country lane. We knew we’d found the right place when we saw a group of people standing chatting.
The land and the produce
Our two Terragust guides were farmers Matias Adrover Sitger, who owns the orchard (and other agricultural land in the Manacor area) and Pere Lluis Julia Vicens (who speaks English and German as well as castellano and mallorquín). These two friendly and land-dedicated Mallorcans handed each member of the group a Terragust-branded cap and cloth bag – instructing us to use the latter to help ourselves to as much fresh produce as we liked as we walked through the pomegranate orchard in front of us.
In the middle of the orchard, a table had been set up with a variety of pomegranates – whole and halved – along with dishes of the fruit. A bowl of the jewel-like arils from each one enabled us each to taste the difference between the varieties – something you really only appreciate when you can compare them in this way. Our guides pointed out the trees for each variety so we could collect the ones we liked.
A little further into the orchard, we stopped at another table, on which there were different types of melon – including a pale-skinned variety known as Sineu (named after the Mallorcan town) or melon blanc – and some varieties of Terracor’s salad greens recently plucked from another field. We were able to taste the different melons and the lettuces – which were nothing like the bland-tasting salad greens found in a supermarket.
Having learnt something about these fresh products, we were then free to collect what we wanted before we set off – driving in convoy – to our next location, a place where voluptuous bunches of table grapes hung from tall vines. The journey was short and as we emerged from our cars, Matias had already picked a huge bunch of black grapes, hanging from the vines, and was passing grapes around for us all to try. They were probably the most delicious grapes I’d ever tasted.
And so to lunch…
A long table was set up and ready for lunch between the vines. It looked impossibly romantic – like something from one of those movies set in the Mediterranean. Before we sat down, we had a glass of wine and helped ourselves to the plates of snacks on offer. We were a mixed group of Germans, Spanish and Mallorcans, and us, the only two English people. Nevertheless, the conversation flowed and I was fortunate enough to sit next to Pere, who told us he he’d been privately educated and had lived and worked in Switzerland before deciding to return to Mallorca and his rural roots.
We were treated to a five-course menu, incorporating Terracor produce, created by the Mallorcan chef Biel Llull Galmés – nicknamed ‘Cornet’ (a type of sea snail, apparently – not something topped with a scoop of ice cream!). Still aged under 30, this Manacor-born chef previously worked at the former Molí d’en Bou (which had a Michelin star) and in Manacor’s acclaimed Can March restaurant.
Lunch included delicious ‘xeixa’ wheat bread which Biel had made in the small hours of that morning and delicious wines from local bodega Miquel Gelabert. I’ve included below a couple of photos of the dishes we ate for lunch.
Biel worked in the mobile Terragust kitchen and plated up outside, as the weather was good. Lunch was delicious and I wasn’t too surprised to see that a few additional people joined us at the table. You don’t have to do the full Terragust experience to have lunch (or, in the summer, dinner); you can just come to have a meal in a memorable setting that’s very different from a restaurant. Lunch with wine, water, and coffee costs a very reasonable 40€.
Matias and Pere would like us all to be able to find fresh produce for sale at its moment of peak ripeness. It’s not something you’ll find in supermarket produce which, they claim, supermarkets require to be harvested and delivered before it’s at that point.
Terragust is offering these unique experiences until the end of November and then takes a break until February 2020.
If you’re interested in finding out more about seasonal fresh produce, would like to taste zero-kilometre produce at peak perfection, and discover a different form of rural tourism in Mallorca, I am pleased to recommend the Terragust experience. They offer these several times a week and, during the summer, the field tours and alfresco meal take place in the evening.
Next year, Terracor hopes to open their own shop to sell produce direct from the farm to the consumer. At peak perfection, of course. We look forward to regular visits with our straw basket to buy our freshly picked Mallorcan fruit and vegetables.
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Jan Edwards ©2019